It's Thursday July 14th 2011.
We're playing at The Crown, Brum.
So we hit Birmingham, find the venue, find a place to park nearby, make a link, offload, set up, hit the bar, sound check, hit the bar again, chill n chat, watch a band...
hit the bar ~ maybe, make some links, chill n chat, watch another band...
chill n chat, get up, tune up, and play.
The bar is nice. Not full but far from empty. Legend has it that this is the same Birmingham venue where Ozzy Osbourne played his first ever gig. Nice legend. Nice venue. Let's get it on!
The patrons are cool rock n roll to brothers. You can see how much of that awesome heritage that brought us the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis, Dion, Little Richard, Eddie Cochran and so many more, lives on through them today. They have swagger and style. And they like to have a good time. We know we need to be at the top of our game when we're performing in front of them, they know their music, and if we ain't to their liking they'll let us know for sure.
So we play.
The Inebriati were good. Entertaining to say the least. Youngsters compared to ourselves and brave ones at that. Anyone who performs their own covers of The Darkness' I believe in a thing called love and Lady Gaga's Bad Romance within the same set, in our book, are pretty brave. Nice guys that we'll hopefully perform alongside again at some point.
Kevin Underwood is something else. Solo. Gifted. Free.
He took the stage for his own and his wave of memorable, even timeless, rock and rock anthems washed over us like the warmest sea on the warmest sea shore. It's little wonder that Kevin has a long string of gigs lined up throughout The Midlands area.
Let's just say, when all was said and done, we left The Crown that night feeling GOOD!!!
Four days later...
"I don't have good news for you I'm afraid guys. You're application to play this year's Birmingham Artsfest was unfortunately not successful." (Or words to that affect).
Birmingham City Council.
Organisers claim that the event is 'the UK's biggest free arts festival', so maybe that's why their rejection of our bid to appear there for only the 2nd time in as many years felt in egotistical terms like we had been trampled by an elephant stampede. Or maybe it was because they actually went back on their word of last year when they told us at The Flapper, "You guys are really good. We'll definately get you a later slot in the event next year." (Or words to that affect).
Either way, rejection is a hard pill to swallow ~ if you try to swallow it.
We were rejected in 2010 too, initially. A deeper than deep discussion changed that but we still ended up playing the opening Sunday afternoon slot in a next to empty and tired looking Flapper. We'd squeezed in through the back door but found the kitchen door shut in our face instead. Getting into the Living Room was meant to be this year but...nah! Well not as far as Bham City Council is concerned anyway. Change of plan.
It is hard for unsigned bands.