Musings from my first solo gig

Estrons (Credit: Press)

On Monday I went to a gig on my own for the first time. Estrons played Broadcast in Glasgow as part of Independent Venues Week and, naturally, I decided to document my experience of my first ever solo gig.

Here’s how it went.

Ok, so this might be due to the three (or four (yes mum I’m ok)) pints that I sunk at spoons before coming here but my entrance into the venue feels like a scene out of a western. Saloon doors swing open and I walk into the bar, observed by every patron as the music comes to an abrupt stop with a record scratch.

After a rather paranoid pee I have settled down. Now to find out if they have a cloakroom. Doesn’t look that promising on the cloakroom front to be honest. Also, a very charitable barman pointed me in the direction of the basement for the actual gig as I’m sure he read my very bewildered face as I pace aimlessly around the bar upstairs.

Confirmed, there is no cloakroom. But not to worry, I’m sure it won’t get too hot in this 200 (really?) capacity sweat box.

My bladder betrays me once more and I have to retreat to the bathroom again. Side note: the toilet smells very strongly of cinnamon. I suppose there are much worse things the toilet could smell of.

The first support act is very good and I’m sure in a couple of years I’ll wish I was paying more attention right now, but that’s always the way. (I could enter a side rant about how it’s always important to make the effort to see the support acts but I’ll spare you from that… For now.)

There is a halved disco ball on the ceiling. That’s it. That’s my observation.

The venue is starting to fill up now and there’s a nice mix of people. There’s also a nice atmosphere about the place. This crowd seems to fall in the happy middle ground between die hard fans that will sneer at you for liking this band ‘before they were cool’ and a crowd of people who vaguely know this artist, that have just shown up for the opportunity to push over a 16-year-old girl.

Note to self: (this means the casual reader can skip over this part) I definitely want to look up the EP that these guys just plugged because they are great and I want to play them to people as “the sick new band that I discovered.”

This event obviously appeals to the BBC Radio 6 Music listener as Ron Weasley’s dad has turned out in force. I’ve already seen about six of him so he’s a confirmed wizard if he can be in multiple places at once.

There’s a merch stand at the back of the room, as yet unmanned. I’m definitely going to buy a jumper. Partly as a medal of honour that will show that I made it through a solo gig, but mostly because it’s really cold outside and I have to walk back to the train station afterwards.

I’m already fairly drunk but I reckon it’s a good idea for me to keep on drinking. Further into the rabbit hole Alice goes.

Support band number two take to the stage. Their strong rhythm is making me write very fast and I reckon this section will be completely illegible to me tomorrow.

Alright, I’m getting pretty desperate now. Can I hold it to the end of this band’s set? Or should I go now so I don’t have to go during the ‘main event’? These are the questions that plague those of us with small bladders.

“This is our last song,” Salvation! I can enjoy this song safe in the knowledge that I will be rewarded with bodily relief (ick sorry). But now to position myself near the staircase for a speedy escape.

I mean, it really reeks of cinnamon. Like, I can’t think about anything else while I’m in here. But anyway, you’re not reading this for my insight into what the toilet was like.

It’s almost time to ditch my coat and take my place in the crowd. I don’t think I’ll write through the main event; I reckon I’ll just enjoy it.

Ok, so the amount of times that I observe that the toilet smells like cinnamon will reveal how often I need to go but it really really reeks of cinnamon. It’s so overpowering. It’s like cinnamon is all there has ever been, it’s as if a certain Gerry has marked his territory.

The time is upon us, Estrons have taken to the stage. From now on it’s radio silence. I’ll see you on the other side.

[some time later]

Well that was bloody amazing. Now I want to go to Wales.

That set was one of the best sets I have ever seen. Including, but not limited to, the moment that they started talking about song Glasgow Kisses, (wherein I had planned to write that “by no surprise went down a storm”) only for the band to say that they hadn’t played it for two years and wouldn’t be able to play it unless someone from the crowd knew the bass part. Needless to say one crowd member (a genuine hero) stepped forward and saved the day for a rousing rendition of Glasgow Kisses which did indeed, go down a storm…

By Owen Garner

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