November 28th 2001, Onstage 9:25pm, Doors 8:00pm
The River Bar
206-208 Tower Bridge Road
London SE1 2UP
So I’m on third today, which is a promotion of sorts. I also get eight in which is pretty good for me here. There are people awaiting the following band and even those left over from the first couple.
I’ve been here since 7:00, not really needing a soundcheck, but enjoying watching everyone else’s. It’s also good to be able to sit with my guitar and noodle, acclimatising myself to the whole environment.
I’m sort of hovering near the door in case someone with a flier turns up, so manage to meetngreet my own personal guests (Denise, Terry, Phil, Jules, Rich, Tessa and Osvalda. Rachel arrives during the set – I love the exclusive redundancy of that list of names), not being entirely compos.
It’s quite difficult to tell when the previous act are going to finish, since they spend a lot of time changing instruments. I can’t say that I blame them – I used to be like that once, and would given the opportunity, the transport and the income stream) probably be even worse – but I think they ran over, meaning that subsequent sets (starting with mine) are shortened somewhat. It does feel short – I do Secret Agent, Unison, Little Games, Waltz Without Touching and would have launched into Mr Wrong but yer man came up and told me I had one song left. I may be wrong and I may have forgotten one but that adds up to twenty to twenty-five minutes. There was the extended riff on learning all my German from the War Library comics as well, but even so.
Ah, well. I’ve been an MC, I know how it is when someone over-runs.
Seems to go down well though. Someone (Jules) does a very loud Shhh during Secret Agent , so people listen. There’s less of a barrage of noise as well, more individual voices in the gloom.
Occasional nice effects – the guitar is feeding back through the monitors on D, so at the end of Unison, which has a pedal D n the bass, I can let the ring, play the chords over the top quieter and quieter and then as the D is still ringing launch straight into Little Games.
Afterwards (as many other audience members have toddled off) sit upstairs with Terry, Denise, Phil and Jules and chat, which is nice. There ought to be a place in venues that people can go for a quiet chat if they want to (that used to be one of Bunjies’ strong points – the performance area and the chat area were close enough together that people could move easily from one to the other, and I think if attention-giving was more voluntary, then people give attention more generously. I may be wrong though.
It does set some plans in motion in my head, though.
(“What, as opposed to plans set in motion in your toes? Tch!”)