Monday, October 11, 2010
I was walking to work on Wednesday morning. It was a nice day: clear and crisp. I was having one of those 'isn't life great' moments. I was listening to triple j when Tom Tilley came on air and told Tom and Alex a predicament he was in: gig booked for Saturday night...but no one in his band could make it. Ummmmm.....help?
Alex piped up, keen to offer his keytar skills, Tom was then volunteered to play keys/synth. They recruited Lewi McKirdy from weekends for sticks and skins, and Damo from the web team on guitar. But no singer. What was the logical thing to do? Put a call out to triple j listeners.
'How funny would it be if I called?' I thought. But didn't and kept walking.
Some lamo guys who liked Pearl Jam phoned and threatened to make Tom Tilley like Pearl Jam (or else). And that's when the boys asked for a 'lady singer' to call up.
If that not a direct request, I don't know what it.
So I called and got through to their producer Ollie. I asked Ollie if the boys were joking. They weren't - he put me through. After screening me for availability and what music I was loving at the moment, I was in the band. Shit.
I waited for a set list that came through lunch time Thursday and freaked quietly when I realised what I'd volunteered myself to do: learn seven songs in two days. what was I thinking? The air wasn't so crisp anymore and my walk from the morning had worn off. Needless to say, I wasn't loving life as much as I had been the day before.
I rocked up to rehearsals, met the boys and got stuck into it. We weren't great. We weren't even good. And I think Alex Dyson secretly wanted to take lead vocals on Savage Garden's 'Break me Shake me'. They played us back on radio Friday morning. Jesus. We weren't just not good...we were terrible.
Friday came and I jigged work to get to know the Short Notice set list a little better...prac time rolled around and we made it through kind of okay-ish. I mean, we were better than Thursday but still sketchy as. The boys talked boy stuff after prac and as I sipped my beer I ran through horror stage scenes in my head. An old memory of playing the Bald Faced Stag hit me: curtains opening to reveal the two town drunks. That was my low point - surely tomorrow wouldn't be worse than that?
Saturday: one last run through. They boys had prepped and floralised their wardrobes. Bow-ties and upwards caps. They were ready for the gallery room in the Oxford Arts Factory. We sound checked half an hour before our starting time: the venue was empty. I ran away to Nevada, had some dirty cab wine and returned to a bustling room.
The keytair busted out the opening riff to Miami Horror's 'Sometimes' and it began. We raced through our songs, I made up jibberish lyrics and tried not to laugh through Sonia Dada. Fantabulous Brendan Macloud closed the night by hopping up and joining us, flamenco style, for Gaga's Telephone (which we royally f***d: hysteria) and then it was over. Just like that.
I'm still in a little bit of shock that we actually pulled off a half hour set ... that didn't suck that badly. Their producer said he hadn't expected it to be that good. A compliment really.
Thanks for coming those who did - was definitely one of the funnest times I've had of late.
For a more succinct tale of events check Tom and Alex's blog