Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas Gig Report

One of our roadies,
pre-warming the guitars

I'm posting at 3 a.m. because Hot Rabbit, Hampshire's Hardest-Working Band1, just finished our Christmas gig and I can't sleep. We work our nadgers off when we play; we started at 9 and finished at 11:45, played more than forty songs, and only stopped for 30 seconds so the bass player could have a pee. (Bass players have notoriously weak bladders.) You'd think we'd be knackered at the end of it but I'm wired and am struck down with terminal munchies, so I have to sit up half the night watching Fu Manchu movies and eating cheese and crackers. And blogging.

We had an OK crowd; there were about 80 people in a small pub, and two huge dogs, so it felt full enough. Sometimes the ole' mojo kicks in and tonight it did. Oh how they danced. I reached the top notes in 'Livin' On A Prayer' and 'Mr. Brightside'. Fighting off pre-instrumental tension, I stepped up to 'Play That Funky Music White Boy'. I aced the tricky glockenspiel solo on 'The Curly-Wurly Of Love'. And the other lads were on similar top-notch form.

I sweated a bucket. We all did. We ended up The Four Hoarse Men Of The A-Puckered Lips. I've worn my index fingernail down to the quick, even though I use a plectrum, and my throat is as dry as Osama Bin Laden's wine cellar. Big noise, big fun.

But we're talking to the landlord as we pack up and he's shaking his head; it's tough to get people out on a Saturday. Why? Because TV is packed with shows like X Factor and Pop Idle and I Used To Be A Celebrity, Put Me Out Of my Misery. The British public sit in mindless droves soaking this stuff up, week after week. He's right. He's absolutely right.

I've tried to like these programs, I really have, because it would be a connection with the kids. But they kick me out of the room after five minutes of watching because my teeth are grinding so loudly.

The truth is I can't stand them (I mean the TV shows, not the kids). I loathe Simon Cowell. How can you trust a man with such straight teeth? He can't be a Brit. I despise the spectacle of half-arsed talentless gormless barbie-and-ken egomaniacs queuing up for ritual humiliation because they want to be famous ("it's my dream"; "it's everything to me"; etc. ad nauseam). The lovely Simon sticks a thousand of them on a pedestal for two minutes and then slaps all but one off. What fine entertainment.

Worst of all: the songs they slaughter and sell by the gazillion. Last year Alexandra Burke won Strictly X-rated Pop Factor, or something, and released 'Hallelujah'. She sang it with beautiful clarity and technical precision, and no feeling at all. Nothing. A song with heart, delivered like an advertising jingle. All she felt was lucky.

Ditto Susan Boyle's note-pefect and utterly lifeless 'Wild Horses'. Mind you at least she has novelty value. The last time a voice matched a face so badly was when Leonard Nimoy released his all-time classic 'The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins'. (The live version is even better).

So switch off the Electric Box Of Evil and Sloth, get out to a pub or club, and watch a band. Any band. These are people who get up and give, night after night, for the love of it. They don't stand up and sing half a song, with sly electronics and a full BBC orchestra covering up how duff they are. And they don't run home in tears when they don't win.

Better still, come and see us. We can promise you a warm welcome, a sweaty evening and a big smile on your face. How often do you get an offer like that? We may be forty-something (forty-thirteen in one case) but we rock.

1 - Check out our supercool, ultra-modern website, I did it myself, you know.


  1. Can I have a roadie too please... just like the one in the photo.
    Also, your weak-bladdered bass player needs one too as he has just procured an early Christmas pressie ... a new and BIGGER bass combo :))

  2. How can you trust a man with such straight teeth?

    Worse than the straightness is the whiteness, especially as he smokes.

    It is impossible to trust anyone with abnormally straight AND white teeth.

    *hangs head in shame, guilty of watching Saturday night TV*

  3. Hampshire's a bit far....but never knowingly in on a Saturday night...

  4. Go 40-somethings!

    Sounds like a great night.

    I'm a NOT a fan of "reality" shows but Saturday night TV over here isn't a big draw.

    You're right. Simon can't be a Brit with those teeth.

  5. Uber,
    man i laffed my ass off at this post, that susan boyle, analogy was tooooo funny.

  6. sounds like great fun. wish i could be there. i hate all the reality shows.

  7. What a great post about the stupid Simon Cowell! That's hilarious about him having too straight of teeth to be a Brit! I would have fit in well in England when I was younger, can you say Snaggletooth?? Damn it! I always knew I was supposed to be a Brit.

  8. He has straight teeth? I can never make it past those pendulous sugar-teats enveloped by tight black T-shirt...

  9. Sounds so fun!
    Nice ornament, er, 'roadie'


  10. You are funny and a musician? Cool combo!

  11. Oh I Almost forgot I have an award for you!

  12. I absolutely love live music. And go to as many gigs as I can. Unfortunately life gets in the way.

  13. don't tell me that's Spock?! wow, he really is one talented man.

  14. ParaD ~ Yeah! Let's melt some face

    mo ~ He smokes? What does he have, spare teeth? The guy's a robot

    Nota ~ Welcome! It's not that far...

    RefGeek ~ Who is Reffie, the evil twin? Do tell

    bob ~ Thanks! It's good to repay some of the ample laffs at yore place

    Sarah ~ You can! BA have a two-for-one offer, if you don't mind food poisoning and landing half a mile short of the runway

    MiMi ~ Snaggletooth, eh? I like it

    Hunter ~ I think you're on to something. Why does he wear black? Hmmm

    JenJen ~ You should see the girl who warms the drums up

    Christie ~ Thank you! And thank you again!

    Mini ~ Yup, it's him. Scary eh?

  15. Glad you had a good show! My son has a bnd too so I know how much you put into these shows. Here's to bigger and better...if that' what you guys want for next year.

  16. UG ~ The peeing bass player is oh, so true. I am married to one. Nothing like listening to live music from my legend in his own mind.

  17. Too many guitars ,man!

  18. JP ~ You know we quite like to keep it small? One gig a month with occasional pubs - perfect formula

    Marla ~ Good heavens! Is this a trend?

    Anon ~ Too many guitars? How can you have too many guitars?

  19. Ha, at least I can say I don't have a f**king clue what you're on about, because I have never watched those shows :)

    No, I'm much sadder than that. I was up until half one last night tweaking an algorithm to use a double hashed lookup table which made it about 5 times faster. I live life in the fast lane, oh yeah.

    Plus I need to set a date for that remix for you, musn't forget.

  20. Hi Urber, just popped by to say that I'm still alive! I laughed at this one. I used to play in a band until really recently. We were offered a job on a cruise ship, but we had to turn it down because the drummer suffered from sea-sickness!
    This brought back some memories!
    Simon Cowell has his teeth bleached, that is why they look ultra white. A bit like the strobe lightening that they use. if you wear white on stage, it looks see-through!
    SuBo has totally lost the plot! Parading her knickers all over the place! And yes, I used to have trouble with my plec too, but it was easier on my finger nails!
    Hope everyone is well and all geared up for Christmas!
    Big hugs!

  21. I didn't know guitars require pre-warming. Learn something new everyday.

  22. sorry UberGrumpy xx

  23. PeachTart ~ Hey! Winter flights are really cheap

    Matt ~ You king of hash, you. Yeah! Remix! After Chrimble?

    Alice ~ There you are! Guitarist eh? What sort of music?

    ReadingThis ~ Yup! Cool eh

    Mini ~ xx right back at you

  24. I love seeing live bands! Too bad I can't drive to the UK...I'd take a roadtrip to see you.

  25. Jen ~ You can, with one of those new amphibious cars. But don;t forget to drive on the left when you get here