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This is a question Performance

Have you ever - voluntarily or otherwise - appeared in front of an audience? How badly did it go?

(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 9:26)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Where to begin.....
I'm not cut out for the stage. Unfortunately itís taken me far too long to accept this fact.
It all started with me tripping over my dress as Mary in the Sunday School nativity and pretty much went downhill from there. Various missed cues, hours stuck in the back of the choir section and wardrobe malfunctions later I graciously retired from the stage at the tender age of 11. The final nail in the coffin was dropping my baby during the very serious baby massacre in yet another nativity and finding the whole incident hilarious much to the disgust of my teacher.
However, at the age of 16 I was bitten once again by the acting bug and foolishly joined the local pantomime group. Big mistake they put me in a tutu and cast me as the fairy but Iím up for a laugh and took to this part like the proverbial duck to water. Rehearsals go surprisingly well and come opening night Iím brimming with confidence. My cue to enter stage left finally comes and I make my big entrance in front of a fairly young audience. I stand wand aloft and begin my opening speech. Itís then disaster strikes and I introduce myself as ďFairy ShitĒ. I donít act anymore....
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 21:24, Reply)
Leeds Festival 2004 + Johnny Vegas's Belly
After imbibing far too much of the apple based fun juice I found myself in a semi-comatose state sat in the comedy tent at Leeds Fest 2004. My travels along the day had somehow involved me being dressed in a boiler suit, an England flag and a terrorist-esque balaclava.

On walks Johnny Vegas and he immediately drags me up on stage and makes me wrestle with him, he forces me to lick his nipple, light his cigarettes and he sold everything from my pockets for the grand total of 58p. To cap it all off I grabbed some drumsticks and pumped out some wonderful drum rolls as he presented one-liners.

I was stuck up there for 45 minutes and it was all in all pretty good fun! We walked off stage in a blaze of drunken glory and the moment we were out of sight he was a perfectly pleasant, well spoken, well balanced individual. We shared a pint. I was then promptly grabbed by security and thrown back into the crowd and told to fuck off!

I thought that would be the last I would ever see of Johnny but rather randomly about 3 months later he rang my home phone drunk at 2am after a mate saw him at a gig and gave him my phone number. Quite frankly the oddest experience of my life!
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 21:15, Reply)
I think I've told this one before...
Here are some pratfalls from my orchestra's tour.

Basically, one of the venues didn't have a raised stage, and instead had some portable platforms which they built under each section. The woodwind (being behind the strings) ended up wobbling on a rather precarious structure held together with duct tape and fear.

Halfway through the dress rehearsal, rather nervous of falling, the wind sit and play like statues as the conductor falls with the grace of an ice-skating hippo into the viola section. Rather than break the music off, he continues frantically waving his baton from the midst of terrified string players.

The piccolo player, confronted with a solo lead by a baton that is slapping a second violin's ear with every upbeat, has a fit of the giggles. This makes the platform wobble.

While playing his solo, concentrating so hard on not laughing and playing properly that gravity is no longer a concern, the piccolo player slowly keeled sideways- still sitting on his chair- off the platform. He was almost at a right-angle before he realised, and instictively rolled himself into a defensive position.

At the crash (which was out of time) the orchestra grinds to a halt. The conductor re-emerges from the strings, looking slightly the worse for his unexpected freefall, and says in a terrified voice,

"Oh my god, is your picc okay?"
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 20:59, 1 reply)
Performance Anxiety
Anyone who's been in an enclosed social situation with me for more than a few minutes will know that if there's one thing I can *NOT* stand, it's people who don't have a good grasp of spelling, grammar and punctuation. It's not hard to pick up, we've all been taught about it in School and if you haven't wrapped your head around it now well, you might as well just top yourself. You ruddy idiot.

