#6. Play a gig.

18th November 2011 – Courthouse Bar – Lurgan

Freegirl now
Son of a bitch
Further down the line
Tell me
Keep fishing
(let her down – we cut it the night before)
(jovi – got cut)

So Mc Kay, Patrick and I had been jamming for a month or two, writing a few songs and what have you, when we tried to find a drummer. Mckay opened a thread on fastfude and got some replies and one wanker.

This was about the start of September, we got a few maybes but nothing sorted. Towards the end of September Mckay informed us about a battle of the bands in Lurgan in November. November was ages away so, yeah, fuck it, why not?!

We had a rehersal space booked, as a drummer said he would temp for us until we got sorted, but we never heard from him again. Losing patience McKay suggested his old school chum, Wheat, who a friend of ours (“G” from TTM) reccomended. Mckay sold it to us as “he’s hasn’t been playing long, but is naturally good”. Brilliant.

So on the 24th September 2011, My Sunday Hat’s orginal line-up played together for the first time at Rinky Dink Rehersal Studio’s, at Donegal Pass. Waiting outside we chatted to Wheat, me and Patrick knew him as a friend of a friend, and asked him how long he had been playing.

“About Two weeks”

Me and Patrick, were in shock, and stared daggers at Mckay as smiled, protesting his innonence. By the end of that day 33% of Wheats playing experience was with us…

Anyway first, we tried Tom Petty’s Free Girl Now as the drum beat was simple. Powered through it alright, tried Keep Fishing by Weezer, again it was a simple enough 4/4 beat so it sounded okay. After a few weeks of practicing together we would play various songs like Yellow Ledbetter, a slow version of Ring of Fire and Chin Up Cheer Up by Ryan Adams.. but as the gig came closer we knuckled down and settled on a set.

Free Girl Now and Keep Fishing for some covers. Son of a bitch was the first song the three of us did together. Started with McKay throwing together some chords to suit the acoustic (took a while to wheen Patrick of that!), I put the bass line over it and Patrick made some words for it, then Mckay did some riffs/solo. Me, Mckay and Wheat loved it.. Patrick hated it!
Let her down – was another one that that came about before Wheat. But it got dropped the night before as it wasnt quite right. Shame as I loved the bass in it and Mckays guitar!
Furhter on down the line, tell me and Jovi were ones that Mckay and Patrick worked on together and were written couple of weeks before the gig.

The 18th November was fast approaching and we were all worried about our impending death on stage. But the Sunday before and night before the gig we had one last crash rehersal, with no dicking about but afterwards we were less nervous. To quote Patrick “We, just, might get away with this!”

So the Friday came, I wasn’t to worried about the gig as I had other shit to worry about that day (buying houses is a stressful game), but I think Mckay was nervous for the rest of us. Made it to Lurgan for seven (Driving down the M1 Leona scared me by shouting “Where’s your bass?!” … ha ha ha.. fucking halarious!)

Arrived up at the Courthouse and Wheat was already there and we waited to soundcheck. I had a pint to losen me up.. then another.. We then soundchecked and played about half of Free Girl Now. Mckay was truely feeling the nerves and forgot the solo. Oh no.. I think I need another pint! We were last to soundcheck as we were first on.

Then about half of Patricks extended family arrived to cheer him on. No pressure. Mckay was bricking it and I was now quite tipsy. The organiser came over and said we were up. I  asked him if I could bring my pint up. “Not really.. it might spill on the equiptment”. I assured him it wouldn’t (got some on me though)

We went on stage to cheers from Patricks family and played FGN. Came to the solo and Mckay blasted through a facemelter, the crowd in front of him cheering him and I looked to Patrick and we laughed at how ridiclous (yet awesome!) it was. He then finished with a big exchagarated strum.. the boy wasnt too fucking nervous now!

I was happily hidden behind the amps and shit, the drink was starting to really take affect. The worst was during tell me when I fucked up the chours a few times. Mckay was infront of my amp and he could hear it too.. no one else seemed too, apparantly, but at least I stayed in key.

The next song was keep fishing, there is also oppertunity to fuck up in that too, so i really, really, really concentrated… Mckay, sings on this one and started with a joke which died.. and I do some backing.. christ. (I’ve since heard a recording and i think sounds awful, but Mckay and Pat said otherwise)

You can see my hand on the right… and my pint.

We were about to unleash the monster of ridiclous that was “jovi” (two solo’s and a key change) but the man cut us short saying we ran out of time. Shame…

And that was that. It flew in.

After wards I got really really drunk!

We didn’t win. And im sure another band got twice as long as us.

The next day I had the worst hangover ever. Mckay had to listen to me whine on his couch for a few hours

On monday we realised out of five bands, four got through… but not us.

So we came last…