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It had all gone fine though - BETTER than fine actually, as George and Cat, the other two attendees had been ACE. I thought I'd be OK just because I was doing a bit I'd done before but expected everyone else to be all nerves and bits of paper and mumbling, but they were GRATE - structure! confidence! PROPER JOKES - the lot!
After work I strolled over to the Wilmington and met Mr & Mrs Hewitt, who were IMPRESSED by my DILIGENCE in alternating between BEER and Diet Coke. Normally I wouldn't bother, but having seen how good the others had been I didn't want to mess up. Also of course there was the INEVITABLE CONFRONTATION that was due to happen with Simon Price, who was also playing and with whom I had a bit of an INTERNET SPAT with a while ago.
I have to admit I had been WORRIED about this - i hate RUDENESS and CONFRONTATION and get heart palpitations at the mere IDEA of it - but as it was all was WELL. I went downstairs to find him going through his SET, which was overrunning. He looked so worried about it I wanted to HUG him which, I feel, would probably not have been the right sort of thing to do, and it's hard to be ANGRY or AFEARED about someone you've thought that of.
So, the evening kicked off and BLOW ME if it wasn't excellent from start to finish. Mr Tim Chipping kicked off and RIGHT AWAY was excellent - confident, ready to GO, it was amazing, and things carried on that way with EVERYONE being brilliant. Simon Price was, again, oddly loveable and VERY funny and if you'd just wandered in without knowing what was going on I very much doubt you'd've realised it WASN'T an actual comedy night. Cat and George, who I'd practiced with were GRATE again, and suddenly it was MY turn.
It went FINE - there were LARFS in most places I'd hoped and finishing with a song turned out to be a VERY good idea (it was the story about my BOOK deal, so I sang I Did A Gig In New York) as my PUNCHLINE a) didn't really work and b) then got waylaid by someone saying "Are you talking about Stuart Evers?" which I very much WAS.
Then after me Mr D Barnett came on and STOLE THE SHOW. He'd been emailing pretty much everyone beforehand with WORRIES and FEAR but STOMPED all over the stage and was HILARIOUS. I stood watching him feeling oddly PROUD of The World Of ROCK. Here we all were from different PARTS of it, with different very attitudes to how it should be done, yet we'd answered the challenge and made it a GRATE night out. "Well done, People Of Music," I thought, BEAMING around me at the throng.
Afterwards, I saw Steve Cross again and told him what a BEAUTIFUL thing it was that he was doing, taking people from other walks of life and giving them the opportunity to DO something as special as this. It's an amazing night, I'd highly recommend a visit if you have the chance.
The night ended with me talking to Mr Elis James, the compere, about the Gorky's back catalogue and the fact that we both sort of knew Sweet Baboo, which seemed fitting for an evening when everyone turned out to know nearly everyone else, one way or another, and I set off into the night PROUD of my chosen profession. Well done, ROCK, well done!
posted 22/2/2012 by MJ Hibbett
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