The tyranny of Thatcher seems to still loom large over her home town of Grantham, or at least at the Guildhall Arts Centre anyway. There were signs up all over the place listing various venue rules. There were a number of notices on display in our dressing room. One of them told us not to hang things on the light shades. Presumably this was because it could be a fire hazard, although it didn’t specify this, so maybe it was purely for aesthetic reasons. Perhaps the venue is run by someone with obsessive complsive disorder, and covered light shades might sent them into an uncontrolable rage.
Another sign said that alcohol is not permitted on or around the stage. Again, there is no reason given for this. Also, it doesn’t specify what it means by “on or around,” which seems quite vague. Often the venue will provide a few complimentary bottles of beer or someone from the venue will ask us if we want a drink from the bar, but this didn’t happen last night. So maybe alcohol is not even allowed in the dressing room, as it falls under the remit of “around the stage.” We don’t drink alcohol on stage anyway, but there are many performers who do, especially in the folk world. Would the venue relax the rule for these performers? After all, it might negatively impact on the gig.
If the rule was in place for health and safety reasons then it seems a bit strange that other venues don’t seem to have this restriction in place. If they are worried about liquid being spilled and damaging equipment then surely they should ban all liquid from the stage, including water, although this would be ridiculous. It could just be that the place is run by puritanical oddballs who also have strict views on appropriate light shade dressing. But the actual staff at the venue were very friendly, and didn’t seem to be the kind of people who would be bothered about such trivial nonsense. Maybe they’ve had a traumatic experience with a performer who has pyromania, who hung a highly flammable fabric over the light shades and then doused it with alcohol. In which case I understand their fears, but I am willing to bet that as long as they didn’t invite that particular performer back again, then this shouldn’t ever be an issue in the future. If they did invite the arsonist back again, then I think it’s safe to say that his fire fetish is probably going to manifest itself in a similar disastrous outcome, and I doubt that a written notice is going to stop him.
I could have questioned the venue staff about this, but I wasn’t really that bothered, given that I didn’t want any alcohol, nor was I particularly fussed about hanging things from light shades. Also, I didn’t want to come across as an arrogant prat. And I was preoccupied with the evening’s gig, as it was the first of our UK tour and there were a lot of new songs that we’d never performed in public before. We were all a bit on edge because of the unfamiliar repertoire, plus it’s been awhile since we’ve done a UK gig. However, the gig seemed to go really well.
Hopefully I’ll be able to still maintain the David’s Daily Digital Dollop challenge during this tour. I managed to succeed while in Australia, in spite of patchy Internet and busyness. This tour is going to be a lot busier than Australia. Last year we put a post on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, asking people to come up with names for this tour. The winning name was Three For All, which we thought fitted what we do quite well, given that our songs are about equality and acceptance, and the name also seemed to make a statement about our music being for everyone. We then had the idea to live up to the tour’s name a bit more by bringing our music out to people beyond the venue setting. So we are going to be doing loads of community events during the day time, which will see us playing to people who probably would never come across our music, whilst also helping some really worthwhile causes.
Usually we spend most of the day on tour driving and killing time until the gig, but we’re going to be really busy during the days with these various events. And then on top of that I’ll be writing and recording these Dollops. It’s a hard life and you should feel sorry for me. To be honest, I don’t know what these junior doctors are making such a fuss about; they should try being a folk singer who does charitable community events in the day time, gigs at night, whilst maintaining a daily blog and podcast on the Internet. Yeah, exactly, suck on that, junior doctors. Actually, best not, sucking on it will probably result in you getting a nasty infection, although I suppose with your medical knowledge you’d probably be able to treat yourselves, that’s if you’re not too lazy to do so of course. Right Mr Hunt? How’s that for biting satire? Don’t worry, you can probably get some ointment to treat any satire-related bites. Ask your Doctor, who might help you, if they can be arsed.
Today has been another day of logistical craziness and upheaval. But I’ll talk about that tomorrow.