A good gig!

I had a good gig on Wednesday night. In fact it was as good as it gets, because of several reasons. The first reason was that I practised really hard, memorised everything that I would say, and when it came to it, I didn’t forget a single thing. The second reason was that the audience was fantastic. The third reason was that the structure and the dynamic of the evening was perfect: a young audience, some of whom had trendy beards, and the fact that I was the middle poet, after a serious but incredibly good opening act, and before the main headliner. The fourth reason, and the most important one for me, was that several friends came along and I wasn’t naff, and that my publisher, too, was there.
Not being naff is the biggest contributory factor to a successful performance. I felt at ease with the material and with the props that I would be using. I started by dancing and saying, ‘I don’t know why, but I’m feeling really frisky tonight’. I then did a little dance. I don’t normally do a little dance, but the time just seemed right. This kind of set the whole thing up, and the audience were incredibly up for having a bit of a laugh. I think it helped that the person before me had been brilliant, but deeply serious and very poetic. I was the complete opposite. I ended the evening by dedicating this ‘car crash of a set’ to the memory of Victoria Wood.
So that was the gig, and it just went so smoothly. However, the feeling afterwards was one of mild euphoria mixed with the impression that perhaps every night should be like this. A young, youthful audience in a town where I don’t perform that often, and the feeling of being surrounded by friends. The best bit has to be the moment where I was chatting to my publisher, and someone came up to buy a book. At least that showed him that it was worth him publishing me!
The euphoria lasted all the way home, which was a long way, a two hour drive back to Paignton. There’s nothing better than the sense of a night coming together really well. As the lights of Bristol faded in the rear view mirror, we sped along the motorway passing sleeping towns, strange clusters of road lights and an empty motorway, the sort of place haunted by jobbing comedians and long distance lorry drivers, insomniacs, the perennially lost. I slept well and I was on a bit of a high the next day, until about lunch time.
That’s when the thought starts creeping in: Just what’s been going wrong at all the other gigs?

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