Playing with a trio gig doing a mix of barn dance, line dance and songs in a country stylee for a corporate gig in East Grinstead for Proctor & Gamble. The gig is through caller Liz Scholey and the band is organised by Tom Fairbairn (fidle / EU bass) with Sam McEvoy on kit drums and me on guitar and vocals. Get in pretty early and chat briefly with the guys doing the sideshow features – quick draw, lassoo, horsehoe quoits and rodeo bull. The gaffa asks who’s involved in the band and when I mention Liz he sounds impressed and says that he’s worked at events with her before.
I read somewhere that the bucking broncho / rodeo bull was originally developed in the US as a training aid to help train rodeo cowboys. Apparently some bar owner in the south installed one for his customers and it was so successful that other clubs copied the idea. The problem that we have with the infernal machine is that it’s pretty noisey and means that we have to up the volume of the the band to get over this.
Two of the the other sideshows are pretty noisy as well with the quick draw sounding more like a a flame thower than a gun shot and loud clangs from the metal horse shoes hiting the metal stakes. If it were outdoors then the whole shebang would be OK, but in a relatively small indoor function room the whole thing becomes pretty oppressive.
The crowd is pretty hard work and are more than half cut be the end of the evening. But Liz does a great job (as usual) and the client seems pretty happy.
After the gig I drive up to London as I have a Musicians’ Union Executive Committee meeting the next day. I have to stay at a hotel in London so I can get to the meeting on time as it has an early start. I drop Sam off in London on the way. I hear on the radio that Proctor and Gamble have just received a huge EU fine for being involved in a price fixing cartel in various EU countries – though not the UK. I wonder what they were celebrating…