Friday, January 29, 2010

It's all Greek to me

Last night myself and East met up to look at some recently rediscovered Price footage (2 Uxbridge gigs from 1991, neither of which either of us had seen before) and to consider yet more ideas for our upcoming reunion gigs. So successful were our deliberations that we decided to - you guessed it! - go down the pub to continue our discussions. Arriving at The Load Of Hay we couldn't help but notice the 20 or so young men and women sitting down the end of the pub where the live music takes place; there was a guitar gig bag visible and they were setting the pub P.A. up so clearly some form of live performance was on the horizon. One of them came up to the bar near where we were sitting to ask if there was a microphone that they could use - a baffled barmaid pointed them in my direction. I found a microphone and took it down to where they'd gathered, they were friendly and very grateful to me for fetching the microphone for them- it was all of a few yards and it wasn't exactly heavy but it was nice of them to say so. The chap with the guitar introduced himself as Archie and told me that they were 'about half' of The Brunel University Greek Society and that him and a couple of friends were going to play 'a few songs' and he hoped that it wasn't a problem. Well it certainly wasn't from my point of view... he noticed a poster for next week's Steve Simpson show, when I told him that I was involved in booking the Sunday night shows he asked if I'd watch them play and if I liked it would there be a chance of a gig? Yes of course there would be and actually I was going to watch anyway. He seemed amused- unless I spoke Greek then I wouldn't understand a word. I told him I was sure it would be excellent and he looked a bit embarrassed- suddenly I felt as though I was intruding on their world and said as much, he smiled and said that no one had ever been interested in what they were doing when they'd played anywhere else and he really hoped that I'd like what they did.

Incidentally I really did think that it would be excellent; you can just tell sometimes that someone knows what they're talking about can't you?- in the same way as you can tell when they don't...

Back at the bar I told East of the conversation that I'd just had with Archie; we both reflected on the ego-driven no-hopers that you so often cross paths with if you're involved in music at any level, and how often it's the ones with little if any ability that blather on and on about themselves and how brilliant they are and how fantastic their show is going to be, whereas the people who are good enough to do it just get on and do it with a minimum of fuss. We decided they were likely to be good even before we'd heard a note- and they were. And their audience were amazing, joining in and singing along at strategic points and contributing to a great atmosphere which, even though drinks were flowing very freely, never for one second felt as though it was going to turn nasty. (I've seen trouble start so many times when there's boys and girls together in these sort of situations!) And he was right- we didn't understand a word. But it didn't matter because I was right- they were excellent.

Sitting here typing this now I've just been thinking about some of the self-indulgent pompous drivel I've had to listen to from customers when I've worked in music shops (and indeed sometimes from people behind the counters in them) telling me how wonderful they are, and from big-fish-in-small-pond embittered pub singers telling me how they 'could have got somewhere' if it wasn't for some non-crisis or other; meanwhile there's Archie and his mates playing music for the sake of it and sounding all the better for it.

There's no big point to this posting other than to say that, actually, there's probably a really big point to it...

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