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Very Frightening but surprisingly fulfilling.

In these blogs I do not usually name the venues I am writing about because the laugh/rant is at their expense. This blog strays from the norm.

Last night I was employed to perform my Human Jukebox act at Smoque at the Coney.  It is a favourite gig of mine as I am kept on my toes there. The crowd are much, much younger than my usual audience but surprisingly are really into the set I put together, they dance, they applaud and say nice things. The guv (this is another bit where I stray from convention and give a name) Gael, is a cool looking French guy who just oozes personality and professionalism,
So that’s the background!

30 minutes before I was due to leave for the gig I realised that I had a problem, I could feel there was something wrong with my voice, I knew it was not going to work properly. It was far too late for me to try to get a dep, the venue advertise (and the punters expect) music so I could not phone and cancel. I have a pre-prepared play list (in case of this happening just before a gig).
My emergency set list is made up of songs with the keys dropped, and includes a number of songs usually performed by growlers. Although Lee Marvin is not included, Jonny Cash and Tom Waits are.
Obviously I was not happy about having such a limited play list, however I knew that the crowd at Smoque are generous and accommodating so I hoped I would get by.

10 minutes into the set my voice went completely (F2 was too high for me to sing), I morphed the song I was singing (Ring of fire) into a guitar instrumental, as it ended I  faded in recorded music.

Quite a few of the crowd come over to ask what was wrong with my voice and what was going on. I explained and apologised to them, I then went to find  Gael (the guv) to apologise to him and tell him I was going home (I did not expect a fee, and I expected the possibility of a slagging off).

Instead of anger, Gael smiled and put me at ease. He said don’t worry it cant be helped, I could hear you were suffering so thanks for trying. I told him I would keep my recorded music playing until he could sort his house music out.

When I returned to the performance area a few of the young women who usually ask for Human Jukebox requests were by my mic and asked could I play some “Old school”. I told them I didn’t know what old school was, they said just put on something like “I wanna dance with somebody, Whitney”. I actually had that song on a “wedding break” play list so obliged. They young women started dancing and were joined by their friends on the dance floor. As the track progressed I was getting more and more requests.

Two hours later after the cheesiest wedding playlist ever I had run out of suitable songs. The crowd at Smoque had kept dancing all night!  I said my goodbyes.

The crowd at Smoque are amazing, beutiful, generous, nice  young people,  they forgave the appalling attempt of mine sing when  I had no voice, they persuaded me not to run away (when I realised I could not sing) they danced, they applauded and we had a party.

To put the cherry on the cake, Gael insisted on paying me.

Thank You Gael / all the Smoque clientele for being such nice people and a special thank-you to my son Lyndon (a DJ) who had previously given me so much “wedding break” music.

I will be back performing my Human Jukebox act (with a voice) at Smoque on the 7th December.






About Tobias. A. Hogg

My daughter, my nephew, Christian Scientist actors and now even my 80 something mum are all doing it and I have decided to have a go. My intention is to record things that intrigue or amuse me and the source of my experiences is probably going to be centred around my chosen profession gigging singer, but who knows what future blogs may bring.

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