Microphone Mishap

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Back To The Edge, Chawn, Gigs

It’s Tuesday afternoon. I’m at home in my 7-Eleven hat watching Flight of the Conchords when my phone starts to shake and froth at the 8 key. It’s screaming painfully with the piercing sound of my brother screeching like a pterodactyl. My brain launches into scared mode like a kid bursting into a room and accidentally falling into a shark tank because there’s no floor in that room. I have activated my emergency default settings and decided to phone my phone-fixer friend Alan when I realise that his number is currently inside the sim card soup spilling over my sofa.

90 seconds of pathetically fallacious weather inclement later I am getting phone-y froth facial hair giving mouth-to-mobile when four words flash furiously.

‘Sam and Dale calling…’

It’s beloved Stourbridge citizens Sam & Dale with a question, and I love it when Sam & Dale ask me a question. Sam & Dale. You are humble servants. Bringing the best live bands to the people. Thank you for the music, for giving it to us.

I smile with an impressive 70s cop froth-stache and press ‘answer’.

Peace floods the room as my phone temporarily suspends all activity, transcending to the higher ethereal level of transporting two-way telepathic transmissions. Suddenly Sam and Dale are with me in a wall-less white room. Sam opens her mouth, and speaks with a surprising lack of reverb.

“What would you say if we asked you to play at Katie Fitzgerald’s on Wednesday?”

I think, and instantly we are at Katie’s. The scene is packed. Sam is smiling and sipping her Stella. Dale is on stage paying and playing ‘Tribute’ to a raucous crowd. I’m having an awkward conversation with a man in a corner about Sinead O’Connor.

I smile.

“I would say yis”.

We are back in the white room. Sam and Dale smile. “Well we’ll see you then, then!” Suddenly I am spilled all over my sofa lying on top of my traumatised little tech-friend. I wipe it’s 8 button clean.

And smile.


It is Wednesday. I have my weekly I-have-to-do-the-bins-tonight feeling, but I also have eyes full of stars. Stars like Brian the Prime Minister of New Zealand! I breathe. Through my nose. For poignancy.

I smell a musky eau-de-regality. My fingers are tinglers. For tonight… is their night! Their sell-out Colosseum headliner! Their very own appearance on Supermarket Sweep! It’s the biggest Wednesday at Katie’s yet! For tonight…

…my friends will be there.

I pause.

Put my hand over my heart.

And breathe. Through my nose and my mouth. It sounds like my ringtone, so I stop.

And simply de-hat.


I arrive at Katie’s to find my friends already there. Big Boots and my brother.

“I know this is a big night for you Dan, so I’ve got you something.”

I smile a big smile. Big Boots is a considerate friend. With big pockets. He’s wearing his ridiculously baggy 2002 jeans to fit this gift in his ridiculously baggy pocket. He pulls the gift out and places it on the table. It’s a piece of paper. A photograph.

A photograph of Richard Moss.

Big Boots winks at me.

“Just in case.”

They begin to cajole me over comments I’ve made over the microphone in the past. I may have put my foot in it a few times. Like once when I worked with a girl who liked to sit and have a little chat. One particular day she really needed someone to take her mind off stuff. She sat down. “You ok?” I perceptively saw her downcast demeanour. “Yeah, I’m just having a bad day.” I smiled. “Could be worse…”

“…you could be dead.”



Her best mate had died.

There was also the Lakeside Festival. A church event to Make Jesus Known. Somehow I let slip “Dan Mohr came, Dan Mohr saw, Dan Mohr conquered!” and the sublimely ridiculous “I am everything you want to be”. And let’s not forget the Newhampton Arts Centre! My announcement that “when Ryan Giggs retires so will I”. I hope nobody holds me to that. But then, he does keep on going…! There’s every chance he might play on for another 40 years.

My brother makes a face joke.

“What are you gonna say tonight then, Longface?”

“Oh! So you do something every time and then all of a sudden you’ve got a reputation for it?! What an unfair question!”

It’s a fair question. What am I going to say? This is my problem! I talk. I just talk! My mouth turns into a dripping tap of words. A dripping library! Well, tonight, I shall start a new chapter! I shall speak with eloquence and finesse.

Dale takes the stage and tenaciously interrupts the one-way banter. I now have time. Time to craft. Time to carefully create a piece of philosophical piffle.

I have just six songs.


7 songs later I take the stage to the rip-roaring applause of my friends and photo triumvirate and burst into my flagship opener ‘The Phoenix’. Everybody loves it, though nobody’s quite sure why. Soon enough though, the time comes. I have to talk. The tap is on! I’m talking. Having some lovely banter with a gentleman in the corner, until he announces bewilderingly that he “will say no more”. Which is good. For I already have no idea what I’m saying! My brain anticipates the onslaught of fear mode and offers some fatherly advice.

“Dan, you’ll be fine. For you are prepared.”


It’s right. I’m ready. I’ve been considering my thoughts; and found a little something-something. An analysed anecdote. Something brilliant. More than mere piffle! This is genius piffle. I begin to sense the waterworks and step into my spiel.

“You know? I always loved Oasis as a boy. The only thing is, they’ve gone rubbish since like, 2002-ish, so I’ve never really played any of their stuff; but I’ve been thinking about how gutted the 13 year old boy in me would be to hear of their demise. I was brainwashed as a boy. I couldn’t help but love Oasis, so I’ve decided to honour myself as a boy by playing ‘Slide Away’.”

At this point I’ll let you into the secret. I’ll tell you what I’m going to say.

I’ve been pondering the joy of what it might be like to go back in time and spend some time with the little boy version of yourself. Play in the sand. Make sand castles! Sand armies! I think I’d get on pretty well with myself. Also if we had any arguments I could beat myself up. Depending on the size of my army.

The lights are on me.

The crowd waits on every word for the quote of the night.

I smile. I have won. I’m invincible! Utterly cogent in thought and deed! There’s absolutely no way this can go wrong.

I go for it.

“I sometimes think, wouldn’t it be great if you could go back in time and play with yourself?”



“Hang on, that didn’t quite come out right”.

Uproar. Oh no! The laughter is insurmountable. I try to play it down.

I can’t play it down. I’m embarrassed, and max speed through my set before collapsing in my chair. My friends are considerately quiet. I look down at the table. At Richard Moss. He’s smirking.

I’m being mocked by a man in a photograph.

My brother leans over to me.

“You embarrassed?”

“A little bit.”

“A little bit, eh?”

The Banterman walks over and sits in the spare chair.

“Really enjoyed your set mate!”

I smile.

Maybe it wasn’t as bad as all that.

“Thank you.”

“No problem! Seriously man, that was class.”

He winks.

“Nothing compares to you.”

I go home and put myself out with the bins.

  1. colin gower says:

    wow! I’m your biggest fan* Can you tell me when you’ll next be appearing at Katie’s? I’m really hoping to come down and see you.

    *possibly by mass anyway

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