One time, a year ago, I was playing golf with the East Street Boys and my chum Larson made a grammatical error that I just couldn't forgive.
"Come on then, whos next?" He said.
"I beg your pardon Larson, but how did you spell that in your head?" I asked. Larson looked at me for a couple of seconds, puzzled, then spelled it out.
"C-o-m-e o-n t-h-e-n w-h-o-s n-e-x-t", he said, letter by letter.
"But what about the punctuation?" I asked. "How did you punctuate that sentence in your head?" Larson was beginning to become rather annoyed with me, but he answered.
"I had a comma next to 'then', a capital letter at the beginning, and a full stop at the end." I tried to keep a straight face, but it was too much.
"So you mean to tell me you didn't have an apostrophe in 'whos'?" I chortled.
"No?" Replied Larson, absolutely bewildered by this point. I burst into tears of uncontrollable laughter.
"Larson, you fucking cretin!" I cried. "You're meant to put an apostrophe before the 's' if you're saying 'who is', ya yo-yo!" Larson stumbled back and gasped.
"I... I didn't realize." He sighed.
"Of course you didn't, you ruddy fool!" I shouted. "Do you know how fucking stupid that is? To forget where to put an apostrophe?"
"Calm down Wilson," he responded, "I was speaking, not writing a flipping essay."
"Oh, so it's okay to forget how to use correct punctuation as long as you're not writing an essay?" I asked, as I walked closer to Larson, looming over him.
"P... Please Wilson... I just forgot." He sobbed.
"Oh you forgot, did you? A second ago you said you didn't realize. So which one is it Larson?" I challenged him, as I held my golf club over his head.
"I... I... Stop it!" He wailed, tears rolling down his rosy red cheeks. If there was one thing I admired about Larson, it was his rosy red cheeks. They reminded me of the tomatoes you get in Sainsburys, the top notch ones, the ones that have only just been stocked. However, it wasn't enough for me to forgive his error.
"Wrong answer, Larson." I said menacingly, before clobbering his skull with the tip of my 5-iron.

I felt good about lambasting Larson. I may have been a bit harsh on him, but using punctuation correctly isn't that hard, is it? I mean... I certainly don't think so, and I don't think you do either. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, I just think if you disagreed with me, you would've said something by now, and you've been as quiet as a child hoping for survival in a rabid pedophile's lair.

That night I conjured up the best Duck foie gras I had made in years, and I enjoyed every last little nibble of it. Later that night my urine seemed a little off. It came out of my external urethral orifice at the same angle as it always does, and the texture of it didn't seem abnormal either. The thing that got me was the smell. It didn't smell as it usually smells. I found it hard not to blame the foie gras, but I had a feeling it was something different.
"Is this the smell of victory?" I asked my Angelina Ballerina toilet roll cover. Of course, I wasn't expecting a response, but I felt that if it did happen to be a living organism it'd be nice not to ignore it after I had pulled my William Hill out of it a plethora of times over the past few years. It didn't respond.

Life was good, and so was I. However, things were about to change.

Fast forward two weeks and at 7.00 AM I was peeling off my Thomas the Tank Engine one piece pyjamas and putting on my Willy Mason World Tour t-shirt, followed by my Tuesday boxers (it was actually Thursday, but I couldn't find my Thursday boxers and my Tuesday boxers looked virtually the same) and my three-quarter length trousers. I looked at my outfit in the mirror and I looked hot as hell. I headed off for my shift down at the local Big Bertha's Butcher Shop.

