BAiT played our first gig since New Year’s Eve 2002 last night, and, considering our initial worries about stage space requirements, and Andy’s pain-management strategy to deal with his toothache, which involved a cocktail of various pain-killers, all went very well.
We were the headline act at the The Sunday Roastin’ at the Spencer Club in Coventry; an all-day event featuring twelve bands in total. The stage was, well, compact and bijou, but somehow we managed to fit all our stuff on – no easy task when you have four keyboards and bass pedals in addition to the space a drum kit requires.
The guy who organised the gig, Dan, kindly let all the bands use his drum kit to minimise set-up times (thanks, Dan).
I was speaking to Andy on the way back home after the gig and commented that it only really hit me during the early part of the gig how strange it was to suddenly be on stage with guys I’ve worked with for more than two years now and with whom I’ve recorded a couple of albums.
The monitor was generally pretty poor (not helpful when we have a lot of three-part harmonies going on), but we’ve been rehearsing without monitors for some time now in order to condition ourselves to ‘worst-case scenarios’, so it wasn’t too bad. Overall, Mike, who flew the front-of-house mixing desk, did a cracking job.
I had a flying drumstick incident towards the end of the gig during the song 25, where the tip of my left stick caught the underside of a tom and flicked out of my hand. Drummers will understand the sheer terror that goes through your mind when something like that happens (akin to one of the slow-motion moments in movies). Your life flashes before you and you’re terrified that people will notice (people do tend to notice when drums stop mid-verse of a song), but fortunately I managed to grab the stick as it veered off to the left of the kit and I carried on playing. Everyone I asked said they hadn’t noticed (other than Andy – cheers, mate!)
Nice to see some familiar faces in the audience too – it’s always appreciated when people make the effort to come and see you rather than to take the easy option and put their feet up in front of the television.
All round, a pleasant time was had by all.
Looks like the outcome of the German general election has been quite interesting, with the strong favourites before the election (the CDU/CSU) obtaining a mere three seats more than Chancellor Schröder’s governing party, the SPD. This could bring all sorts of interesting scenarios into play in the make-up of a new coalition, and maybe even the first Grand Coalition since 1966-1969, when Willy Brandt headed what was, generally speaking, a successful coalition. The concept seems strange to us in Britain, where confrontational politics is the norm – imagine a Conservative/Labour coalition – just doesn’t fit right. Other possibilities seem to be what the Germans are calling a ‘traffic light coalition’ of the SPD (social democrats), FPD (liberals), and Greens, or even a ‘Jamaican coalition’ of CDU/CSU (Christian democrats – centre-right), FDP, and Greens. Anything seems possible in the make-up of a new coalition, apart from any role for ‘die Linke’ (The Left – a party formed around the PDS, which in turn emerged from the SED, the old governing party of the former German Democratic Republic). So, there’ll be a few days of wrangling in smoke-filled rooms in the next few days as deals are cut to try to produce a new government.