Drifting in and out of consciousness (oxfordhacker) wrote,
Drifting in and out of consciousness

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Gig 2

More gig related rambling, but safely in the past.

On Wednesday evening I was packing my CDs for my Zodiac debue when a depressingly predictable and predictably depressing text message arrived from Rich to say that I wouldn't be playing that night for reasons that are 'out of his hands.' It's hard to apportion any blame here. I know Rich is trying to get the best for me, but the fact that I only hear anything about these gigs through him makes it hard to tell whether the organisers are really being as capricious and arbitrary as they seem, whether Rich is relying too much on assumptions or vague assurances, or whether he is, in fact, secretly my bitterest enemy and is cunningly engineering a series of disappointments to act like a pneumatic drill on my psyche. My suspicion is that Rich, though a sterling chap, suffers from a similar vocabulary problem as my ex-housemate Lorna, where 'this will definitely happen' actually translates to 'at this time, I sincerely hope that this will be the case.' I'm mostly used to it, but it's still a bit of a bugger. I nearly took the opportunity to go and see Sexy Breakfast perform at The Cellar, but ended up getting drunk and moping about the house before going to bed early. Bah.

The other gig of note this week was that of my mate and former work colleague Chris Beard (real name, and no he hasn't, just some rather fetching stubble.) Chris used to be in a band called Cactus, who were really rather good the couple of times I saw them, but they have fallen apart in a manner which Chris is too gentlemanly or considerate to relate fully. He's now put together a new band, possible called Nebuchadnezzar(sp?), but while they're getting to gigging standard is playing some solo gigs, just a guy and his guitar.

The evening didn't start auspiciously, when I arrived at the Port Mahon where the gig was due to recognise Peter 'Pete' Merrill, my ex-boss from my last job at RM, at the bar. My horror deepened as it became clear that the pub clientele consisted almost entirely of ex-colleagues from RM who I vaguely knew, and faintly disliked. When one of them thanked me for coming, I realised that the headliners, Machine Breakers or some such similar, consisted of RM people, hence the turn out in solidarity. I guess this was good from Chris' point of view, really, as it made for a bigger audience than he could have drawn on his own, but I was distinctly uncomfortable lurking in the back of the pub, frantically reading the new copy of Nightshift to avoid as much small-talk as possible from people whose names I didn't remember and didn't care to.

Still, it was worth it, as Chris' set was ace. He did a couple of his own songs, one of which I recognised from a Cactus demo which I have (and will sell on E-Bay for thousands once Chris becomes famous...) He also did some inspired covers, including 'Spirit Ditch' by Sparklehorse, 'Atmosphere' by Joy Division, something by Vic Chestnut and a gorgeous, moving cover of Johnny Cash covering 'Hurt' by Nine Inch Nails. Chris has a truly impressive voice when he unleashes it, and even the slightly dodgy acoustics in the room couldn't quell it. The only problem was the mobile phone that went off during 'Atmosphere' (luckily his weakest and apparently least practiced song). I was heaping imprecations on the head of the owner, when Chris admitted that it was him...

Anyway, I missed almost all of the Machine Breakers' set because I was downstairs drinking and chatting with Chris, Paul (who writes reviews for Nightshift) and 'Dangerous' Dave Travolta, coincidentally a member of Oxford's 'Rock Of Travolta.' After an inauspicious start, I ended up having a thoroughly good time. And got asked which band I was in, again. I really ought to take the hint and bloody well start one...
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