"It is now Saturday night my own band is playing a ceilidh for a wedding reception in a big, posh function room. As is often the case with weddings things are running late. The room where the dancing will take place is presently rammed with tables and the tables are packed with wedding guests. I like to have two hours to set up. With just over an hour before the dancing is due to start the guests are just starting their main course. They will not be dancing at 7.30. I've unloaded my equipment as close to the stage as I can get. I'm sitting next to it in an drafty porch."
|Drummer in waiting|
The drummer and I haul his kit into the porch and it is beginning to look quite cosy. The curtain over the big window from the hall flicks open, just a crack, and a little face peers out. I wave. He waves. An adult closes the curtain with what appears to be a determined swish. This game is played out a lot over the next two hours. What are the adults seeing that I'm not seeing? From where I stand it seems quite rude. From where they sit - in the warm, with their food - maybe they just don't like being near people they don't know? Disco man arrives.
|Bass player in waiting|
|Guitarist in waiting|
We are finally set up and ready to go two hours after we were due to start.
|Violinist in waiting|
We normally take a whole evening ourselves, but sharing with anyone else, particularly a disco, always changes the dynamic and the shape of an evening. As usual, the disco is much louder than we shall be. I have to put in my earplugs while we await our turn. This will play havoc with the tinnitus. My bass player gets into the party mood and gets on down with the boogying guests. The flow and spin of his moves is a little hypnotic.
Eventually we play. The alcohol has been flowing. It is going to be a tough night.