Following a weekend that included two successful gigs and something approaching a living wage in the pocket (at least for a couple of days) we then had a fortnight with nothing in it.
A band needs to shooting out feelers for festivals soon after the New Year, so with Custard Cream starting gigging in May, the chances of being in the ‘outdoor calendar’ was pretty slim. These were always going to be quiet times.
Nige suggested we should get together as a trio (minus George, that is) and I concurred. Unfortuantely, I was away for one weekend and Angus another. So what about midweek?
Angus said no. To be fair, he had booked this time off when Nige had asked for dates when we were not available, but I felt certain that we could have found a couple of hours somewhere in between July 17th and August 10th… Apparently not. My turn to wrankle…
After this – and I need to add here that Nige and my attempts to get together for a two-man rehearsal also foundered – another ad hoc gig popped up at The Chequers in Marlow on August 16th. Then another at The Pub with No Name the week before (Noctor’s – now The Corner House), where I was now organising an open mic night. So that would be two gigs in my territory in one week. I was going to make as much noise as I possibly could.
Nige then found a gig in Reading on the 17th. August was really filling up… Then Angus came through with his now-(for us)-legendary email: “I might be asked to go horse riding on the 17th, and if I am, I would like to go, so I can’t do that gig.”
What?! Not: “I’m going horse riding, I told you I wouldn’t be around”, but “might be”. To say that I felt as though someone had hit me in the face with a shovel is not over-egging it. Might be?! Might be?!
Nige’s response was, to say the least, not diplomatic. I was sitting at home. Silently seething at this invasion of nonsense into our ever-burgeoning state of well being and self importance, when Nige fired from the hip in an email of no uncertain terms. He concluded with: “Fucking think about where exactly you really wanna be Angus!” I had to agree.
Angus’ response was to acknowledge the work Nige was putting in getting gigs, but pointed out that sometimes new unavailable dates would be added and Nige should contact him before confirming each new gig in order to avoid the embarrassment of having to pull out.
This seemed a little churlish on the face of it, but when you consider that Angus was never exactly prompt at replying – in fact a number of times, he needed prompting in order to get a reply from him – the tone was pretty condescending. I was purple with rage. God only knows what Nige thought.
The next day, Nige confirmed that he had cancelled the gig on the 17th and all but apologised for his email. I’m not sure why, but he was keen to get things back on an even and friendly keel…
Nige and I then corresponded and concluded that the only thing that had redeemed young Angus was the fact that he was obviously doing his homework and improving on a weekly basis… But we agreed that this was definitely ‘strike one’ for him.