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Blog: Tough Room
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Later on in the day I headed out again, this time bound once more for LEICESTER, where Tom and I were booked to play at the Ultimate Frisbee Christmas Party. Oh yes! Ultimate Frisbee, as far as i can make out, is like NETBALL, but with FRISBEEs, and is generally played by Physicists. I don't know why this should be so, but apparently it is.
On the way i had a foodstuffs-based MOOD SWING - HUNGRY from my journey i went in to Burger King in search of Veggie Whoppers. Burger King is in the less pleasant bit of Leicester, i.e. the half of the city centre which is EAST of a line joining the bus station to the railway station, along which most of the horrible bars are, and which on most Saturday nights is filled with drunken aggressive people, as indeed it was THIS Saturday night. On EDGE already i waited in Burger King, where the person in front of me turned and walked straight INTO my guitar and then, after ten minutes waiting, I was told that the one and old BEAN BURGER they'd had (which they'd sold me as there were NO veggie whoppers) had been dropped on the floor. Nobody said sorry, or offered to do anything about it, and when i asked for my money back they had to fetch the manager who was EXTREMELY arsey as if _I_ was putting HER out, rather than vica versa.
Full of RAGING ANNOYANCE i stomped across town and soon found myself in Market Street, where LO! there was Mirch Masala, a brand new modern VEGGIE CAFE! Serving Italian, Indian, Chinese, and "American" food, ALL of which was VEGGIE - there were V's on the menu, they meant VEGAN - HOORAH! I had a DELICIOUS Dhosa and a BEER in a place where everyone seemed happy and was NICE about things, and eventually emerged with my mood changed UTTERLY, warm inside and full of LOVE for the world, thinking "and I nearly ate in Burger King - HOORAH!"
I arrived at the party, got sat up, and waited NERVOUSLY to begin. We'd decided NOT to use a PA as it was only a small room, and though Tom needed my practice amp, I thought I could manage without, as I'd done so in a couple of gigs lately. HOWEVER, the gigs where I'd done this had BEEN gigs, and not Christmas Parties where people would much rather chat to each other, NOR did they have two groups of people in the middle of the room who REALLY wanted to talk to each other Quite Loudly...
Things started out OK, but as said people, quite rightly and legitimately, talked to each other, OTHER people thought "ah! it is OK to chat!" and did so. Gradually i lost my IRON GRIP on the audience, and although when Tom came on to join me halfway through it brought BACK a few people, i could still feel it slipping... i was quite pleased with my BEHAVIOUR tho, throughout I kept going, kept trying to engage with the people near the front who were into it, and at no time CRIED or was RUDE to the persistent talkers in the middle of the room. It was THEIR Christmas Party after all, and it wasn't for me to tell them what to do - and it was a bloody good job i didn't HARASS them, for afterwards i discovered that the REASON they were talking so loudly and not paying ME any attention was because they were Profoundly Deaf. AH!
So yes, things weren't going brilliantly UNTIL we got to the last two songs, "Easily Impressed" and "Boom Shake The Room", which swung the whole thing round, got everyone joining in, and was a MIGHTY RELIEF to Tom and I. "It's a good job you did those last," he said, and i replied "That's WHY i always do those two last!"
I'm such a PRO. We politely ignored the carrying out of the WHIP ROUND, were pleased with what we were to recieve, and then spent much of it on DRINK! HOORAH! I was staying round AAS Emeritus Director Mr Whitaker's house afterwards, so we even went RECKLESS CRAZY and had a celebratory pizza! HOORAH!
We stayed up late, then next day i left the house at 9am to walk to the station and get the train home again. I was KNACKERED i tell you, KNACKERED!
posted 6/12/2004 by MJ Hibbett
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