Blimey, I'm utterly shattered. Two gigs in 48 hours and then it's back to work. A.G.A.I.N. I'm not sure I can keep this up.
Friday night, I left work early, went round Anna's before the gig and lay around in the heat. For the first time, EVAH, AMP was first to the venue - but only because Thom Yorke FORCED ME to play Anna his entire solo album before heading over. He made me do it. Soundcheck was a bit meh, but it's the Garage. Sound is always meh, it goes with the territory. It was strange - I realised that I hadn't been there in years, even though I practically used to live at the place. It's shutting for the summer, for long-overdue refurbishment - maybe they'll FINALLY do something about the sound system. We took everything out of the monitors except the vocals, and still couldn't hear a thing.
The place was deserted until about 9, but then the ILX massive arrived en masse - Ed even carrying tent on his way down to Cornwall on the Joe Strummer Sleeper Train (In Vain).
The one thing that proved a blessing in disguise was the tiny size of the stage. Because it wasn't wide enough for all of us to stand in a row, I ended up setting up behind the others, where the drummer usually sits. For some reason, I was actually far more comfortable back there. With the pressure of the audience taken off me, I felt like I was able to concentrate on just making music, bouncing back and forth between guitar and laptop and just letting the girls take over the interactions. They, apparently, really didn't like this set-up. But I just felt it was so freeing, even though the sound was awful, I actually enjoyed the gig a lot more than the previous few.
We debuted PWND to great effect, with Anna and Yana battling each other on Nintendo controllers. It's much easier to play slowed down - I thought it was 145bpm but no - only Noyfriend is that fast. PWND was only 125, but I slowed it down to 120 and it's suddenly playable.
After the gig, while I was tearing down my pedals, a random woman came up to me and asked me "do you know the Beach Boys? because you really remind me of Brian Wilson..." She was trying to persuade me to come out from behind the others, but I was just so chuffed at the comparison.
Tim Ten Yen was awesome, truly wonderful - he even played the new song which is apparently about Anna. We want to play more gigs with him, he's so much fun.
We then proceeded to get DRUNK LIKE SLAGS!!! There was a tub full of beer that was supposed to be shared by the bands, but considering the other bands were solos/duos, they just couldn't compete with the plague of locusts that is us girls on a night out. Yana and I both bear the bruises of openning beer bottles with our bare hands, though, damn, it looked impressive at the time. Some arsewank took down the "private - bands only" sign on the backstage door - I came back from the loo, and it had been invaded by randoms and hangers on to the point where there were more people in that room than there were in the club, so smokey I couldn't breathe. So I got to throw a proper full-on rock star hissy fit, ripping cigarettes from people's hands and chucking them out. Rock.
All back to Anna's, drank too much alcopops and passed out. Hurrah.
Sunday, by comparison, was pretty sleepy and chilled out. It's the Windmill. Things happen when they happen, no stress, no pressure, and so much nicer for it. The soundman told me that apparently we were his mum's new favourite band from her last visit to England, which was totally sweet. I love that we're a band that mums like, too. So I burned her a CD of all our recordings. (Which made mine own mum jealous, because she didn't have one.)
Emsk turned up, brown from the beach, while I was sitting in the sun, in my cowboy hat and pigtails, reading mind-bending books about physics. Horrible ex-boyfriend turned up, since his band were playing, but my posse were there by then, and we were polite enough to one another. Also, I noted with some small pleasure, he has grown an incredibly unfortunate mustache and looked terrible. I dunno, after all the unpleasantlness in the past, it's quite freeing to realise that I no longer care.
Ate lovely BBQ - and for the first time in history, I managed to get there early enough for an egg - and then proceeded to choke on it. What an un-rock'n'roll death.
A shot of tequila and away we go. It's hard work, not having Anna onstage. I never realised how hard it really is to make random conversation with the audience. When Anna goes into random mode, she propositions the whole club in French. When I go random, I eject "Artichokes! Rhinoceresus! Argh!" and freak out. However, Lisa bought a lovely red pepper plant at the Lambeth County Fair, so we stuck that on her side of the stage and called it Anna.
It was strange playing mostly for strangers. I could see Lisa and AMP and Gooblar from ILX, but that was about it. In a way, it makes you more nervous, because you can't just play off your friends' enthusiasm, but also it was quite freeing - that i didn't care when I flubbed my notes, because who would know? (And I flubbed a-plenty.)
The funniest moment was at the end, after the last plume of feedback was over, and AMP was packing up the laptop, suddenly Noyfriend comes blaring out of nowhere. Cue manic rush to figure out what was going on, if the laptop had gone mental or what, but no, it's coming from somewhere else. Look over to see Tim by the decks, grinning and holding aloft a copy of the HDIF compilation which he's just whacked on the stereo - I had forgotten we were even on it!
A great evening. We drank pink wine and fanned ourselves all night, gossiping - even Le Coq eventually turned up at nearly midnight! That was a pleasant surprise, though I was too drunk to do much except gibber at him. But the loveliness of the other bands (especially Thomas Truax, Manic Cough and Piney Gir) just makes me super-excited about the coming Truck Festival. Woo!
Now I just wish I wasn't so bloody hungover...
Right, off to brave the heat and go to the post office to send our Radio 1 application and more nasty letters to the TV Licensing people.