I think I am back. Back on it. The floor. The schedule. The lonely road. Whatever. ..But it took a while.
Because, though this is just a quick check-in and not a comprehensive account with diagrams and video and chalk outlines and holographic charts, I can at least report that Saturday night appeared to go actually, appreciably, right ruddy off. And it caught me off guard.
If you’re going on at 11.15pm anywhere, I think it’s fair to say that you’ll have had a long day by the time you’re sauntering into the lights with a finger-pistoling wink; how DJs get up to start sets at three in the morning I’ll never know. I guess they are, at least, not expected to say much from behind the turntables or the Ableton screen. I was frankly a bit spaced out after a day of last-minute arrangements, and rehearsals and lugging things about and the general levels of nervous energy needed to be of any use on a live project day. I think we all were.
So I was, in the end, fairly disasterously wrong-footed for a few moments as I finally reached for the trackpad on the Macbook that night. A delirious state of mind is easily giddied further when two frames of reference suddenly jerk out of place around you. Two reasonably fundamental things for a performing musician.
Suddenly-screwy sound levels. And a suddenly-euphoric crowd.
What exactly happens to a sound set-up you leave in buoyingly good shape after a lengthy soundcheck with the very capbable, calm, likeable sound chap for the night, goodness knows. What we ask of a set-up – what we ask of ourselves – when Momo:tempo’s Electro Pops Orchestra gets up to blast four-part brass and two-enormous-part percussion over a digital mix with a chap-rapping tit expecting to be heard over it all is not simple. So as we ambled off for a late bite that early evening with the sound sounding pretty great, I was a very happy bunny.
It is then that the pixies come and turn things off and turn things down and pull things out so they can ultimately dangle you in front of people helplessly like a time-filling talentless buffoon.
..And yet. Those pixies were, it seemed – certainly from where I was standing – shooed away rudely by the crowd that night at Sixty Million Postcards.
As the good people of Bournemouth’s weekend reveling crowded right in and I was left, once again, struggling in my delirium and my sudden spinning gimbal of reference to not trip over, like, everything, and high-kick over the laptop stand and the keyboard and the monitors and the band… the noise in the joint rose absurdly. As each tune we belted out concluded, the place went, well… beserk.
It was a bit of a wild ride. I’m just not used to a room full of people who appear to be showing all the signs of totally getting what I do. I thought for the first twenty minutes it might be a crowd conspiracy to take the pee. I did.
But you have to admit, that band behind me is pretty ruddy awesome.
John, Pat and Dave were joined this time by Nick who together kind of blew the house away as the horn department at the back. When they jammed over Momo’s new track, revealed on the night, and I impressively lost all frame of reference including my name and which way on my underpants were, they just made the whole thing sound Very Cool Indeed, while I mixed a drink and filled in the Times crossword at the front or something. Amazing.
And when Mark rolled in authoritatively with the live beats on slightly expanded Golden Age micro favourite Up in the party and Simon rocked in with the congas, the place just went wild. They greeted our playing and Momo’s tunes and my berking about like old friends. I was hoarse by half midnight. The boys worked their talents and professionalism crowd-pleasingly hard that night.
It must be said too that the chaps at Sixty Million were very nice to us and thanks must go to Alfie for his hard work ensuring we could play and keep playing that night. Props too to Suzy for wearing down The ‘Mill to let us in and for giving up the evening to helm the Momo merch stall.
But biggest thanks to you, if you were there and took part. Quite apart from all the lovely Momo amigos who made the effort to come out and stay up just to see us, if you’d not heard of us before that night and chose to encourage us by making very loud appreciative noises throughout our tiny show, you should know I am very grateful.
Ruddy nora, eh?
Still. Momo has me back at the lathe with no time to luxuriate in the success of one seaside bar knees-up, fab as it felt.
Time to get on.