The day went on and I was cutting meat like nobody's business. My customers were all thoroughly satisfied with the service and I had a feeling that nothing could go wrong. That was until Larson walked in.
"Ah, Wilson!" He saluted me as he walked in the shop. I thought I had done some damage to Larson the other week, but I had to say the bandages round his head complimented his rosy red cheeks poetically, and as much as I hate to admit it, he looked even sexier than I did.
"Hello Larson, what would you like?" I asked, trying to keep the quality of my service in absolute pristine condition.
"I'll just have one Cumberland sausage, Wilson." He replied. I picked up a Cumberland sausage, wrapped it up in paper, jotted the order down on it in pencil and passed it to Larson.
"Here's your Cumberland sausage. That'll cost you £4.50." I mumbled. He passed me a 5 pound note and I passed him his change. He headed for the door but just before leaving he swivelled round on his ankle to face me, and with a smug expression on his face he said, "By the way, you misspelled 'sausage'." I laughed, and retorted "Nonsense." But the smug grin on Larson's face remained, and he walked over and passed me his package. I looked down to see what I had written, and I couldn't believe it. 'Cumberland sausige'. I passed it back to Larson. "Well, we all make mistakes." I chuckled. "Of course." He replied, before walking out of the store.

I tried not to think about it, but the more I tried to repress it the harder it struck me. I could barely breathe, and was beginning to feel sick. I looked around the store and saw one man surveying the variety of meat on display, covering his mouth.
"What on earth are you laughing at?" I bellowed. He removed his hand from his mouth to reveal an expression of bewilderment.
"Nothing." He responded, timidly. I was feeling faint. I had to get out of there. I took off my apron and headed straight out of the door and to my house, and that's where I've been since.

I couldn't bear to go out in public after what I did. I was disgusted with myself. I got fired from Big Bertha's Butcher Shop, which is a crying shame because I liked that job a lot more than my previous job at Woolworths. I couldn't face my friends. I couldn't face myself in the mirror, not even for a wank. Since then my use of spelling, grammar and punctuation has only depleted.

I'd give anything to go back to that day and correct my mistake, but I can't, and I'll be stuck here for the rest of my life.

Thanks for reading. Now fuck off.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 20:55, 5 replies)
Stephen Hawking you ain't
I was an undergraduate, giving a talk at another college on observations I'd done on X-ray binary stars. This was the first time I'd ever spoken to an audience outside of class, of people I already knew, and my social anxiety was kicking in big time. I hadn't slept at all the night before, and by the time my advisor and I drove into the parking lot, I was running on fumes and sheer terror.

Other students presented their talks. I applauded politely, not listening to a word. It seemed the others had invested in arcane presentation aids like "slides" and "posters". I had planned to do it the old-fashioned way, just talking and occasionally waving my arm to emphasize what I was saying. If a chalkboard were available, I would draw on that.

There was no chalkboard.

My turn. I stumbled up to the stage, and proceeded to give the worst presentation on chromospherically-active binary stars in the history of astronomy. Anxiety tightened my vocal cords, driving my voice into dog-hearing range. As I was immensely fat at the time, the audience must have wondered why my college had hired a eunuch to present the material. I sweated through my clothes in seconds, leaving dark patches like a fake Shroud of Turin across my shirt. Every other word was jumbled or stumbled over, and I could only console myself with the thought that the row of professors in the back were too old to hear my high-pitched squeak.

To focus myself, I looked around for a friendly face, and found something like it to one side. She was a fellow undergraduate, slumped in a wheelchair and hanging on my every word. I started to direct my presentation to her, glancing over every time I lost my nerve. This didn't seem to please her. After a few minutes, she whispered to her friend, who rolled her out of the lecture hall--and I realized that she had thought I was staring at her because of her disability.

Well, that killed me. I muttered my conclusion and was treated to a round of--well, I couldn't even call it a golf clap. It was the sort of reception an artist at the Royal Variety Performance might have received for dropping his trousers onstage and farting God Save the Queen--no lack of sentiment, but a horrific misjudgement of presentation.

I can't even remember what my advisor said to me on the way back, but it sure as hell wasn't "don't worry, we've all been there". As far as I can tell, no one's ever been there.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 15:53, 13 replies)
The sticky, nervous lip
After uni I set up a consultancy business and there I was, all keen and earnest, in a room full of big-wiggery potential employers, pitching my fabbo stuff. By jeez, by jingo, I was enthusiastic that day; so much so that not until I had finished my searingly brilliant analysis did I realise my top lip had curled up on itself so my gum was horsey protruding.

