Small venues. Can’t live without them, can’t move on their stages.
We played a secret gig on the weekend; it was originally meant to be Ben’s warm up gig, and was meant to be played BEFORE the EP launch, however the date got put back, and once I’ve agreed to a gig I do everything in my power to follow through. So despite not really needing to do the gig, off we went.
Kieran, our drummer has injured his leg. We offered to play acoustically, but he’s of the same mindset as me and wanted to play through the pain.
We arrive at the venue – The Hollybush in Cradley Heath.
It’s an ominous sign as opposite the pub is the largest pile of wreaths I’ve ever seen. I walk into the pub and immediately see two blokes attempting to light the fire in the main room. They’re failing badly.
I walked over to Kieran and asked him where the stage was. Kieran informed me I’d just walked over it.
I turned back around and focused on the stage area. It was the same size as a Rover Metro, without any of the aforementioned’s charm.
Grudgingly we set up. The owner only had two mic stands, so Lindsay and Ben had to share. The drum kit was placed at the front centre of the stage – Kie must have loved that, and the stage was so small there was no way around him, so I was stranded at one end of the stage, with Lindsay and Ben on the other.
On my side of the stage I had the main door to the pub behind me, which was closed to stop people walking onto the stage mid song, and to my left an innocent looking radiator. More on that later.
The crowd piled in.
To be fair, the venue was rammed – the bar must have had a healthy night. The lights were dimmed. We took to the stage. The radiator was on.
Yes. The radiator was on. And not only on, it was on max. It was futile me asking for it to be turned off. It’s a radiator. It’d stay hot for the rest of the night, whether on or off. We had a gig to do. On the world’s smallest stage, using a home made PA (I kid you not) without monitors, with a battle damaged drummer, and me, standing next to the sun.
The set went brilliantly. We flawlessly ran through the same set as we did for the EP launch, and the crowd really enjoyed it.
I was ready to be served. I don’t think I’ve ever been that hot before. Between the Devil’s own radiator and my on stage exertions I estimate I reached 20,000 Degrees. Degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s funny you know, my Mom always used to tell me:
If you watch a band and they’re not sweating by the end of the night you haven’t had your money’s worth.
If that’s the case the people who came to see us must have left in profit.