Blog Gigs Facts Music Shop Links
home >  facts :  about us /  newsletter /  articles /  videos /  pictures

Tales From The Conference League : The Council's Greatest Moment

< previous

A little while ago I mentioned the time me and The Validators "headlined" (went on last when everybody'd gone home) the Abbey Park Festival. Believe it or not, this wasn't the first time I'd had the prestigious honour of prestigiously "headlining" (going on last when everybody's gone home) this prestigious festival.

Some years before that The Council were awarded this dubious honour - I'm not sure how we managed it, but I've got a good idea it might have been because nobody else wanted to. It was a great time to be in a band in Leicester - Cornershop had recently had the first of their two bursts of fame (for burning pictures of Morrissey) and Prolapse were wowing the Indie crowds here and in America. They went on in the ACTUAL headline slot at about four in the afternoon when the tent was packed out. It was a fantastic gig - they were on top form and it ended with a massive teenage stage invasion, as one by one kids spaced out on candyfloss and beer dregs grabbed the band's instruments and took over the gig.

Our drummer Tim was also in Prolapse, and had been a true professional, taking care not to drink too much before their spot. Afterwards, however, he was able to join the rest of us in taking advantage of the unique aspect of that year's Sorted Stage - Dave, who ran Sorted Records, also ran a pub and had somehow managed to persuade his brewery to sponsor the stage. Thus, there was a MOUNTAIN OF FREE BEER in the artistes' area.

It wasn't there for very long.

By nine o'clock the twenty or so band members involved had managed to neck several hundred pounds worth of beer, and things were getting messy. Tim was backstage throwing up, I was falling over, and Neil, who was the only person to stay sober, was worrying. He was right to - by the time we staggered onto the stage he was the only one who could actually remember how to play his instrument. I stood there GRINNING with my bass round my neck thinking "I'm sure I've got this thing on the right way round, but where do I blow it?"

By this time all the other stages had closed down, but as we were right by the exits people started coming in to see what was going on. This included two hundred proto-ravers who'd just left the dance tent and were still Up For It and were so ADDLED that our cack-handed bellowing seemed like the greatest ROCK AND ROLL SHOW ever! They didn't mind that it took us three attempts to start every song, or that the drummer seemed to be playing different songs to the rest of us, or even that all the words appeared to be "WE'RE DRUNK! WAHEY!" They were Having It.

Foolishly I tried to make some Remarks between songs. An email friend had told me he'd be coming, saying "You'll recognise me from my Guinness t-shirt and my attractive girlfriend." He dashed down the front in said t-shirt and I said "Hello! I thought you said you had an attractive girlfriend?" ... just as she joined him. She wasn't hugely impressed.

We finished our set to MASSIVE cheers - Tim threw his towel into the baying crowd, I stood eyes closed before them, BATHING in the ludicrous acclaim, while Neil was in furious conference at the side of the stage - we'd gone on too late, the police had been called!

I cared nothing for this - I was a ROCK STAR! I strode back on, somehow managing to not trip over any wires or fall off the front, and shouted into the mic "The Police are coming! Are they going to stop us?"

"NO!" shouted the people who could still shout. "Yes!" said Dave, as he turned the PA off, aware that it was his licence and therefore his livelihood that would be at risk of prosecution. Reluctantly we were forced to vacate the stage, to shouts of various types from all corners of the tent we were forced to leave the stage. We packed up and headed to the pub, there to BATHE in the glory of our brief adventure into ROCK STARDOM. It's never happened to me again, and in a way I'm quite glad. It was excellent fun while it was happening, but goodness me, it didn't half make me feel awful the next morning!
< previous

Twitter /  Bandcamp /  Facebook /  YouTube
Click here to visit the Artists Against Success website An Artists Against Success Presentation