I can only applaud the straight-facedness of those people, who must have been pissing themselves wondering whether I would realise my lip was not where it should be. Huge distraction and needless to say my awesome analysis was not heard or seen of again.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 12:49, 4 replies)
I can speak quickly and without drawing breath.
So in my first year of uni I volunteered as a team member for a sponsored debate on campus. I was the only chick, person under 25 and the only one with no previous public speaking experience.

To the 300 people in the crowd I am sorry for speaking so quickly that you couldn't understand me. The perfectly delivered practice runs of 3 minutes to the second became 2 minutes of jabber instead.

To make matters worse, a seasoned speaked from my team had spoken for 3 minutes when the buzzer rang. He paused, turned to me, then turned to the adjudicator and said, "Boozehound had a minute left and I am using it". Which he did.

The shame. The burning shame.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 12:38, 2 replies)
i tried some stuff out
and then posted it on some stupid website. it didn't go down well but i got a fan club out of it

yours,
stubbo
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 12:33, Reply)
Performance Recital
For A-level music you have to do a public performance in front of an audience, an examiner and a camera, so that it can be invigilated. I shared my recital exam with a chap who played a rather energetic piece of Vivaldi on his violin. Halfway through a phrase he caught his bow on the tuning pegs and ripped out half of the hairs.

He stops playing, shouts "Fuck it!" at the top of his voice, and then resumes playing as if nothing had happened.

The rest of the recording was accompanied by half the audience trying to muffle their sniggering.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 12:30, 2 replies)
Piston?

(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 12:19, Reply)
Autographs
I once published a book and at the launch people asked me to sign their copies. Hadn't really thought about my signature before that. I wanted gravitas or at least elegance as I flourished my pen. What my first initial and three letter last name did instead was to look like a pen smudge on a perfectly clean fly sheet - cramped, short and unnecessary. Indeed, the signing line after that was as small as my signature.

Autograph anxiety under performance pressure.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 11:49, Reply)
More innocent times
On my first cub camp we had a talent competition. The one bit I entered, along with about ten others was the 'mister universe' competition. This took the form of us up on the makeshift stage, striking muscle man poses to the latest pop tunes...in our underpants. The leaders held up score cards at the end.
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 7:15, 12 replies)
In front a few thousand
Giving a speech, I took a misstep by mentioning that the US won independence from France...which the Congressman standing to my left kindly and immediately corrected me. I responded with "toMAYto, toMAHto"
(, Sat 20 Aug 2011, 4:47, Reply)
Kiiiiiiiiiinda on topic
In school, when hormones were flying around and a simple dick-joke was enough to bring titters from most of the classroom, there was a school play.

A Midsummers Night Dream if I remember correctly.

Anyway, 'Scrooge', the geography teacher, saw the show one night and congratulated one of the lead actresses in class the following day...

"I just wanted to say thank you for a great time last night, Fiona. Your performance was great and I had a wonderful time".

At least I think he saw the play...
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 22:28, 1 reply)
I feel bad about this
But the meme has long been out of the bag.

www.b3ta.com/questions/offtopic/post1116154
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 22:20, 7 replies)
I was a preteen ugly sister!
I once played the ugly sister in a school play. It eventually conspired that i had to remove my wig at the end of each of the four performaces to prove i was boy.

I'd like to thank my mates for re telling this story every time i try to affirm my manliness.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 21:52, 1 reply)
A little longer ago
When I was six or so, the family cleared off on a package holiday to the Costa del Shit. You know the drill. In the hotel bar on the first night there was a kiddies talent contest. At this stage I could sing all the words to Yellow Submarine in that special completely tone deaf way only six year old kids can. So I did, and I won!

