20th September 2007 – G******* R**
Or “Don’t blink.”
Simon and I woke on our respective sofas, said our goodbyes and made our way off to meet the rest of the band. None of our hosts seemed too offended – thankfully – but we were keen to get back on the road.
We had organised a rehearsal in Aberdeen and used the time to work on a new song while a guitar-amp-repair-person tried to fix my amp. After hours of trying, he gave in: the amp was dead. The new song didn’t really come together either. Instrumentally it was ace, all weird hip-hoppy beats on the verse, with sampled handclaps and bad funk guitar plus a big, OTT ballad chorus that stole liberally from Longpigs’ On & On and Bowie’s Drive-In Saturday; but Deb and I just couldn’t nail the lyrics, so for now it became a short instrumental intro for our set later that night. Having failed to get the new song up to scratch or get my amp repaired, we got back in the van and I tried to catch some of my lost sleep in the back of the van. I was hungover and grumpy. It didn’t seem like we had been on the road that long when the van came to a sudden halt. Eh?
We had stopped at the top of a cliff in a place called Muchalls. Deborah had decided we should pause and see the sea. At first I wasn’t particularly up for it, but this turned out to be a brilliant idea. We made our way down to the deserted beach. The air was cold and crisp and perfect for a hangover, and the only sounds were the sea, seagulls and us. We climbed rocks, explored caves and nooks and crannies, and threw stones into the sea. It was a beautiful way to spend a couple of hours but eventually we had to go: the night’s performance was calling.
We arrived in G******* and waited to soundcheck. The venue staff were all really friendly and were particularly excited about one particular rider request they had fulfilled. The time had come – I finally got a piece of Doctor Who-related tat! Huzzah! Specifically a DVDR labelled “Don’t Blink”. The rest of the rider consisted of beer and crisps, but this time when we raised the three non-beer-drinking band members issue the management very kindly provided two bottles of wine as well. We liked these people. Simon and I still hadn’t showered, so they also arranged for us to be driven to a local gym where we could use the facilities to clean up while the rest of the band snuck another cupcake for Weston into SohoDolls’ dressing room. On the way to the gym, the driver told us all about G*******’s curfew. At 11.30pm, it transpired, wherever you are is where you will stay until closing time. If you don’t get into a club before curfew time you are going home. If you’re in a club, this is where you will stay. No leaving and going elsewhere. It was because historically this is when the police would clock on and off shift, so the curfew was to allow them time to so without trouble kicking off in the gap. We dismissed this as quite quaint and got on with our business. We were perky as we were having a brilliant day and being treated well.
Stage time came and we kicked off our set with the first verse of the new song, which was called But…, before dropping into the vocal intro of Money Is The Drug. The venue wasn’t exactly heaving, but we seemed to go down OK. We played well enough, everyone seemed really nice, we were happy.
We took our equipment off the stage and loaded it straight into the van. We had decided that as Glasgow was close we would travel back to the hotel Ivan and Sharon had sorted for us two nights previous as it was cheap and we were feeling flush. We went back into the venue feeling hugely positive to watch SohoDolls and try to sell some CDs.
SohoDolls took to the stage as the curfew kicked in at 11.30, and all of a sudden everything went a bit From Dusk Till Dawn. You know the bit: one minute the movie is all one thing, all buddy movie funtimes, then BANG, it’s all gone apeshit mental, there are vampires everywhere and someone is making absurd speeches about pussy. Or in this case, shouting “Get your tits out!” at Maya. Behind the bar was an LCD screen programmed with details of drinks offers. The bar staff reprogrammed it to say “Get your tits out!” and various other increasingly offensive messages, carrying it to the front of the stage to make sure the band could see. We were a bit shocked. We had two girls in the band so were used to stupid stuff like this from the odd idiot punter, but from the actual venue staff?! It got worse as the gig continued, or seemed to. SohoDolls did a cracking job of just ignoring it and playing.
We stuck around for a short while after but quickly decided it was time to go. It felt like a fight was about to kick off at any minute. The air was thick with the promise of violence and we were a bit disgusted by what we’d seen. I headed over to the office to pick up our £50 fee.
They wouldn’t give it to me.
The office lackey informed me that he did not need to pay us. Apparently nothing had been discussed upfront with regards to payment. It fucking had. We needed this money, we couldn’t go without it. We couldn’t afford to leave without it. The drone refused to budge. I was utterly, utterly enraged. More so because these people had seemed so nice. After all the bullshit we had witnessed tonight this was the final straw. I tried to call Beckie. No answer. Left her a voicemail. We tried to call Malcolm. No answer. We tried Beckie again. Then Malcolm again. Then Malcolm’s home number. Then his mobile again. Then his home number again. On and on, but with no response. Fuck it, what to do? Deb and I went in to talk to them, a calm exterior betraying a fucking fuming exterior. Eventually we managed to prise our £50 out of them, though it was begrudged. Still extremely angry, two members of the band went into the gents and pissed all over the floor in protest. These people had seemed lovely. I was bitterly disappointed. We left immediately and I fumed all the way back to the hotel. When we got there we went straight to bed in a strop.
Note: for obvious reasons I decided that maybe including the venue name and location for this one might not be a good idea…