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To the student basement

Yesterday, I travelled to Norwich to perform a gig in the basement of a student house.

I had no idea what to expect, but I’ve found it useful to prepare myself for the worst in such situations and I had visions of performing bear pit full of drunk, rowdy students. I put myself forward for the gig because this is secretly what I wanted to face, but then I am a masochist.

It turned out that my concerns (/secret hopes) were unfounded and it was a really nice gig, if a little weird towards the end. There must have been about 30 people in the small room, which had an abnormally long sofa that stretched about five metres. There were also a lot of people sitting on the floor who it was difficult to avoid stepping on when clambering to the stage area.

The promoters wanted to run a good night and had even gone to the trouble of selecting songs to play for each act, as they walked to the stage area, which was a corner of the room. The theme was supposed to be related to surnames and I think they had quite an easy job with my surname, which appears in many songs; although never in the context of a surname. Without evening knowing that I am a huge fan of The Darkness, they selected a song close to my heart in I Believe in the Thing Called Love. Appropriately, when the music  stopped, I began my set with my joke that starts with “Give me a ‘D’” that was inspired by Justin Hawkins’s trademark crowd interaction when I saw the band reunite in June.

I was on second and really enjoyed performing there and it would seem that a large proportion of the audience did too, with a few lines getting some applause. Not everything got a laugh, but most things did. When I was standing around waiting for the second half to start, a drunken audience member, who I spoke to in my set, pointed at me and said: “He was the funniest one.” But I later learned that this very same man had been released from prison a year ago after serving 12 months for hitting someone in the face with a bottle. I started to worry when he picked one up and I was close by. Things got weirder the more vocal he got, but they didn’t turn ugly and he isn’t back in prison. At least not that I’m aware of, he might be.

Anyway, it was a fun evening and I was really impressed with some of the students who were also performing on the bill. Keep going, lads.

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