Can't remember what I won, but apparently my mum got some enormous cocktail befitting Del Boy (I guess vast quantities of alcohol graced with glace cherries and little umbrellas on sticks and all that palarver hadn't yet quite gone out of fashion. Along with Deirdre Barlow specs which my mum wears in all the photos of that era, despite being mid-30s at that time).

So the next night - we were back in the same bar and I was singing Yellow Submarine once more.

(So I guess my story is that my mum's a borderline alcoholic who'll pimp her own child out for a Tia Maria and Lucozade. Hmm)
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 20:59, 2 replies)
Yesterday afternoon
Our office is directly across the street from a hotel, and a rather nubile young lady in one of the rooms decided to get changed without shutting the curtains. Cue the entire research department doing no work for at least a quarter of an hour. Sweaty palmed virgins the lot of 'em.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 20:52, Reply)
GF's graduation ball
Got roped into stripping off on stage along with everyone else who was decked out in a kilt & full highland dress, leaving only a sporran to preserve my dignity. Got shagged silly afterwards by the then GF. T'was ace.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 19:23, 1 reply)
The current Mr Quar used to sing and play bass with a band years ago.
One night he was singing spiritedly and may have briefly bounced around the stage. This might have been unwise as, being rather rotund, he fell through it and got stuck.

As the others were too busy falling about laughing to help him out he summoned the last shreds of his dignity and finished the song.

Wish I'd seen that.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 18:54, 7 replies)
Originally told to /OT while I was still on a bit of a high - Ain't Nothin' But The Blues
This happened to me shortly after New Year. As most of my fellow /offtopic dwellers will know (due to me banging on about it at great length), I'm a bass guitarist and have played in quite a few different bands around London. The following is my "Surely this sort of thing only happens in films?" story:

As my friend's Sunday afternoon jam was not running as normal, I decided to head up to the blues bar just off Regent Street - I do love the place, even despite how crowded it gets, and the idea of getting a chance to play at their jam did excite me somewhat. So I turned up, got myself a pint, put my name down and enjoyed some music.

Initially, the afternoon took a turn for the worse: I got a text message after about half an hour from a drummer in my one of my bands. I had a sneaking suspicion that the singer and guitarist had decided to replace him, and from his text I got the impression he'd only just found out. I gritted my teeth and resolved to give him a call after the jam.

Things picked up: I got up and played bass for a couple of sets, and then BrianHequator turned up and we indulged in that popular pastime of drinking beer.

After the jam, the venue had a band booked to go on. I thought, I won't overdo it tonight. I'll nip outside and call this drummer, then maybe I'll have another pint with Brian...possibly two...and see what the band are like.

Made the phonecall. Turned out my suspicions were correct: the singer or guitarist didn't have the decency to tell him he was being replaced until he phoned them up that day to ask what the plan was for the gig this weekend. Thankfully he wasn't angry with me; I resolved to have words with the rest of the band about their manners - were they not British?

The pint that Brian pushed into my hand as I wandered back in was very welcome. It was then that I noticed a few of the guys from the jam, including the guy who ran it, and word eventually got round to me that the band who were booked had completely forgotten to turn up. I tutted and mentioned to Brian that someone like me would have given their right arm to play this place, and this guy can't even remember to turn up?

The contingency plan dawned on me when one of them pointed at me and said,
"Well, he can play bass."
Suddenly I was at great pains to retract any statements I had made pertaining to the sacrifice of my limbs.

Half an hour later, I was back on the stage, tuning up my cheap P-bass copy and knowing that I was actually here to play a gig. Not just the jam. A gig. It was difficult to try and keep a slightly bewildered grin under control.

It was great. I could barely hear what I was playing, but people told me I did well. And they kept bringing booze over to the stage for us. After the singer announced it would be his birthday at midnight, they even bought up a bottle of champagne.

