Had a very bizarre night last night. The gig was at the top of ‘The Gherkin’ – marvellous building in the heart of London (which isn’t officially called the Gherkin, and if you’re hiring it you’re not allowed to refer to it as such, but do any of you know what it’s really called without using Google? Thought not…)
Anyway, it was a corporate do, with Theo and I providing cool jazz inflected soundscapes while people in suits talked about money and made use of the free bar and munchies. The venue is spectacular – possibly the best view of central london that there is (it’s even higher than the top of the London Eye), and it was a great place to play – the fact that we had no direct monitor meant that we were listening to what everyone else was listening to, and it all felt all the more integrated, and lead to some marvellous music. Good response.
The evening got weird when it came time to leave… when I’d arrived I’d borrowed a trolley, come up the building in the service lift, and made my way painlessly to the venue, and no-one had left any perculiar instructions for later, so I assumed the get-out would be the same… not so.
Firstly, I go looking for the service lift, but there’s no button to call it, so I go back to the restaurant and am told to head down to the lobby where security will direct me to the basement. I go down (40 floors), and security say the only access point is on floor 37 (back at the service lift), and I have to go back to the very top to get it sorted. I complain loudly, and eventually go back, this time I’m sent back to the service lift which aparently has to be phoned for. We stand by the service lift for about 25 minutes, before a friendly soundman rescues us, by telling us there’s another service lift, and that one arrives as we get there. All this time we’re carrying my rack and flight cases around, as no trolley was ever forthcoming.
We eventually leave the building one and a half hours after we finish playing!!!!
A shitty end to what was otherwise a spectacular gig (Theo was particularly spectacular on this one – he’s always brilliant, but did play some sublime stuff. I’m very lucky to get to collaborate with people who play that well and are such damn nice people!)
Soundtrack – Prince, ‘Purple Rain'; Gillian Welsh, ‘Time (The Revelator)'; Green Day, ‘Dookie'; Andy Thornton, ‘Things You Never Say'; Del Amitri, ‘Twisted'; Steve Lawson, ‘Lessons Learned From An Aged Feline Pt II’ (now available as a paid download from the e-shop on my site)by