Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Senses working overtime

So - I just manage to shake off the nasties in my stomach, and then I wake up on Friday morning unable to hear out of my right ear. Not a good situation at the best of times, and definitely not good for somebody attempting to make a living playing music. I know what the problem is - it's earwax, and rather a lot of it. Urgh! Given the abuse I've subjected my hearing to over the years I suppose it's all but inevitable that I get periodic problems of this nature, and this is certainly one of those times. I've bought some of that stuff from the chemist that's supposed to get rid of it, and at the moment it's one of those things that gets worse before it gets better, meaning that I had bad hearing yesterday and I've got really bad hearing today. Rather ironic don't you think?

I've managed to stumble my way through two gigs in this disadvantaged state this weekend, the first of which was depping with The Briefcase Blues Brothers at The Seacombe Theatre in Sutton. As soon as the show began I realised that my ear was making me feel as though I had a bell jar in my head - not that I've spent much time with a bell jar on my head, but you know what I mean. Not only was it was hard for me to hear what I myself was playing (a recipe for breaking strings if ever there was one, as you start hitting them harder than you should) but I could only hear the band as a muffled, rather distant whole as opposed to being able to hear the instruments individually. I was just getting used to watching rather than listening to what people were playing when all the stage lights went out during 'In The Midnight Hour' - at first I wondered if it was an attempt on the part of the lighting man to reflect the idea of it being dark at midnight (I spoke to him afterwards - it wasn't!) but fairly soon realised that not being able to hear or see the band was a particularly perilous situation and one which I was only able to get through by mostly using open chords which can be found by feel. After what felt like ages (but was probably only a few seconds) the lights came back on again to the collective relief of all concerned, and the rest of the show proceeded without to much incident. I hadn't played with The B.B.B.'s since before Christmas, and it was good to catch up with them all again - I had a good chat with keyboard maestro Wayne 'son-of-Albert' Lee afterwards who told me that his dad is doing some shows with James Burton later this year which could be well worth catching for a blitz of country rock guitar.

Sunday night The Rikardo Brothers returned to Uxbridge for a gig at The Load of Hay. As we started our first set there were a grand total of four (count 'em, four) people watching us; by the second set that had risen to eight which I suppose if you look on the bright side means that our audience had increased by 100% during our performance but realistically is at best disappointing and at worst utterly depressing - as Alan put it, it was 'a bit like playing to a furniture exhibition'. Still we played well and I for one thoroughly enjoyed myself although I sadly can't see shows continuing at The Load of Hay if audience numbers don't improve. Shame... but if they do stop and people then moan at me about there being no music on there Sunday evenings then I may not be responsible for what I say next.

Talking of saying things I've just spent the last two days in Balcony Shirts turning my left ear towards customers and asking them to repeat what they'd just said. Incredibly some people still bought things. Good! Now if you excuse me I'm just off to put some more of that stuff in my ear...

1 comment:

Voltarol said...

Vis a Vis your ear'oles - welcome to my world!