Sunday, September 17, 2006

Up on the roof

After a suitably hectic Saturday in the shop it's off with Gary to tonight's gig, a 'corporate event' at the Cannon Street Roof Gardens in London hosted by the intriguingly named Big Bang Events. This sort of evening is often rather odd from the band point of view, anti-climatic even, with us being all but ignored for most of the show (I often wonder if they're thinking 'what are those men over there doing and why do they have to be so noisy?') with all hell breaking loose on the dancefloor for the last 3 songs and then loads of complaints that you're not playing for another hour. Or 2. Then again I had visions of 'Let It Be'-style chaos with people climbing up nearby drainpipes to catch a glimpse of us and all being arrested at the end, just in time for the story to make the Sunday papers.

This didn't happen.

We made it to the Embankment in good time and with Gary on the double-yellows outside I went in to the Euronext building to collect our passes- these things are often very security conscious, even more so these days. After signing in and collecting passes for GARY MOBBERLEY and LEIGH HOGGARY (it happens all the time!) we unloaded our gear and with Gary off in search of a parking space I'm left to manhandle the gear towards and eventually into a lift up to the roof. At the top Michael helped me with our bits and pieces and after a quick hello to the lads I get set up. We're in a big tent (another one!- though at this type of event they call them 'marquees' and no doubt get charged more for the privilege) and with Gary joining us with we bash through some dodgy rock'n'roll as a soundcheck, then it's off to find Room W3, our base for the evening. I've been so preoccupied with things that I hadn't notice how high up we are and as I leave the tent (ha!) I see St. Paul's cathedral right in front of me and in all it's not-inconsiderable glory. It looks, for want of a better word, amazing; and looking to it's left I can see right down the Thames with the London Eye in the distance. It's easy to take this sort of thing for granted if you live here but people travel around the world to see what I'm seeing- from up on the roof you can definitely see why.
Room W3 is next to the board room and overlooks the river- Squirrel thinks that's the Mayflower opposite? We're told we're getting food 7.30-ish and so it's off to make some phonecalls, wander around, get (a bit) lost and listen to John and Gary swapping unrepeatable anecdotes before reconvening for burgers (spicy lentils for me- excellent!) and to plan forthcoming gigs in Scotland and Ireland. Then it's a quick change and back upstairs for the gig.
Apparently the CEO of the company (no, I don't know either) plays guitar and would like to join us for 'Mustang Sally'. Perhaps he'll let me have a go at his job then...
...and, yes, it's a typical 'corporate event' with the Blues Brothers films playing on a big screen opposite us (Cropper keeping an eye on me!) and the audience a mixture of bemusement and disinterest until 'My Girl' gets them dancing at last. I let him have a go during 'Mustang Sally- I fancied a drink and it was interesting to see the band. They're very good you know... all's well that ends well with an encore of 'Flip Flop and Fly' closing the show. Coming back out into the air revealed St. Paul's, illuminated now, an even more amazing site than earlier with the Thames disappearing into the darkness of the horizon.
Back in room W3 the organiser's very happy with us, there should be more for us here in the not-to-distant future, Pete's got to talk to her next week. And did he really say that we're playing at Ascot Races next year?!?

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