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Global Domination

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Saturday, May 17


I'm partially inspired by the work of Mr Danny Wallace. In his book "Yes Man", Danny basically agreed to every opportunity that came his way and observed the results on his life. Now, I'm not quite going that far - especially since Danny adopted a totally naive approach to what he accepted, probably to punish himself for wasting a few months on his sofa. In my case, I tend to say yes as often as I possibly can, usually as an attempt to push the envelope and keep myself out of my comfort zone.

And so it was that I agreed to MC (or maybe I offered) a rock gig called "Ramshaw Rocks". It was a fundraiser in aid of the Ramshaw Rescue centre in Bishop Auckland. The gig was run by a guy called John Grimshaw, who had arranged for a big tent to be set up in a field on the site of the rescue centre. There was a bonfire ready to be lit. There was space for camping, portaloos, a caravan for the acts to chill out in and a big stage, build out of plywood sat on logs.

Overall, this was a homegrown version of Glastonbury and it was lovingly put together.

My day started as I woke in Newcastle, got myself together and then headed to give the keys to my house to the Estate Agent so that they can sell it. Then I went to Newcastle Airport on a work commitment. Finally, I was free to go to the gig. I was due there for set up and sound checks around the middle of the day. This was in plenty of time.

The show started at about 6pm and went on until after 11pm. I had to choose how to MC it quite carefully. The audience were fairly small in number and it was much more of a family crowd than I felt fit my "singing filthy songs" persona. As a result, I played it friendly and enthusiastic, with occasional caustic lines. All with a smile.

To be honest, I didn't need to do any of my own material. I could have left the guitar at home and just MCed it straight. However, I had gone to the trouble of sound-checking and I felt like I wanted to do something, so I did a couple of songs. What looked to the audience like my hilarious "where are you from" banter was actually just a list of the official regional stereotypes, ever-so-slightly customised for the moment. Still, people had a giggle and the gig was great.

In typical "yes man" fashion, I bought the merchandise that was available to buy. In this case it was a "festival" T-Shirt and the CDs of the final band that played. This is one of my tricks for enjoying festivals. Where possible I will buy the CD. It's a little something you can listen back to as a memento of good times.

Though people were camping, I was given the use of the artistes' caravan, which turned out to be remarkably cold when I eventually chose to retire. Still, I wrapped myself up in my sleeping bag, fully clothed, and waited for the shivering to stop.

My life is so very rock and roll.


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