Monday, 3 January 2011

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The ‘sick day’

The band decided we needed a day off work and seeing as I have to work next Saturday (to make up for having the bank holiday off!) I had to agree with them. So I grabbed my bag and texted my boss something dubious about having an asthma attack and getting stuck in a lift. The boss texted me asking how I had signal if I was stuck in a lift. This was a good point, so I didn't reply.

Penny and Anna met me outside tesco express. They were wearing big vintage sun glasses and laughing their asses off. Obviously the Morrissey argument had been forgotten.

'So what we up to chaps?' i asked eagerly.

A 'sick day' needs planning, a lot of planning to be successful, you cannot wast a sick day being actually sick. So I knew Penny and Anna had been thinking about what to do for a while.

I was wrong.

Penny and Anna looked at each other blankly.

'Um cinema?' Anna asked eventually.

We were spoilt for choice with a couple of crap movies in 3D and some superhero ones. Until we found the art cinema outside Chichester was playing a Gerard Depardieu movie. And as we all know Gerard Depardieu invented french cinema, the cigarette and the love making.

I watched for the bus as Anna and Penny went to get popcorn. They returned with a bottle of Asti, pitta bread and a selection of mini cheeses.

'There wasn't any popcorn and this was reduced' Anna said as way of explanation.

'We have to have something to toast the Depardieu! Penny added wiggling the bottle in the air.

I laughed and went back for plastic cups.
But we didn't make the show as our bus driver decided to slow down and talk to his friend walking a dog for half a mile. They obviously had a lot of catching up to do and being British none of us dared to complain. So sitting at the back of a double decker bus that smelled vaguely of pee and backy we started to wonder if we should have just gone to work when a women wearing a homemade turtle neck gets on the bus.
She sits next to a young guy reading a book even though there are loads of seats free.
'I need to tell you about something important or this isn't going to work.' She states loudly.
The guy is obviously freaked out by the fact a large older women who is clearly a bit mental has her arm round him. He nuzzles into his book pretending this makes him invisible.

'Now look at me young man i need to see that you understand. I want us to have honesty in this relationship, so I wont lie I'm a little older than you'.

At this Anna cracks up. Penny pops the Asti and pours me a plastic cup full of it.
The girls at the front talk loudly about their sex life, whilst the old women at the back of the bus pretend to be scandalized and everyone ignores the pregnant teenager swearing about her ex boyfriend on the phone.

"Yeh speak to you later nan." The pregnant teen finishes.

Transfixed we sip Asti from plastic cups and munch on blue cheese filled pitta breads. Looks like we caught the show after all.

Friday, 23 April 2010

"Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed D.J. Because the music that they constantly play it says nothing to me about my life"

If you were on the train to Fratton around 8.30 last Friday you may have seen a guy carrying a hi hat and two amps, a girl in a Smiths t-shirt playing a snare drum, a slightly orange girl clutching a couple tom toms and myself sitting on a bass drum. Yes we had to carry the drum kit to the gig. Thank god the pub we were playing at was only a ten minute walk from the station.

The guy I call Bob (it went past the point, two months ago, where I could politely ask him his name) dropped the hi-hat just outside the Fawcett Inn. We all froze as it shuddered against the pavement. Anna closed her eyes.

"Is it ok? Please tell me its ok?" She asked.

Poor Bob was having a hard time picking it back up with an amp tucked under both arms. Penny piled her tom toms onto the bass drum i was holding and picked up the hi-hat and headed to the bar.

"Well is it ok?" Anna asked her eyes still closed.

I felt the weight of the three drums i was holding kick in but before anyone could help me the Bass drum had made a break for it and was rolling down the road.

After a short chase and redistribution of drums we finally made it into the pub. The kit seemed to survive its adventure and Anna set it up without another incident. I found Penny at the bar.

"Warm up drink" She said drinking a strawberry dacarie.

How she got a strawberry dacarie in a place where they only have two beers on tap I have no idea. The barman was nowhere in sight so I reached over a poured myself a Scumpy jack.

"I don't think anything else can go wrong." I said after downing the jack.

I didn't realize how wrong I was until half way through 'There is a light that never goes out.' Now granted I don't have the best voice in the world. I am singer by default (I have rather a good La roux style quiff, the quiff is important for a Smiths tribute front person) but I thought I was doing quite a good job. That was till our rather good size audience (30 people) started shouting they wanted 'Sound of the underground' and 'The promise'.

