Oh. My. Good. Lord. Last night was so bad. Terrible. Nut bags. It all turned out wrong and I’ll be damned if I know what to do about it. OK, so, we had the gig at that old man’s pub ‘Eagle Arms’, right in the center of the village. Our second ever gig. We were pretty excited, Leo and me – well, obviously Leo played it cool as usual but I know underneath he was looking forward to it – only he didn’t mouth off about it as much as I did.
It took so much convincing last week to get the pub owner to let us do it. And yesterday morning, when we wheeled our massive speakers into the pub – he looked appalled.
After a full day of jitters, there I was, at the gig, singing, as I do – as though it was the last chance I get to express myself before the world ends. I sang Leo’s new song and oh wow, what a song. The size of the crowd was a bit embarrassing, not that many people there. Oops. We put out loads of flyers last week – all around the village. Saying that, there were quite a lot more people than the first time. I laugh when I think about our first gig. That time there were only a few more people in the crowd than in the band – and there are only three of us!
The crowd we had last night loved it. They were dancing like mad. We were in a corner at the back of the pub with a little dance floor just in front of us. I could see the rest of the pub from where I sang – all dingy and smoky with just a few men grabbing on to their pints. They looked grumpy as hell – not at all happy to have us there, that’s for sure. They kept covering their ears and looking over at us like they wanted to kill us or something.
As for the pub owner, he looked a bit frantic. He kept looking at me and waving his hands about, trying to get me to turn down the speakers. I pretended not to notice because our music has to be played loud – so you get the full effect. That’s what Leo always says.
I sang my heart out. Leo played his keyboard next to me; so cool he should probably start wearing shades indoors. He looks like a proper musician these days. He always looks downwards, watching his fingers move along the keys, just keeping himself to himself. I can tell the girls love him but he never seems to notice. I’m the opposite – I like to get in and about the crowd and get them all revved up. Jimmy was there behind me – rocking the drums. Legend.
Cheryl, Jez and Lambert, our friends were there, loving it. Cheryl wore her big black boots – the scary ones with the steel toecaps. Everyone danced around, swirling each other about, feet moving, hair flying. I held onto my microphone, singing into it whilst bopping along, right in front of the crowd. Leo always tells me I look like a pogo stick when I get going. I just can’t help it if I hear the beat of Jimmy’s drums. And Leo’s melodies - he plays so well, he always has. Ever since I can remember. He only looked up a few times and that was always to look at me.
Cheryl and those guys – they look so hardcore these days. We were all friends in primary school, then high school and they were always the hard nut types, but now we’re a bit older they’ve taken it to a whole new level. I could see the crowd keeping their distance ever so slightly away from them. They love me, and Leo, of course.
‘This one’s for Cheryl, Lambert and Jez!’ I said.
Then I swept my microphone across the crowd like I was performing at Wembley Stadium. They all bunched together and started jumping up and down. Nutters. After a few songs I decided to rile up the old gits sat in the rest of the pub. They looked so moody and I kept catching peeks of them sneering at us. I stood on my tip toes and shouted out through the microphone:
‘Anyone can come up and have a dance you know!’
I winked at them. They all just sat there in silence. Our crowd turned around to look at them, glaring at us. They started goading the old men and shouting out to them.
There was this one guy there. I’ve seen him around the village before but I don’t know his name or anything. He wore a black jacket, one of those fascist type ones with the bright orange lining.
Anyway, I saw him get up onto his feet. He staggered to the back of the crowd and started pushing his way through. I had a slight feeling of dread as I watched him progress forward. Eventually, he propelled through to the front of the crowd and for a while he just stood there, staring at me.