I had a quiet drink with them after the punters had all been thrown out and even got paid for my troubles. Possibly the most peculiar gig I've ever played. Certainly the shortest notice, emphasised by the singer occasionally saying,
"Can we hear it for the band? These guys have never actually played together as a band before," and pointing over to me,
"...and I only just met this guy."
And possibly the longest wait I've had for a night bus in quite some time, but I won't let that put a damper on things. I shall take my croissant in the drawing room now.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 18:19, 2 replies)
I knew my neighbours were having their windows replaced but hadnít really thought anything more about it.
So I was quite surprised to look out my bedroom window after a quite spirited performance (if I do say so myself) to find an audience of builders giving me various thumbs up and signs of approval. Luckily the girlfriend hadn't looked in that direction yet so I just reached up and closed the curtains complaining about the morning sunlight.

I then spent the rest of the fortnight while the work was being done being asked by them if she was coming over again every time I walked past.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 17:16, Reply)
Back in the day...
Our school was putting on a production about safe sex. I was asked if I was to be the penis. A giant walking penis. It was a tough decision, but I decided the role was too hard for me. The guy who ended up taking the gig gave a ballsy and touching performance. We all thought the production would be somewhat limp, but it turned out pretty well and nobody got aids or died of syphilis that year so it must have had the desired effect.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 17:03, 1 reply)
I once did the scratching for an 80s-style electro act called Majik 12,
in front of a jam-packed Cork Opera House at the Guinness Jazz Festival some years ago. We were third or fourth from the top of the bill (after us came The Herbaliser and Grooverider - who was a fucking knobend) on the Saturday night despite being utterly unheard of, because we had a crew of b-boys from Dublin hired to liven up the (otherwise non-existent) act. This went down a storm, we were on Irish telly I believe - and the act had not and never did actually release a record. All a bit odd for that reason.

I have also played guitar for shoegazing also-rans Revolver in a packed venue in Bergen, Norway - in the old Nazi missile store which featured in the Cockleshell Heroes war film. Everyone fucking loved it* - even though my borrowed guitar went utterly out of tune, I panicked, turned the volume off and mimed.

I got paid absolutely nothing for either gig but they were both a superb laugh and I have fantastic memories of both.

The end.

*it was the University's end of term bash so there were a good 500 totally pissed up Scandies singing their hearts out along with some songs I'd never heard before we began rehearsing.

PS I have quite a few other equally tedious yarns from having a regulat slot at the Social in Turnmills in that there London, to DJing for a week at the Transylvanian International Film Festival but they are not that interesting - and of course I will be called a QOTW liar anyway so I shall spare you.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 16:58, 1 reply)
I once did the scratching for an 80s-style electro act called (edit) 'Creme Brulee'

(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 16:49, 6 replies)
I* once got pissed at a Max Bygraves show I was supposed to be a stage hand on
ended up striping in the wings and goosestepping across the stage before joining on to the courus line behind Max singing I did it my way.

Still it got me the gig as the Sheriff in Robin Hood not to mention a bit part playing a sheep shagging Ice cream man in Twin Town.



*not really
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 16:25, Reply)
High School Band
I played the saxophone in our high school band. I was pretty good, and always had "first chair". Even as a Freshman, I was the best person in the entire band, and really deserved the first chair position. (No bragging, I worked really hard.) Unfortunately, at this time the first chair position was held by a Senior named Mark Norris who was a complete sexist asshole. He hated me inexplicably--I don't know why, I had never done anything to him, and I am generally very friendly. Maybe he felt threatened by me? But I think the fact of the matter was, he simply hated all women. He would routinely call me a "whore", "slut", and other degrading names. He made my life miserable on a daily basis. He also resented the fact that I got along fantastically with all of the other saxophonists in our section (all men) and of course they (and pretty much everyone else) hated him with a passion.

