First and foremost: I AM ALIVE. I SURVIVED. All my limbs are in tact. I still have my head. Both eyes are firmly in their sockets.
So, I am alright.
However, I think the stress of last Thursday may have scarred me irrevocably. Let me tell you all
10 am (Lie-in!)
Alarm: Beeeeeeeeeeeeep! Beep! Beepy-beep! Bee..? Hello? Hey! (takes deep breath) BEEEP!
Self: Wha...? But? Lie-in? WHY AM I STILL EXAHUSTED? (shakes fist at Heavens, Cruel Deities and the like)
Anyway, I got up. Trial One of the Day Of Tribulations.
Hung around. Stressing, sorting things out.
Doing things like making piles of things on my bed. Neat piles. Then accidentally putting something not relevant to the pile on the pile and then having to start again with a new pile. Then losing my phone in the piles and ruining the piles by throwing things around trying to find my phone and then having to start again with a new pile. Then placing some things in a bag, realising that I probably did not need my phone charger or Beatles coasters and starting again. In a new bag. I think I might've been a touch nervous.
This only went on for a couple of hours.
I managed to shower and do my hair and get dressed and stuff. The plan was, get to Mike's(guitarist) flat to go through the one original song we were doing, which, at the last minute was to be a song he's written for this film project we'd done six months ago. My song was not ready to be performed. I could have done it but there was no time to teach it to my band. I wanted to try but it was deemed too much. I was not bitter in any way. Except for lots of ways.
Anyway. The soundcheck was at three thirty. In The Marquee Club in Leicester Square.
3.30pm: In Highgate. This, for the uninitiated, is not The Marquee Club in Leicester Square. It's somewhere else in London.
Stress levels: fair to high.
4.15pm: In café in Highgate. Staring at clock with eyes wide open so as to deter un-grown up singing lady tears.
Stress levels: high to unfair.
4.45pm: Still in café. Got on the phone to gig organiser man. He told me not to worry. Be there by five thirty and you'll be ok, he reassured me.
Stress levels: fair.
5pm: Mike's flat. Just. Fuck. Tried to go through song. Also other song we hadn't rehearsed.
Although both Highgate and Leicester Square are on the Northern Line, we had a very, very heavy keyboard to carry, as well as my bag and Mike's guitar. It is about ten minutes from Mike's to the station. Also: hilly.
It was also at about the this stage that I realised that I had had WAY too much caffeine and was shaking and feeling a bit on the funny side. Not ha ha. Oh no. Funny peculiar.
Stress levels: High. A bit like the sky. That high.
5.15pm: Turns out, there are no taxis in London. We prepared to leave. I was carrying my bag which was heavy and Mike's guitar which was also heavy, one strapped across each shoulder. Hello, pretty little bruised shoulders and collar bone. Walked like marching marchers to the train station, me mumbling the words to songs between each sharp intake of breath, and Mike staggering behind, the keyboard acting as a big, heavy, metal sail. Which, you know, is always fun.
Stress levels: Having a little chat with some birds about how thin the atmosphere gets this high up.
5.50pm: Arrived at Marquee Club. Rush. We were rushing so much that all we needed was a couple of fur-trimmed hats and some existential boredom and we would've fitted smoothly into a production of The Three Sisters. Good Lord that was a bad joke, I am truly sorry.
Sound check. Fine. I was worried about the fact that we were only doing one original song and the other bands would laugh at us and call me names and be mean, generally. Voicing this worry provoked only laughter and variations on the "it'll be fine" theme from the band.
Stress levels: Beginning to shakily slip downwards like a child inching its way down a slide, clutching the sides with its be-mittened hands and using its feet to take little steps, so as to prevent full-slidage.
6.30pm: Sound check finished. Musicians decided, because they're musicians, that the best course of action to calm me down and make sure I knew the words was to take me to the pub and feed me beer. And, because I don't believe in arguing with men, I demured. We stood in the pub, me learning the words to songs and tipping Amstel down my throat, and the band just doing the latter. I got changed. I decided to wear the basque and waistcoat, but instead of the tight pencil skirt and heels I opted for the ripped denim skirt and boots, because it was much more of that sort of a night.
Stress levels: As alcohol levels rose, the stress levels reached a medium plateau and decided to hang around there for a while.
7.45pm: Decided we should probably head over through Leicester Square to the venue. Got there. Saw that about thirty of my friends were there. It was like a party, everyone chatting and catching up. I was so, so so very touched by the fact that so many people turned up to support me. It was lovely. There were friends from home and friends from uni and from work. As soon as I saw all my friends I did this: reeeelaaaax. It may not, however, have seemed like that to them. When I'm nervous I either talk loads and loads or not at all.
On Thursday I went for the hihowareyouthankyousomuchforcomingyeah
Stress levels: trying to socialise added to the stress a little, but it was also lovely to see so many supportive people. So, still hovering around the plateau.
8.15pm: On stage. I was introduced by a guy who said that the experience of listening to me sing was like that of having a beautiful woman lick your ear. Which I took to mean that listening to me sing gives you a wet, slimy ear, but apparently he meant it as a compliment.
So the first song was Mike's song, which we did not really get a chance to practice. It quickly became apparent that neither of us could really remember it. Improvisation. Oh shit. Apparently you couldn't tell, which, you know, is a miracle.
Rest of the songs were good, and I could see my friends smiling, hear them cheering, see them nudge each other when I hit a particularly good note or did a little dance, which I suspect I did quite a bit. The dancing, I mean. I'm far too modest to admit to having TOTALLY NAILED all the notes in all the songs. BOTH my sisters were there, too. Hurray.
Stress levels: Way overtaken by fun, happy, holycrapIlovebeingonstage levels.
8.45pm: Left stage. Band seemed really happy with the gig, although they insisted that I had carried them. Whatever. They were awesome. I ran headlong into my army of friends, and proceeded to get hammered. I talked to some music type people as well, but mainly I got drunk and had a fun, fun old time.
Stress levels: Lower than a Hilton's morals.
Later That Night: Drunk. There may have been giggling.
Stress levels: Drowned.
I have more to tell you. About the four hours I spent in Topshop, Oxford Circus on Friday waiting for Impish Sophie Sister. About the Interesting Conversation I had with an Interesting Man in Topshop. About the Russian restaurant I went to with Euan and two of his friends on Saturday night which had a funny menu and a man with a electronic keyboard in the corner who entertained us by playing along to the demo tracks on his keyboard and thrilled us with his tie-dyed T-shirt. But I am all typed out and want to go and eat soup.
I hope you all had a nice weekend. I saw a grand total of one firework.