Friday, July 17, 2009
Tom and Bridget Jones
A long time ago before the recession bit, Ireland was a good place to be if you were a musician. The money was in tribute bands and there was lots of work about. Sure, you may laugh when I tell you I played bass in a Tom Jones tribute band (and you'd be right to) but for those two years I realised how hard you can push the human body and still wake up with organs intact. The destination was Waterford for a midnight gig. Because the van broke down in transit, we arrived at the venue at 11:50pm. If you do your maths correctly, you'll see that we had 10 min's to get the gear from the van to the stage. Then we had to soundcheck and have a few beers. But we moved pretty fast and all of a sudden we were on stage at 12:40am. There were two main Tom Jones tribute bands in the country at the time and the we knew each other so there was never any fear of both bands turning up in the same area at the same time. It also meant we could more or less choose when and where we wanted to play. Because of the music we played, the ladies in the audience were on the more mature side of life. This didn't bother us at all because we had three backing singers who looked after us to the best of their abilities but that's a whole other blog for another time. As I mentioned, this was in the middle of the Tiger when people didn't know where to be throwing their money. Being the creative types we were, we were always coming up with handy little earners. That night in Waterford, the place was packed with old folk who were literally screaming to hear Tom Jones songs. We decided to sell raffle tickets and the winner would get their picture taken with Tom after the show and Tom would sign the picture and give her a CD. Yes, the singer in the Tom Jones band, was called Tom! So we sold a book of tickets and a pissed old lady nearly done one in her Bridget Jones nappy when her ticket was pulled out at the interval. We went up, finished the gig and the venue manager wasn't impressed with our sense of timekeeping at all. We quickly packed up, had a quick beer and fell into the van. The van started to move when out of the back window, we witnessed Bridget Jones waddle towards us screaming that she never got her picture taken with Tom. The van driver stopped until Bridget got closer and as she came to the back of the van, he drove a little further away again. At this stage Bridget was out of breath but the van driver (we'll call him Anto) was having none if it. Despite the pleas and protestations from the contents of the van to stop and let Bridget have her picture taken with Tom, Anto and his new game were not to be separated. Now we could see Bridget's band of merry wives chasing after us, disgusted with the injustices of the world. You can have 2 ends to this story. 1) We drove away in tears of laughter, never to visit the venue again. 2) We contacted the venue manager and posted a signed picture of Tom, Cd's and tickets for a gig in Clonmel. What would you have done?