This was my "birthday day". I turned 30. Yikes! Well, not really. I wasn't that concerned about turning 30. I was concerned about celebrating the fact in style. I have never really been one for birthdays. It struck me that I had to do something to honour the occasion, which involved a lot of people, but which was heartfelt. So I begged to be on the bill of one of my favourite venues. The promoter did more than just hear my plea, he embraced it and put me on for a good spot.
I was looking forward to it as I left the office at 4.15.
I did not bank on the M62 being closed. Entirely. People were stuck there until midnight or so.
I wasn't. I heard about it on the news and re-routed just in time. I went through the peak district. I spend a good 90 minutes or so stuck in occasionally moving traffic, wondering if I'd ever get to the gig and if I'd have missed my time slot when I did.
I arrived just in time. I went up, did my thing and the audience were lovely to me. Really lovely. I enjoyed it. Then I was presented with a birthday cake and the compere made the crowd sing happy birthday to me. It sounds a bit silly to say that it was "so unexpected" and "touching", since I'd made it clear to everyone that I was turning their gig into my birthday party... I just didn't expect them to take it as anything other than me being self-aggrandising or selfish. I was overdoing it a bit, ironically, of course - I really didn't expect it to be a big deal to anyone (even me!).
I can't say I minded being made a fuss of. I guess that's one of the hidden reasons for why I perform. Turning 30 was probably one of my best birthday celebrations. And to think, it would only have taken a couple of wrong turns on the road, or my hitting the audience in the wrong mood for me to have either died on stage, or spent the night needing a wee on the M62. Birthday magic still works!