Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Excerpt from Show Me How to Shine Now

City Sound (Issue 17.09.92 - 23.09.92)
CALENDAR (Crouch End)
FRI - Sam’s £1 Pint Night, Little Storm
£4, 20.00


I did not arrive expecting to love them, or even to like them, really. As long as the music provided enough noise to mark the end of the week, and as long as I returned home within the swirling brilliance of intoxication, I’d consider the night a success. We’d arrived late, Claire and me, because she spent an hour on the telephone and I’d waited.

We caught the band during an extended pause between songs, due to a broken guitar string. The crowd murmured over the faint buzz of the amps, and we wove our way from the door to the bar. Claire pulled a tenner from her front pocket. “What am I getting you?”

“Vodka tonic, if you would.”

“Of course.” Her eyes ticked upwards, but she turned to order. Let her get the cheap pint, if she wanted it.

I stood up on my toes to see past a big head blocking my sight of the stage. The singer had his back turned, and he watched the guitarist on the right re-tune. Their three bandmates attempted to look cool with nothing to do, and the drum kit took up most of the tiny stage.

Turning back to the mic, he let a smile cross his sandpapery jaw. Already I appreciated the difference, compared with the ordinary breed of frontman at Sam’s. Too many chose to stay aloof or even sullen, when all I really wanted was a good time. This one looked like he might be a good time.

“Now, since we’ve that sorted,” he said in a low, tobacco-tinted voice. “What do you reckon? Maybe take the next one, Thom?”

The guitarist shook his head, failing to disguise his discomfort with a look of impatience. They needed to get on with it.

“Go on, give us just the one.”