Band in the sand

The Insiderz go to the seaside.

We were invited back to last week’s venue to play again last night. It might have been because we were brilliant, but it’s more likely to be because we were cheap. Whatever the reason, we were back at the Ship Inn in Port Eynon.

Port Eynon was once a bustling little port, home to oyster farmers and several limestone quarries., Now it’s a holiday destination with a beautiful beach, a glorious coast and several camping and caravanning sites. It also has the best chip shop in the world.

Into this peaceful holiday haven came the juggernaut that is the Insiderz.

Last night’s gig was a bit more relaxed and enjoyable. We had rehearsed (well, played one song a few times), Stuey had written a set list (although it was mislaid for a while and then he couldn’t read it in the shadows), and we had a guest guitarist – an ex-band member from a year or so ago. ll in all, a great recipe for a good night.

We kicked off with Heroes, one of my favourite songs. We’d set up the PA to provide monitoring for the vocals and when I started singing backing harmonies to the song, I found I could actually hear myself. The advice (‘kiss the mic’) from the rehearsal was working. It was a good thing, because a few songs later on was ‘Comfortably Numb’, another favourite, and one I was do to sing lead vocals on. To say I was nervous, not having sung any lead vocals for several years, was an understatement. I tried to warm my voice up with backing vocals on several songs but the one before Numb, ‘The One I Love’, wasn’t good at all. Nevertheless, I set off and after a ropey start (we hadn’t played Numb for so long that no one knew how to start it), I started making some noises.

I’d written the first word of each line as a cue, but they were out of my line of sight as I started. Even so, I managed to get the first three verses reasonably correct and within a semi tone of the correct tune. But then the chorus loomed and with mounting dread I realised I’d practiced the verse to the exclusion of the rest of the song. The line ‘You are only coming through in waves’ became ‘you are only like a smoke on wave’, I think,  in a bizarre word mix up. I kept the tune and the rest of the lines came back to me. Then, like a lifebelt thrown on the waves, the guitar solo appeared and the song was lifted once more. The second chorus was more successful, although ‘I cannot put my finger on it now’ became ‘I cannot mumble mumble mumble’. The final solo was tremendous and then it was over. Phew! I don’t have a strong lead vocal voice – it’s more suited to backing vocals.

Other highlights for me include the bass speakers – I was using a borrowed cab from Stuey instead of my pair of 12″ speakers (which are really for the guitar rig) and the horrible farting noise that came out of the speakers last week was a more rounded bass sound this time. The two guitarists, Lucien and Adam (our guest) riffed off each other all night. There were some fantastic twin guitar harmonies, tight drumming and even a touch of Bob Dylanesque harmonica courtesy of Stuey. A good night.

We tried out the new Bon Jovi song, Bed of Roses, at the end of the night and it seemed to work, although it was a bit rough at the edges. It’ll be alright on the night, as they say just before showing a load of clips of mistakes and people falling over.

The photos were taken on timer. The ones where we are playing were taken while I was playing open strings on the bass, which left one hand free to press the shutter button.

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