You’ve got to have a thick skin and really love playing music to be in a part-time band these days.
We drove up to this pub in a wee village – it sounds like a kitchen utensil used for draining food – and for some reason we were asked to set up the gear facing away from the bar where people were and play to an empty pool table directly in front of us.
You get numb to the total indifference – I’ve always wanted to call a band The Indifference Makers – over the years and I was ready to strum on regardless and treat the gig as just another paid practice.
Then in the second set the lights above the pool table went on and a trio of punters proceeded to play a game of pool in front of us – as we were playing.
Not only were they showing us no respect, they were also blocking the view of the few people who had actually moved to the back of the pub to see us play.
We started cranking out excessively loud riffs to try and put them off their shots and still they played on.
Then one of the music lovers pinched the white ball when the pool posse weren’t looking and I thought I would end myself mid-song as the clueless cuemasters did everything but tip the table over to try and find it.
And did they take the hint after losing the white?
Nope – they got another white ball from the bar and continued their game to its conclusion, complete with live musical accompaniment.
After two hours of pouring our hearts into the songs with only the ghost of applause from the three folk actually watching to sustain us, we brought the last song to an end and prepared to pack up and go.
“One more song,” came the chant from the previously silent punters at the bar.
You couldn’t make it up.