It slowly dawned on me they had come to see a Girls Aloud tribute band. Not Girl Afraid, The Smiths tribute band. This is why you don't have the newsagents cousin Sanjeev print your posters half price. We continued bravely through 'Girlfriend in a Coma' until the faces on the audience got to us. Morrissey fans are never the happiest bunch but these lot looked like they were going to put there underage fists through our faces.

Penny winked at me and changed the bass line.

And yes we did it, the all girl Smiths tribute band got our first encore playing "Sound of the Underground".

So Morrissey if you don't like the song don't burn down the disco just change the music.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

“Be yourself, relax, don’t worry about anything as there’s no point.”

We have our first gig as ‘Girl Afraid’ the greatest all girl Smiths tribute band!
*Possibly the only all girl Smiths tribute band.

Normally I would be quite excited at the prospect of playing at The Fawcett Inn to five underage girls twatted on lambrini and the two old perv's eyeing them up from the bar, but we have problems. Problems on top of problems as Penny says.

Our gig posters are a blurry mess, we have no transport for the drums and Penny has turned herself orange.

I called an emergency meeting on my break.
Penny arrived fifteen minutes late looking very much like shed been tangoed. Anna was not impressed.

“I can’t talk to her whilst she looks like that.” Anna hissed at me.

Anna and Penny haven’t been getting on lately. There was an argument a couple of weeks ago about Morrissey’s album Viva Hate. Penny isn’t a massive fan of Morrissey post Smiths. Anna on the other hand has created a kind of religion around Morrissey and took Penny’s criticism as heresy.

“We need to return the posters” I said trying not to stair directly at Penny.

However it turned out there wasn’t much we could do about the posters as our loyal groupies (Penny’s now ex boyfriend and Anna’s flatmates) have already posted them up. I guess we will just have to hope people will want to come see Girl A (large smudge mark) Tribute band.

“Well how are we going to get your drum kit down to the pub?” I asked Anna.

“Andy might be able to help.” She replied vaguely.
I wouldn’t trust Andy to help himself to a hot meal and a shower. But I didn’t say anything because the way Anna was staring at Penny made me feel I had a bigger problem on my hands.

“So Penny will you be ok for tomorrow?” I asked.

Penny looked blank for a moment.

“Ohh you mean the spray tan? Yeah it’s maybe a bit bright but it should mellow out soon.” She sipped her Red Bull and stared into space like she wasn’t orange and everyone wasn’t staring at her.

“Why did you get a spray tan!?” Anna asked.

“I split up with Rob” Penny sighed.

“So why didn’t you get drunk or dye your hair like a normal person” I replied.

Penny Shrugged. Anna folded her arms and did her tortured look into the middle distance thing “I’m not playing with her looking like that.”

"As Morrissey would say, Be yourself, relax, don’t worry about anything as there’s no point.” Penny replied curtly.

“Also everyone knows people never look at bassists anyway.” I added.

So problems solved...
If you want to see Girl A(smudge mark) tribute band featuring an air drummer and an orange bassist join us at The Fawcett Inn Friday night at 9.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

"I needed a job and then I got a job and heaven knows I’m miserable now."

I can’t help thinking Morrissey wrote that after spending some time in a call center.

My day today started with a twenty minute pitch on the wonders of the credit card.
The chap I was trying to sell it too, who had seemed at first quite interested, started laughing.

“Don’t need one of em” He said.

“Can I ask why not?” I said in my best salesperson voice.

“Cos I’m drunk and in a wheelchair” He cackled and then hung up.

I wasn’t quite sure which of these two things didn’t allow him to have a credit card. My boss certainly didn’t think this was a good enough excuse either and made me stand up until I made a sale. I felt like I was in year three, standing on a chair with my hands on my head after being caught covering my arms in PVA glue so I could let it dry and peel it off.

The rest of the day didn’t go much better. The next guy who answered started yelling at me.

“Why don’t you get a real fucking job?” He spat down the receiver.

I wanted to tell him this was the best I could do with a music degree in a recession but I didn’t and after he hung up I ticked the call back later button.
To get me through the rest of the day I made lists. I started with the top three Smiths albums.

1) The sound of The Smiths
2) The best of The Smiths
3) Singles The Smiths

But of course this is cheating.

I wonder why The Smiths have so many albums with the same songs on them? Maybe it was too make sure they made enough money so they would never have to get proper jobs again. Can’t say I blame them.