At the end of the year, we always had a big concert. This was well-attended by our schoolteachers, school-mates, and parents. I came in just before the show was about to begin, and the audience was getting seated, and the band director was seating the band. He told me that he was changing our seats slightly, and that we'd all be sitting one chair to the left. Mark Norris came in and said, "you are sitting in my seat. I am first chair!" I replied calmly, "no, the band director moved us..." He says again, angrily, "I am first chair! Look--my gym bag and everything are right there!" So in front of a fairly quiet audience, I stood up, took his gym bag, shoved it at him and yelled loudly, "THERE! There's your fucking gym bag and there's your fucking chair!" Dead silence in the auditorium at this point. He took the gym bag and hit me HARD across the chest with it. It was full of books, and a heavy metal lock. I immediately burst into tears and in front of the entire audience proceeded to SCREAM HYSTERICALLY at him every profanity I knew. When I was finished, I ran, red-faced, tears streaming down my face off the stage. 2 seconds later the audience and band burst into applause. It was all at once one of THE worst and best moments of my life.

PS, I got in huge trouble afterwards from my parents, the principal, and the band director. Mark Norris? Got in no trouble at all.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 16:09, 4 replies)
I thought I had almost repressed the memories, thanks B3ta...
For those who lived in Reading last year at the end of October and happened to be at the Butler pub on Saturday the 23rd for the What The Butler Saw part of the Whitley Arts festival, I'm sorry.

For those who weren't there... A little background and then the story. Wall of text ahead.

I'm a musician - I play guitars, keys, bass and can drum to a basic degree. I used to be part of two-piece acoustic group when I was at uni at Chester, where I'd do guitar and sometimes piano if I could get a lift to the venue with my keyboard. We'd do covers, usually to a pub of pissed up students and locals, so I was used to performing, or so you would've thought.

For the Whitley Arts festival, I wasn't doing my acoustic thing with my usual bandmate, I was doing a different project, called Hemy/Rowell, because we were original and because neither of us could come up with a good name. It's a fairly experimental drone metal project, so not your usual style of music. We'd been messed around by the organiser beforehand, and were considering canceling the entire thing until he emailed us the night before and begged us to turn up, saying he'd pay us extra to cover transport. So we reluctantly agreed, and that's pretty much when the God of Disaster decided to start pissing all over us.

For starters, my keyboard settings decided to delete themselves, so I had to go and recreate six patches from memory, which isn't great when you're doing it at 1 am. After a night recreating patches, I rocked up on very little sleep, on the assumption we were playing at 3 pm.

Come 5 pm, still not on stage, and I'm starting to get worried. The other bands have rocked up with tons and tons of equipment, and where people are supposed to be standing to watch us is filled with various mellotrons, guitars, bass, amps, keyboards, and not many people. When there's more equipment for 8 bands in total than there is people, you know something has gone wrong. Warning signals were blaring in my head, and I should've run then, but like a rabbit in the headlights, I didn't.

By quarter to six, everyone is set up, and we're waiting til 6 to start. Hemy/Rowell is on first, and I am properly bricking myself, mainly because me and Hemy look like we've come from a metal gig and everyone else there look like hippies. There's performance art going on elsewhere, and a video is playing about how great we are, despite the organiser only meeting Hemy twice before, and me only that morning. Then we take to the stage.

We get through the first two songs fine, with some applause. The third song goes fine, and by now I'm beginning to not panic so much, but then the God of Disaster lines up for his next shot. The cable connecting my keyboard to the PA system decides to start messing up. It's not one of my cables, it's the venues, so all I can do is glance helplessly at the guy manning the PA desk, who takes this as the signal to increase the volume of my keyboard near the end of the fourth song.

This then messes the next song up, so I have to essentially stand like a complete muppet behind my keyboard, doing nothing, before attempting to start the sixth and final song. Almost everyone in the audience flinches at how loud my keyboards are for the start, and some begin to leave. It's during this point that I decide fuck it, and just wedge various keys down and hit the sustain pedal and decide that I'm never playing there again.

To top it all, the organiser didn't pay us. Bastard.

Apologies for length, it normally goes better than this.
(, Fri 19 Aug 2011, 16:06, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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