“Forecast: Moderate or good, occasionally poor”
We were listening to the radio on the way to the gig when the shipping forecast came on and I realised that it was a perfect metaphor for us – It’s a venerable institution that makes no sense to the uninitiated, has a small but very dedicated fan-base and a majority of people only listen to it because they want to hear what’s on afterwards. This really became clear as we got to open the evening at The Shed. On one hand we got to play in front of a pretty big crowd, on the other hand not many of them were actually paying us any attention. At least we managed to get some of them to join in for While You Wait so it wasn’t all bad. The rest of the set-list looked something like this:
I’ll Get By
I Don’t Know Why I Love You Like I Do
She’s His Girlfriend
On Top Of The World
All I Want
It’s In The Air
While You Wait
As per normal, Sarah joined us on stage for the last few songs and took the lead vocals for While You Wait.
Despite the audience apathy, it was actually a pretty good gig and it was nice to be able to hang around and have a couple of beers and chill out once we’d played rather than just clear off because it’s 2 in the morning. However, this did mean that the random banter that we normally get involved in took place after we got off stage.
I got talking to the father of the guitarist in the band who played after us. After all the usual chat (nice set, you were really good, etc) he told me that I looked like Roger Waters when I play bass. I took it as a compliment since I like early Pink Floyd but I’ve always been more of a Syd man. He was then complaining that his son’s band finished their set with a cover of Wonderwall. He thought that they should have played something better and less well known. Wonderwall has become a bit of a “busker’s cliche” to be honest. Anyway, this guy thought that they should have played Pretty In Pink by The Psychedelic Furs or some Camper Van Beethoven. I agreed and said that it would have been awesome if they’d played Take The Skinheads Bowling. At this point he looked surprised and impressed in equal measure that anyone had actually heard of Camper Van Beethoven and we spent the next 10 minutes talking about John Peel.
Later on there was a band who not only went to the trouble of setting up their own light show on stage but also had their own smoke machine. There was me thinking that some of our shows had been a triumph of style over substance. Now, I think that they thought that they sounded like Kasabian. Unfortunately, Anthony, Sarah and I thought that they sounded more like Busted. They also had a song that was meant to be a tearful, heartfelt memorial to someone they know that had died. However, the chorus contained the Ronseal-esque line, “cancer’s an awful tragedy”, which doesn’t quite manage to convey any pathos at all. Then, they closed their set with a cover of Boys of Summer. Now, even though it’s a Don Henley solo song, I think I’m well within my rights to channel The Dude, “I hate the fucking Eagles man”