Friday, June 21, 2013

I remember when I first saw The Stantons play and I was a little bit awe-struck that people that I knew were part of such a thing and could make such a lovely noise. Not only make, in fact, but they had created it to boot as they write it all themselves.

The gig came to an end. I expect a few drinks were had. The pub endeavoured to shut us out. The band - these rare music-making creatures - decant their stuff into the street. And I loitered like a groupie, not quite daring to speak to Them because They were in The Band.

Fast forward to last night's dress rehearsal. I still haven't really spoken to The Band beyond Neil and Fraser aside from barking general orders at the assembled company to get things up and running. (One hour and six, boys and girls. Speed it up!) And I'm still slightly concerned that they're all sitting there through the talking bits thinking WTF, can they not just skip ahead to the next song?

But we're dithering about before we start and I boldly speak to one of Them.

My opening gambit: "Hi. We haven't really met properly but I'm Claire."

(He acknowledges that this is so.)

"I was just wondering if you might wear a dark hat instead of a light one but I hear you have a really big fat head so I don't know if it'll be possible to get you one."

(Oh, Claire. Nice to meet you too.)

The dress rehearsal begins. The band sound lovely. The drummer even does a magical little thing in the thingummy bit that made Larry stop in his tracks when he first was introduced to it but commendably, lolloped on through it last night.

And we finish. They finish. And I launch - poor things - into three pages of notes including - audacity - a brave direction for the band. And eventually - poor things - I stop speaking and we pack up and leave the warehouse which I now unquestioningly love irrespective of its rickety deficiencies.

And the drummer suddenly appears behind me, says "it's looking really good". And I stare back at him like a mute fish thinking "but it's so much down to you (all)." And I stutter something idiotic about how I've always loved really loved their music and I manage to hold back from sounding like a complete fool and talking about the honour - the privilege - of it but really, this is what I'm thinking.

And Alex in his - outfit - is climbing into his car having got up at 3am to fly back from France for this. And Cassi swishes her giant hair and her jewels into her car. Helenka's net skirt is back in the suitcase, clown shoes are in the back seat, the buttons are weighing me down and the band's instruments are all shut away, waiting to play another day. And I'm thinking wow and wow again.

So Saturday, tomorrow, 22 June, I must remember to find some excuse, some reason to say to someone who doesn't know: "hi, I'm Claire. And I'm with the band."


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