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Blog: Sonic Noise Terror And Balloons

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On Friday night I was back at The King & Queen AGANE, not this time for a Totally Acoustic nor even for an Collaborative Meeting, but rather for an appearance at SCALEDOWN, the monthly show upstairs that gave me the idea to move Totally Acoustic there all those many years ago.

It was an AUSPICIOUS occasion because it was also the birthday of Mr S Hendry, who had BOOKED me. I wished him a very jolly birthday then went downstairs to find old pal Mr S Wilkinson, who had come along for the evening. We had a good old CHAT, also PINTS, before heading back upstairs for the start of the show, where I was delighted to find some things NEVER change: the opening act was a nervous young man doing one of his first gigs, who had a clutch of excitable CHUMS who had come to see him. As is the LAW, these chums didn't enter the room until 5 seconds before his first song and then, the very INSTANT he had finished, they stood up as one and left EN MASSE, even whilst the next act was making his way to the stage. Ten years ago, when I used to do gigs all the time with people who did this, I found it ANNOYING, but I must admit this time I found it quite sweet. There is an INNOCENCE about it - they have come to see their friend and, having fulfilled this duty, now wish to go and talk about it, with no knowledge or understanding of the kind of Obligation To Stay that we OLD HANDS might feel we have.

Also, as the next act was ME, I was quite happy to be able to gently mock them as soon as they had gone. HA! Take that, YOUTH! Here is what I done:
  • Song For A 49th Birthday
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • That Guy
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Song For A 49th Birthday is a brand new DITTY what I wrote because Shaun had (joking, I think) asked me to. I was a bit worried about how it would go as I had never played it to not nobody before, but it all seemed to work out all right, and the rest of the set was a LOT of fun, especially in between songs when I took QUESTIONS on a range of subjects. I hadn't started out intending to do that, but that is what ended up happening!

    There was a short break and then we were back for part two - I'd been very impressed to find an ITINERARY for the evening laid out on the tables, specifying that there would be THREE sections, each featuring two acts doing fifteen minutes each. This all went AWRY, however, when the next act took about twenty minutes to INTRODUCE himself, and then another twenty to do his BIT. He did a thing where he got the whole audience to "play" balloons, inflating them then letting the air out together to make squeaky noises. It was a good idea, but it didn't half go on, and i FELT for the other three acts still to play who must have been thinking "Is there going to be TIME for us to do anything?" Goodness knows I have been in THAT position enough times! When this chap finished he said "Shall we do one more PIECE together?" and there was some POLITE, but FIRM silence as people indicated in a very British Way that perhaps no, maybe we wouldn't. He didn't seem very pleased, but it was getting Actually Late (gone ten o'clock! Imagine!) so things needed to move on.

    As indeed did we, due to TRANES and so forth, which meant we only got to see a few minutes of a chap doing SONIC MISCHIEF on his guitar. utilising PEDALS and a bag of household implements. Usually that is the sort of thing I would be WELL up for, but Transport Requirements dictated otherwise, and we had to sneak guiltily out. It's very difficult to assume a facial expression that says "We are not like those friends of the first act, honest, we just have to get home" but I think - HOPE - we managed it!

    posted 30/1/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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