Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
Dancing With The Dogs
by admin - 17:08 on 12 November 2011
It's two years since Shaker, now transmogrified into Strawdogs, had their last gig, but we could still have done with another couple of rehearsals before venturing into The Winking Owl in Aviemore last night. Not to mention half-a-dozen more songs.
The omens were poor – Michael's speaker cabinet lost one of its three remaining wheels on its way into the pub as well as the master volume control knob, which necessitated much fiddling by Jim with his emergency screwdriver.
Worse, the management insisted on a start at 9.15pm prompt, in premises that has a licence until 3am, so we played the first set to the bar staff, a couple of wanderers and Garry's rentacrowd. But the sound was good and the cellar-like 2 Hoots Club a decent venue.
Better was to come. The second set began around 10.45pm, by when the place had filled up a bit, the crowd including the compulsory party girl group, complete with hats and flashing badges. Fortunately they wanted to dance, even after Matt threw one of his drumsticks across the room. Some things never change.
Although the playing was ragged in a couple of places, the crowd didn't care as long as we kept giving them Killers, Foos and Kings of Leon, so we did. Sometimes twice – starting the night with only thirty-seven songs on the set list was rather hopeful, especially as Garry was unwilling to sing three of them.
However, the management was happy (we'd attracted punters from rival establishments) and told us we'll be booked again. We've got no other gigs lined up, so call this one a warm-up; Strawdogs' real debut is yet to come.
Driving home after packing up, done with earplugs still in place to dull the DJ's bangin' tunes, I spied flashing police lights ahead which turned out to be in a lay-by, just behind the ugly black 4x4 they'd pulled in to check the driver's intoxication level. Fortunately, Jim (for it was he), like the rest of us, had been abstemious.
Despite not getting to bed until two I was up in time to attend the latest Cromarty Market. I should have stayed in bed, for all I sold was a few cards. All the buyers were in Rosemarkie where Squirrel James sold five copies of The Bumper Book of Black Isle Snappery, two prints and a whole deck of cards. The show-off.
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