Flunkies

I’ve decided to start lists that comprise of things that have been embarrassing, disappointing, or unfulfilling in some way. Here’s the first.

The Top Five Most Disappointing Gigs I have Played in my Whole Entire Lifetime:

5. Hiva Oa, a band I fooled around with for about four months in 2010, was asked to play a gig at a run-down, trend-infested bar during the Edinburgh Festival. When we arrived two hours before our set, like a good little band, we were told that our slot had been “double”-booked with three other bands.
“We weren’t expecting all the bands to turn up, so we booked more bands than we needed,” explained the “organiser”.
We were told we had a ten minute set including setup. I think the audience consisted entirely of the other 97 frustrated bands that were playing that night. I expressed my feelings by playing the house piano with my floor tom.

[By the way, Hiva Oa are now based in Ireland, and are doing very well for themselves. I heartily encourage you to check them out]

4. I played a show in Tokyo at a British pub called The Dogs Bollocks. The name should have given it away, really. Usually audiences in Japan are eerily attentive, but this particular crowd was mostly rowdy foreigners and people who like rowdy foreigners. I think this kind of venue books bands not because they like music, but because they hate their clientele, and want them hurt their throats after talking over the music they’re not listening to. Mike, the guitarist, ended up reducing our set to three songs. Come to think of it, that would have gone down well at the Edinburgh Festival.

2. After playing a show at ReFuel in Dunedin, a drunken student came up to me.
“I didn’t see you play,” he said.
“That’s nice,” I replied.
“Can I have a go on your drums?”
No. Nobody can “have a go” on my drums. I think I have been asked four times. Once it was a seven year old. I said yes to her. I’m not an animal. So stop calling me that.
Oh, also it wasn’t a great gig.

3. Blind Atlas rehearses in Dalston, and we mostly play in that general area. We don’t tend to go that far anymore because we were offered a gig in Peckham and told the venue is “always rammed.” I’m not sure the booker used the word “rammed” actually, so it may not be right to “”, but you get the general idea. The idea was it was going to be busy, especially since it was a pub on a Friday night.
A couple of my friends from Peckham turned up. I think there were four people drinking at the bar next door. Oh, and one of our girlfriends turned up half way through. I guess rams need a lot of space. Very territorial.

1. One of my first, testosterone-filled bands played at a venue called The Crown in Dunedin, known for junkies, punkies, and flunkies.
The bassist’s girlfriend, who was also the guitarist’s mum was the only audience member. Oh and my friend Andrew, but he was on the door. Not even the junkies showed up.

And there we have it. I hope that lived up to your expectations.


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