In & Out of Love
Jan - March 2015
A lot has happened. I had to re-write my blog management system with a failing laptop keyboard, with Google prodding me via their search algorithms. While waiting for Dell to ship a new keyboard, I moved back to Windows on a Mac for development. And I’m once again lonely. Wanted: Paper Tiger, must have experience of mending a broken heart.
18th Birthday Party
I wanted to stay occupied and fill the void with lights, so I jumped at the chance of doing music & lights for an acquaintance’s 18th party. Having done a 50th disco for the family a while back, I guess it was repeat business. The party was hosted by The Kirriemuir Thistle Social Club.
One themes of the party was a Hogwarts/Harry Potter type thing, hence the LED fairy strings on the spider and around the pub. In addition, I had ever-growing collection of lights including scanners, moonflowers and sequencers.
This was Around7’s last gig with their current line-up. I was accused by the venue staff of breaking all the R80 Spot Bulbs in the stage area, despite already being broken.
I helped another acquaintance with lights for their party in Chamber East Dundee, where DJ Ross would also be playing. Everyone was in drag, save for me in my theatre blacks.
I set up and made sure everything was ok for the first dance, then slipped out back to The Salty Dog, as The Korova Conspiracy had taken over the DJ slot. I enjoyed a few hours of deep house music before heading back. While standing at the bar, a massive brawl proceeded to cut the night short. Bottles, chairs and insults were hurled across the room like a bad simile. A chair collided with a beer bottle mid-air, which would have looked amazing in slow motion.
Burnside Inn, Alyth
Another town, another gig, another disco, another rig. And another fight. We returned to the Burnside Inn Alyth for a Valentine’s Day disco (not the best place for a broken-hearted guy to be). We had more scanners but minus the mirror ball - the Burnside Inn had their own, but no spotlights… So, after playing 3D-Tetris, some gear and 4 bonus humans were loaded and good to go.
The fights waited until chucking-out time, not that they were any less scary. Somebody was in drag this weekend as well - which brings me to another point: never pick a fight with a gay DJ. Not only will you lose the fight, your ego and your good looks, but you’ll have to explain that to all your mates. Cue 4 of us walking to our digs at 2am singing “I’ve got the key… I’ve got the secret…”, with a bad Lemmy lookalike shouting at us.
During the de-rig, a DJ arriving for a kids party definitely had “Gear Envy”, which was odd, because so did I.
I have been mixing audio for so long now that while one singer is singing “Live Wire”, another is singing “Live Fire”. I swear another is singing “Wi-Fi”. Many engineers recommend taking breaks when mixing - so that you don’t over- or under- compensate for sounds that your brain remembers. For the conspiracy theorists: If you reverse Live Wire, you get “I’ve got the sh*ts, would you like ice?”
Ross wanted to add more quirky lighting to The Salty Dog, so we fashioned a Wrecking Ball with a doll and added lights to it, which took over an hour to get them all in there.
The Latter (Pay)Day Stevie
Another DD8 Music-related party. I made some shot glasses out of fruit. The Kiwi & Lime worked well with Gin. The Apple worked well with Jack (on the advice of Gaz, our mixologist). The party went on past midnight into Sunday, so time for church. Take 5 Bloody Marys and sing Hymn #666: Highway To Hell.
The morning after, discussion turned to people that are in comas and are aware of their surroundings but are unable to react in any way whatsoever. So, when their carers abused them or forced them to watch the same episode of Barney over and over for 15 years, they were unable to call for help or turn it off. This is terrifying. Some people have an ICE number in their phone (“In Case of Emergency”). Some will have an organ donor card in their wallet. I now have a coma-card that states: “In case of coma or paralysis, put me in front of my iTunes on random, and not Barney the sodding dinosaur. And renew my web hosting”
Working For Free.
No. I will not. It never is good exposure, and exposure doesn’t pay bills. I was approached by an “academic” website to write an advice guest blog thing on how to break into sound engineering. They expected me to do this for free. The key to breaking into sound engineering (or any creative field for that matter) is not working for free.
One More Thing…
I’ve been doing Follow-Spot for Joan Armatrading at the Webster Memorial Theatre. The follow-spot had been fixed, but required a few attempts to strike.
I have been challenged to do a remix/re-work of “Time For The Percolator” using a sample of a backed-up toilet in the DD8 Studio.
I was turned down for an interview with a local authority - in a “Guaranteed Interview Scheme”. The mind boggles.
I’ve been listening to The Fiddlin’ Bens & Heavy Friends, Badly Drawn Boy, Florence and The Machine, Dan le sac & Scroobius Pip, Sigma, New Atlantic, Joker’s Highway, Pearl Jam and Pet Shop Boys.
It’s so quiet you can hear the rabbits farting outside.