The blog of Monday’s gig focused on my health and how I used the gig to escape my worries. On Tuesday, while still tired from Monday’s show at The Roadhouse and while still worrying about what would be prodded and poked next I received some bad news. I cannot and will not go into what happened. I will simply say that on top of my health issues I had a whole pile of grief. Raw, horrible and heart breaking grief. You can accuse me of being deliberately vague to encourage questions about it as if this is some kind of fucked up Facebook status but I couldn’t care less what you think. I’m protecting others and they matter, your opinion of me doesn’t. You just need to understand that my overwhelming emotion is grief. It kicks out a beat on my heart and plucks the string of every nerve to create a cacophony of pain.
Rob Kemp is lovely. It’s been said before and it will be said again. He knew what had happened and was fully supportive. “If you don’t want to play tonight I’ve got it covered.” That’s Rob all over. Top bloke.
However, that echo of Monday’s gig was still sounding out. I needed another escape so I said, I’d do the gig. The other options seemed to all involve me sitting on my own crying or sitting with other people and making them cry and neither of those sounded sensible.
Make the pain go away.
It was apparent the moment we got into the venue that our night was expanding at an alarming rate. I remember we once had about 12 audience members for a gig and it felt like enough people to pad out this small room. For this gig we had about sixty people and the room was filled to beyond capacity. Where we once had curtains drawn to partition us we just had to spread out beyond them. There were far more people than the sound system could cope with and we’ve already made plans to increase seating for next month and redo the sound and reposition speakers. I think this is the 16th Anarchy gig and every show is exceeding our expectations of crowd numbers. For a little comedy night at a little boozer that is some achievement.
Rob had arranged another great bunch of acts and admitted that we had 8 instead of 6. “It’s because I’m bad at admin,” confessed Rob. Looking at the list of names I wanted to ensure that I saw as many acts as possible. Unfortunately the success of the night meant there was no room for me. Rob managed to squeeze himself into a door frame to watch the acts or slink against the wall but my belly, knees and back meant it was impossible so I spent the time while acts were on tucked away in the bar.
The MCing bits seemed to go alright and it was a successful distraction from the shit floating around in my head. One bit saw Rob and I have a kiss and a cuddle which was funny, disturbing and erotic in equal measures. Another bit saw us praising Steve Bell for his performance the previous month and for his second gig at The Holly Bush. It’s apparent that there is a lot of love in the Anarchy room.
The night ended in a flash and it was obvious that audience, acts and bar staff were all happy with proceedings. I went outside and sat alone at a table and chair. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and just broke down and cried like a baby. While this idea of distracting myself from the grief may have worked in the short term in the long term it added guilt at trying to avoid it.
I’m just glad I’ve got a week before I have to do it all again.