If you weren't at Glamorous Coventry on the night of Saturday 18 January (and you weren't), then you missed what was, quite literally, my worst gig. What with the venue's sound system seemingly being incompatible with my audio setup along with a very sparse and unappreciative audience, I was glad to leave the stage. The first song I performed was a seven-minute version of "Always on my mind/in my house" originally by Pet Shop Boys (it's an edit of the B-side to "Doing what I have to" from the Redux era.) and it went OK, once I'd EQ'd the bottom end down and the treble way up. This was all done on the fly, so it wasn't a precise science. Then I saved the channel EQ for consistency and applied it to each of the other tracks I was performing.
The tracklisting changed as well. A slower, more recent single of mine, was replaced by a more upbeat cover and -- What?
"Do you do requests?"
No, dear, I can't take requests.
She stands there. Staring at me. I continue playing. JellyCube, who is hosting the show shuffles uncomfortably.
I look back up from my keyboard at the woman, who's still standing there.
"Do you take requests?"
No, I can't; it's all pre-programmed, I can't take requests.
She gives me an exaggerated boo-hoo sad face.
"He can't take requests," Jelly says, "can you please clear the stage area."
The woman goes and sits down with her friend and loudly proclaims, "HE'S NOT EVEN PLAYING THAT."
"HE CAN'T SING. HE'S TONE DEAF."
It's always nice to have feedback, I say, causing feedback on the sound system.
"Can YOU play the keyboard?" Jelly asks the woman.
"Yes," she says.
"Great, let him do his show, then!" I think I've gone red at this point. Jelly continues, "do we have any fans of Radiohead in?"
"Yeah!" the women shout.
Good, I said, because we're now going to murder "Creep". We sing "Creep" together and the women are not happy. To make everything better, a woman comes bouncing down towards the stage from the smoking area and starts dancing and singing along, so it wasn't all bad; I got some appreciation. And as a wise man once said, "if you get one person dancing, one person tapping their toe, then you've done your job." Always good to bear that in mind when your gigs aren't going the way you initially hoped they would.
Note to self: gigs in mid-January are always going to be rubbish!