Dan Right!

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Gigs

This is exciting.


It’s a message.


A message from Sam & Dale! They’ve got a space for tomorrow night’s Acoustic Brew, and were hoping I could slide in.


I say “yis”.



Wednesday arrives and I’ve tucked into a pasta bake, forgotten a hilarious comment from Roger and gave up watching The Fantastic Four 2. I’m walking to Katie Fitzgerald’s and I’m ready. Ready for the spotlight. For lights! For camera! For musical action!


I arrive at Katie’s and see my name written artfully on a sandwich board in curly chalk. I wonder for a moment, and decide that it’s probably better to have my name written on a sandwich board than on an actual sandwich. Unless it was written in edible pen. Or ‘edi-pen’. But then that would offend diabetics.


Hang on. Curly, chalky letters… capital letters!


I smile. For surely this is proof that I’m a star! Me and some bloke called Danté. We’re both in proud, English capital letters. I don’t know him, but he’s clearly a veteran of live performance! A demi-Hendrix who has earned his capitals! The musical equivalent of that Irish guy in Mean Machine who accidentally gets blown up instead of Vinnie Jones.


I take a seat next to Sam, who introduces me to a bloke.


“Dan, this is Danté.”


She doesn’t say his name in capital letters, but I’ve seen them. I know that this is a man of prowess. A man that’s slain a b5 dragon! Without a photograph of Richard Moss.

“Oh! Yeah, yeah; I saw your name on the board outside.”


I lean forward slightly, and try to half-wink. Which probably isn’t possible.


“…In capitals….”


Danté half-smiles. Easily. He shows no reaction to my capital comment. Totally unfazed by his own celebrity! He’s remarkable! And he knows it.


“So, been playing long?”


He’s definitely been playing long.


“I actually only started playing guitar like, 6 months ago.”


Oh. I’m wrong.


Hang on. Six months? Have capital letters become so cheap? I try to give Sam an unimpressed look but she’s busy with the next act. I look at the chalkboard. And see their name. A name I don’t know. A name I shouldn’t know! …Because it’s in lower case.


Their name is Steaming Wolf Pants. Which is bizarre! And offensive. As if wolves could iron pants! I’m disgusted, and not a little glad that a few letters in the word pants were *-ed out in chalk.


I watch the Steams reach boiling point as Sam checks the sound. They’re a two-piece with one short guitarist and one lanky, speccy singer with a haircut your headmaster would allow. They’re both wearing emo-ish leg-hugging jeans and a little more makeup than I am.


By which I mean some.


The guitarist looks funky but the singer’s obviously very wooden. I sigh. This is blatantly gonna be Des O’Connor-ly dull. Which explains their abhorrent name. That’s their only spice!


Sam grabs the mic. It’s showtime!


“And now… introducing… I can’t even say this…”


I don’t blame her.


“Steaming Wolf….”




I was wrong about their name. It’s worse than Steaming Wolf Pants.


The not-pants get underway, and their funky guitarist brings the pain. As does Mr Singer. Who lets rip! My jaw drops. I get a cold tongue, so close it. He is a beast! Throwing aside tonsil technique and atonally mauling our faces.


With his foot.


I was taught to tap my foot to stay in time. Mr Singer is tapping his foot, but like a morse code wannabe at a rave. I was wrong about him! He’s the most energetic performer since me!


I decide to hit my table in time with his foot for a laugh, and the rest of the crowd joins in. It’s fun but my hands are beginning to hurt. I am about to stop, but The Foot Soldier has just noticed! And started hitting the floor twice as hard in appreciation!


I fold, and nurse my hands.


But have an idea.


An idea that makes me snigger.


I snigger.


The Water Wolves take their seats and up next is The Boy Mohr. I launch into old beauty ‘Nothing On My Own’ before showing them The Face of Fear and launching into a story. A story I’m writing as a future blog. I try out some jokes. Jokes I think are pretty funny.


They get no reaction.


Oh. I was wrong.


I Coldplay on, and vow to fix the crowd before coming to newbie ‘#62’. It ends on an E minor, which leads in nicely to ‘The Phoenix’ and my idea. My scheme.


“Mr Singer?”


Steve Bull strolls to the stage to offer his foot to my flair. We jam and I start jumping on the spot to emphasise the banging. It’s hilarious, and I don’t think Mr Singer knows that I’m taking the mick.


I’m wrong. He sits back down and doesn’t speak to me again.


Danté grabs his guitar, for he is next up. I sit down, and arc my head back. I will judge for myself how to write his name! Six months? He’s definitely gonna suck!


Oh. I’m wrong. He’s actually pretty good. His voice is superb, but he plays sitting down and his guitar technique isn’t as polished as mine. Nonetheless, he’s alright. Sam sits down next to me.


“Fantastic, isn’t he?”


Meh. Capitals? Nah.




“He’s on Britain’s Got Talent soon. He’s through to the televised stages!”


Oh. I’m wrong. His name should be in a bigger font than mine! I suggest a duet and he graciously permits me to plug in and widdle through his Chris Cornell cover. I don’t know who Chris Cornell is, but I wonder if he knows Danté is covering his song!


Danté finishes and we sit down. I compliment his playing and suggest some musical ideas that I think would work well. Maybe even win him a record deal!


I give him a few thoughts, and smile, for my ideas are brilliant!


“…But I’ve been wrong before.”





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