Tonight Matthew I Am Going To Be A Rock & Roll Star
Backstage With Ocean Coloured Dreams
When I heard about Ocean Colour Scene playing Worthing a couple of months ago my ears pricked up and dad-dancing shoes polished ready to bop till I drop. (Bopping till you drop is not a popular pastime in Worthing on a cold wet October evening as you can imagine) so I was pretty excited to say the least.
After having the major fanboy sensation of the interview. (Next step Rolling-Stone magazine you know..) I mentioned to the nice chaps at Atom the promoters that if they needed any additional help, or a spare pair of hands on the event day then they all they had to do was to ask. And ask they did…
What transpired was me getting a backstage view on what it really takes to put on a gig of this scale.
Normally, I like many others view of a night out is to turn up, moan about not getting served at the bar quick enough, do a bit of boogying, have a singalong and then nip off sharpish to make sure you get home and have a brew at a sensible time. You never really stop and think about all the hard work that goes into putting it all together behind the scenes. But on this occasion I did.
Backstage at a Gig
The day of the gig, I met up with the charming Ant (the A in Atom) at 2 pm and spent the afternoon running around getting the dressing room & rider was triple-checked. (Making sure that there was only purple M&M’s in diamond encrusted plates, fresh lily petals scattered around, buy some expensive TVs to chuck out of hotel windows and get a queue of virgin starlets ready to go ***)
The rest of the time was sorting out the guest list, more running around and stacking up the chairs after we decided that the crowds would probably like to have a bit more dancing space.
I got to witness how much time is spent on the finer details such as; checking the sound and lighting is just right, that the piano had been finely tuned, the posters and merchandising had been sorted out and healthy and safety checklists are all set before the band arrive.
Then OCS turned up, with tour manager Paul and support act, the lovely Raymond Meade. Like the true pros they are, they got on with setting up and answering questions. I got to sit on the front row completely on my own while they sound checked.
This was for me was like a dream, an’ Ocean coloured dream’ if you pardon the pun. This sort of thing doesn’t happen in my normal life. I must have had the silliest of Cheshire cat grins on my face, as I sat pinching myself thinking if I had told the 20-year-old me that I would be doing this in 20 years time, I would have checked what crazy mind-bending drugs I must have been taking.
Emerging from Backstage
Before I knew it, showtime was rapidly approaching so there was just about time to nip home for a quick shower, shave and…freshen up before it was back to the venue. (The Pavillion in Worthing really is an amazing building, stepped in theatre and music history. Did you know Jimi Hendrix & Cream played there? No, nor did I till that night)
The show went off seamlessly. For me and my old pal Vix, whose middle-aged birthday had just occurred, it like being kids in an indie flavoured sweet shop. Drinking pints of lager and singing along to the songs of our misspent youth, albeit in a much more refrained and civil manner to how we would have done back then I’m sure.
I think I must have a got a bit carried away because I know it was an acoustic and seated gig, but there was no stopping me. I was straight up to stage to get my groove on. What is it with people at seated gigs?, I looked around and saw a crowd singing back every word and moving like they had St Vitus Dance in their seats, but hardly any of them got up to dance. Is the dreaded fear of the dad-dance casting its evil spell again?
Here’s what the night looked like:
The gig ended, long after the crowd dispersed happy and smiley we set about the glamorous task of tidying and packing up all the equipment ready for the next gig. I then got asked the question “Did we want to come back to the hotel for a drink with the band?” Sorry, can I just check that again. Did I want to go back and hang out with the band? Well, what do you think I said.
The rest of night involved some beer, Simon Fowler and his Frank Spencer routine,
more beer and singing a Chas & Dave medley with one of these hairy-looking fellas.
As a rock & roll lifestyle goes I couldn’t handle it more than one night at a time with a huge gap in-between. But every now and again its lovely to remind yourself that as a dad that likes to dance, that there is a world, outside of Postman Pat and Paw Patrol:)
**** Nothing on the rider is true, however if I did tell you what was on there, the mundane nature of it might spoil the rock & roll mystery.