Scenes from the Show – Early Lessons #1
We are invited to play at the opening night of the Club. The bill consists of the cream of the Glasgow Indie Mafia, plus us gamely propping up the bill. The headline act spend half an hour sound checking a glockenspiel and so sound check times for all other bands have been drastically reduced all the way down the food chain. In our case, there will be no sound check at all. The doors are opened to the public as we are told to get set up on stage. We are still frantically opening cases, tuning up and downing pre-gig beers as shadowy ranks of anoraks begin filing into the venue.. Tonight the DJ will be playing both types of music: Indie and Schmindie. The Keyboard Player is fastening her sequined cape. The Guitarist does a quick line check of his mic by singing a Crowded House song. It is not quick enough. This game has already been lost. The Anoraks converge towards the back of the venue, closing ranks. Like a hunted animal I gaze warily out. Far across the stage lights, somewhere out there in the darkness of the venue, I can dimly make out row after row of pale po-faces eagerly waiting to greet us with their vicious indifference. The mutual contempt between band and audience is already palpable before even a note has been struck. Wrestling with so much fear, loathing, and far more alcohol than is necessary, triggers the default defence mechanism of aggression: retaliate first. I approach the mic.
“You fucking horrible cunts”
Further gestures to audience engagement include-
“If you don’t like it, fuck you”,
“We hated you first.”
In between songs the Drummer hunches over and whisper-rants into his snare drum mic like Satan with Tourette’s Syndrome-
” SUCK MA FUCKIN COCK, TONGUE MA HOLE YA SNOBBY DICKS!”
Finally, towards the end of a thoroughly awful set and tired of abusing the audience, I decide to turn on the other acts too, just for good measure.
“This is our last song. I suggest you enjoy it ‘cos it’s fucking downhill from here on in”
The show has been a spiteful disaster and, of course, it is everyone’s fault but my own. Before alcohol’s merciful blackout begins, a final image survives of the Manager and I huddled in the shadows at the back of the venue as one of Glasgow’s great sacred cows of Indie go through their pompous, dreary series of non-hits. We take it in turns to holler “CUNTS!” at the top of our voices.
There was never really any possibility of us supping at the Indie Top Table but, for the avoidance of doubt, this should confirm things. We are only Indie because no other genre would have us.
File under miscellaneous. From here on in we are on our own.