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Blog: Dinosaur Planet: THE LAUNCH

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I spent yesterday being UNUSUALLY NERVOUS, like when i first commenced on the rocky road of ROCK. Back then EVERY gig LOOMED in my imagination as a thing of FEAR for WEEKS before it happened and ANALYSED for DAYS afterwards. Now, however, I am a SEASONED PRO and hardly EVER get the heebie-jeebies, ROCKING AND ROLLING from one gig to the next without a care in the world... except for THIS time. This time I was all of a quiver with excitement, REALLY looking forward to THRUSTING Dinosaur Planet on an UNKNOWING WORLD.

This may explain why I arrived at The Wilmington so uncommonly early - 5.20pm. The tech spec said load-in time was from 4.30pm and even though there wasn't really any loading to DO i thought that, as promoter, I should make the extra effort. I thus ended up sitting quietly folding flyers trying NOT to drink too much for about an hour, before it was soundcheck time. My co-headliner Mr Chris T-T had rung to say he'd been DELAYED, so me and Benjy The Soundman set about getting the PIANO set up in preparation. "Shall I just play something?" i said AIRILY but I have to admit that i don't think my THUNK-A-THUNK-A-PLINK-PLONK style of "playing" was much help.

Still, we were soon DONE and after a visit to a HOUSE OF FALAFEL (where my falafel came mysteriously GARNISHED with 5 lonesome chips) I settled into the CHAT bit of the evening, where I stood around gabbing with many of the many and various delightful people who'd turned up. Chris himself arrived in good time, did his soundcheck, and it was suddenly time to open the doors and see if anyone was coming in.

THEY WERE - the room had been set out in The Cabaret Style (SIDEBAR: for a venue which is supposed to be All Trendy and Hip, the people there are surprisingly nice - everyone was very helpful, the CHARGE was extremely reasonable, and there was even NICE BEER! Amazing!) so it looked very FULL when Chris took to the stage. He too had been extremely and unusually nervous about the evening and, to be honest, he had even more reason than me for being so, for LO! He was performing an IMPROVISED PIANO RECITAL. I mean, I was nervous MYSELF about it - was he really going to sit at the piano for 40 minutes and just play whatever came into his head? And if so, could he possibly get away with it?

Yes he was and YES HE REALLY DID - it was GRATE! It was all TUNES and THEMES - THEMES! - and BITS and build-up and all sorts. I was amazed - this was dead good! He even got LARFS in a couple of places, which has to be a mark of GENIUS, and didn't mind when OAFS shouted out requests for "C!"... whoever that was. At the end of the forty minutes he did a mini-set of REQUESTS, including "Giraffes" (requested by The Notes In My Tune from the front) and "Seven Hearts" (requested by ME!). HOORAH!

My collegaue Mr Hewitt took to the stage to announce THE BREAK and then, BANG on time I went on and did THE SHOW. This time i REMAINED plugged into the PA system, and using a microphone made it feel quite a bit different, more like stand-up than Telling A Story. Also not really being able to SEE the audience seemed to make it easier to get LARFS because there were quite a few, it was GRATE! I had a FANTASTIC time doing it, there were BOOS and CHEERS and AUDIBLE GASPS in the correct places and everybody seemed to really get into the story. I tried some extra GAGS, some of which worked and some of which didn't, and did a bit of extra SHOWING OFF which pushed it to a massive 56 minutes - but 56 minutes of, for me at least, HUGE FUN and EXCITEMENT.

Afterwards everybody seemed to have enjoyed themselves, and I was especially pleased that Mr T-T said that the ending was "moving" - I was a bit worried when writing it that it might be JUST a bit silly, so did hope that the Vague Point of it might get across (i.e. apart from how GRATE it would be if DINOSAURS invaded) and it's nice to think that that might be working. There was much HUGGING afterwards and even some HIGH FIVES! HECK YES!

And now I'm sat at my desk with that briliant AFTERGLOW of a gig well done, thinking "Can't I just do THIS all the time instead?" Come on, Broadway Musical Millionaires, INVEST!

posted 22/7/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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