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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
ToneDeafDave A Gig From Hell (82* d) RE: A Gig From Hell 03 Nov 99

Mine are pretty mild compared with you others, but for nostalgia's sake.... My first ever gig was a Gaelic festival. I had two half-hour shots. The first was to an audience of one, not counting the lady who was minding a stall selling Scottish Woolens nearby. Somewhat discuraged, I went to my second half hour where there was a large audience of men in kilts. As I opened my mouth to sing, someone said 'right' and they all ran off at top speed leaving a family of four having a picnic. (I found out later that I was singing at the starting post of the kilted race). A few months later, I was asked to get an act together by the organizers of a tall ships event in Washinton (DC). I found some volunteers and we practiced shanties for a while - obviously that was what a tall ships event needed. On the day, we discovered that the organizers had no such thoughts - we were between a judo demonstration and some 9-year old ballet dancers. To our delight, it all got rained off. As soon as the rain stopped, we went off to seranade the lines waiting to board the ships and had a good time after all.

The fact that we came back to sing after the rain so impressed the organizers that we were offered a highly paid gig at a major business convention (NAB I think). This became known in our little group as 'the bizzaro gig'. We ended up sharing a stage with an Irish band. The stage was decorated with nautical props and situated behind the oyster bar, and had no amplification. The room was huge, and contained at the other three corners (amplified) a western swing band, a mariachi band, and a traditional jazz band. In the middle of the wall opposite us was a sing-along pianist. Our Irish friends went home, and we spent the evening singing to guy who was shucking the oysters, who was extremely taken with our music. His customers were too far away to hear us. Not long after, we did another gig on the Maryland shore in a building with a leaky roof. Our group had never developed a good name, and had been using a generic name that had been used at other times by the folksong crowd in Washington (I can't remember what it was at this distance). We got on stage with our carefully arranged and rehearsed set list only to find we had been joined there by a number of members of the Folklore Soc. saying things like 'I didn't know we were singing tonight', 'what are we going to sing?', etc. A good time was had by all, but I can't speak for the audience.

It was shortly after that that our little group decided on the name 'The Boarding Party' and after that, things seemed to settle down a little...

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