Good after evening and welcome to… Ronnie Scott’s??
This is going to be a basic recap of our gig. Nothing terribly exciting, just a standard gig night.
So, 2017 is off with a bang having our first gig of the year with Arun in good ol’ Ronnie Scott’s. Flashback to a couple Sundays ago when I was hacking up my lungs, wrapped in many a winter garm, scoffing extra strength Strepsils like Skittles. Not a good start to our first rehearsal.
A short reunion and a large mug of ginger and lemon tea later, and we were all snugly seated, in the most aesthetically pleasing home studio/bedroom setup that one would sit, making suggestive comments about for the next hour.
Naturally with our rehearsals, there will always be shenanigans. A lot of time is spent mocking our lead singer. The rest usually mock ourselves as singers or musicians. This is usually followed by talk of current music and artists, which digresses into general current events, digressing further into our own personal life events. Then, when we’re finished with that, we may actually get a rehearsal in the last 20 minutes.
Lucky enough for us, there was only one new song to learn this time, and the backing vocals were simple enough. The rest was the set list, we know well enough to just breeze through and continue with our banter.
Rehearsal done, we disband and await the fated day (two days later) of the gig.
We were supposed to meet for soundcheck at 5p.m.
I thought it was 5:30p.m.
I didn’t make it on time for either anyway.
Soundcheck done (minus two BVs) we hung around deciding what to do to kill time until 9pm, when we were scheduled to be on. Before leaving, the lady, who is always on the door upstairs at Ronnie’s, came over to greet us and give us our stamps, so that we may pass freely in and out, like the 1 star celebrities we are. Neither myself nor Corinne were particularly inclined to greet the very puffy woman, due to past experiences with this event night management being less than savoury in their behaviour toward us. But that’s a story for another time (probably not).
Suddenly we were in Nandos. For the next 3.5 hours. All of us completely forgetting that being too full before going on stage to sing isn’t the most comfortable of experiences. Our instrumentalists had wandered in their own direction for food, leaving the vocalists to gossip as we always do.
8:45pm we make our way back across the street and ready ourselves (by giving critique to the preceding act) to go on stage. I say “stage”. It’s a cornered off section of floor that usually serves as a drinking booth on any other day, I fathom. Not to say that it’s terrible. The sound quality is good, 7 times out of 10 we can actually hear ourselves in the monitors, and Arun always gets the reverb he wants. But I suppose, as we’re not established jazz musicians, we don’t get to play in the posh part of Ronnie’s. And that’s fair. Thanks for letting us in anyway.
Our set begins, Arun has his usual dramatic intro. All 2000 of his fans are standing right in front of us. Corinne, Jade and I eye each other up to see how well we’re going to remember our parts this time round. We’re not perfect (we mostly are, though) and we’re not constantly rehearsing these songs, and our parts, so it’s only natural that after a few months of not playing any of these songs we might forget… Mostly all of it. But seasoned professionals that we are, it all comes back to us. A few misses here and there, but no one in the audience could ever have known what they were supposed to hear. So long as we’re always in tune, that’s what matters.
And so long as we can hear ourselves.
The set goes without a hitch (except starting one song in the wrong key but we’ll forget about that), the crowd goes wild, and all the sick people in the band trundle away home, tucking themselves away until the next gig.
All in all, it was a good gig, and a good start to the year. Even if I’m completely over Ronnie Scott’s and their upstairs event nights.
Here’s to many more.