Friday, December 18, 2009

Gig Review

Joe Gideon (of Joe Gideon and the Shark) stood on the stage and looked out at the audience, grinning his guilty grin and apparently feeling no pressure to use this time to tune his guitars. We stood near the front of the crowd and looked back at him.

A group of three young women moved in front of us, each no more than five feet and one inch tall. I am myself strikingly short (so short, in fact, that when recently I asked a friend for what proportion of the people I know did he estimate that I am the shortest fully-grown man they know he replied, "Sixty per cent," and added that I am the shortest man he knows). Being faced with this group of even shorter people was exciting.

I turned to my friend and said, "Watch me tower over these girls." I raised my nose high into the air and waved it around. I squinted and looked down my nose at the young women as if struggling to perceive them through many layers of cloud.

The woman closest to me turned around in a flutter of long dark eyelashes. She confronted me with large brown eyes and said, "I'm sorry, I'm standing in your way." I began attempting to communicate the idea that she was not obscuring my view and that really she was causing me no problem at all. I did this by flapping my hands about and shaking my head. I used more hand gestures accompanied by low grunting to indicate that she was actually positioned somewhat to the left of the portion of my field of vision that I required for a comprehensive view of the performers.

She turned to face the front again and at once my mind was awash with sparkling quips and visions of the prosecco-fuelled four-in-a-bed romps that would have naturally followed the successful deployment of any one of those sparkling quips.

This fantasy faded to be replaced by the grim conviction that my breath stank. Putrid swamp-coloured air seeped from my mouth and coiled around the slender neck of the woman who had spoken to me.

At length my thoughts turned to Stephen Fry. Most probably he has been offered an OBE or knighthood, I thought. Why has he turned it down? Not modesty: what modesty is left to a man who was willing to have BBC Four devote two nights to his hagiography. Some objection to being associated with Empire then or some darker malevolence – no need for a paltry knighthood when you plan to seize the crown itself with an army of QI fans.

A reign of fruity epigrams; of mothers smashing the noses of their sons so that they better resemble the King; and of a nation bankrupted by gratuitous over-investment in Radio Four panel shows.

Joe Gideon and the Shark began to play – a song about love in the snake house.
blog comments powered by Disqus