Soundcheck #2

[Hullo folks! As promised, its the new instalment of my Soundcheck column, which I write for Enjoy!]

Often, when making my way through the internet – doing my best to sidestep the online poker ads and offers to make my penis bigger (how did it know?) – I’ll stumble upon an advertisement by some groovy, noisy band looking for a guitarist or bassist. And, since I don’t often get to flex my amped-up guitar-noise muscles very often (given my place as a folky shambler), sometimes I reply to said advertisements. Hoping to get my rock’n’roll rocks off, as it were.

The first step usually involves meeting up with my prospective bandmates for a cheeky wee pint. In fact, if they suggest anything but a pint – wheatgrass tea, a romantic candlelit dinner, a bowl of smack – I can usually tell we’re not on the same wavelength. So, having arranged just such a meeting, I found myself slightly perturbed by the advert-owner’s suggestion that we meet in a piano and cocktail bar. One which regularly features a magician, no less. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but I was slightly concerned that the young chap might be using this “band” as an excuse to meet a nice fella he can take home to mother.

But, in the spirit of open-mindedness, off I go! I hear that in Club Tropicana drinks are free and I do like Pina Coladas and taking walks in the rain, so I assume the evening will be just FABulous. My subconscious tells me to stop being so homophobic. I tell it I’m not homophobic, I’m just joking around. My subconscious points out that it couldn’t accuse me of being homophobic if I hadn’t thought it. I immediately consider starting up a huge drug addiction. That’d shut that nuisance up once and for all.

As it turned out, the advert’s owner was possibly the friendliest chap I’ve ever met. He was also as camp as the day is long. He went for a handshake-hug when we met, which given his diminutive stature made me feel slightly uncomfortable. Strange to find myself in a piano bar, involuntarily holding a small, balding man to my bosom. Looking around to make sure this wasn’t in fact Sex and the City, I took a seat. Pointing to an empty glass next to my new pal, I enquired if our other potential bandmate was joining us. “Oh, he cancelled, its just the two of us,” my new friend informs me with a smile. I dive into my first pint, not keen to hear what my subconscious was going to say on the matter.

As we chatted about music, I decided I was wrong about this effeminate muso: he was clearly just a bloke who loved music and wanted to start a fun band with like-minded people. I changed my mind right back again when I made passing mention of my beer belly and he effusively protested. “Don’t be ridiculous, you look GREAT! You’re in the prime of your life, enjoy it! You look great! Don’t be SILLY.” I declined another pint but he bought me one anyway, telling me once again not to be silly.

By the time I left, I had discovered that the only music we both really liked was Metallica, and lets face it, a hairy hippy and a short, bald, camp bloke aren’t likely to become the new Kings of Metal. He offered to write some new parts for my existing songs and I offered to let him. I walked away from my would-be bandmate, away from the piano bar and rushed home to my girlfriend, to steal a kiss which I hoped would help convince me that I hadn’t just been on a man-date. The kiss was stolen, but as I looked into my loving girlfriend’s eyes, she whispered, “how will your boyfriend feel about this?”

I think I’ll stick to being a solo musician for the time being.