The LIVE SOUND MIXING
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!!! Advisory Warning - this story contains adult language!!!
A SURFEIT OF LITTLE BOYS
The frankfurt's revenge
All Rights Reserved © 1996 Duncan R Fry
I did quite a few gigs in Deniliquin, in country NSW. It appeared to be a regular stop on the 'Nothing band going nowhere fast' country gig circuit.
This time it was a little weekend tour; Friday at Deniliquin, Saturday at Shepparton, home again on the Sunday. Not a bad trip as country gigs went, and you could still be home for Sunday lunch.
So Chris, who helped load, helped drive, did lights and generally lent a hand and I set off for the wilds of Deni, put the system together and awaited the band. Surprisingly enough, they arrived in plenty of time and were soon soundchecked and ready to go.
The band's first set went down well with the audience, and during the break Chris and I retired to the luxury of the Crew accommodation (two bunks, plus a table painted on the walls) for a quiet drink away from the crowd and cigarette smoke. We sat back on the bottom bunk, sipping on a Jack Daniels, with the disco blaring in the background. Gigs like this were one of the very few times that I would indulge in a drink - I certainly wasn't going to be driving anywhere that night!
One of the songs sounded vaguely familiar.
"Hey, isn't that one of the songs the band plays?" I asked.
"Yes, it sounds like it," he replied. "Jeez, it's a bit rough, isn't it, the DJ playing one of their songs. After all, he's got their song list in front of him."
Indeed, this was true. One of the first jobs at any of these gigs was to give the DJ a copy of the band's song list, so that he wouldn't play any of the same songs that the band would. To transgress this unwritten law was just not done, and on the rare occasions when it had been done, the DJ had often ended up packed into a road case and pushed down some stairs!
Still, I wasn't going to get too worked up over it - in fact, I couldn't really give a shit! Let the band worry about it, I thought, and settled back and sipped some more.
"Hey, this is another of the band's songs," exclaimed Chris as the next tune drifted in to us. "What's going on here?"
Realisation suddenly hit me like an ice pick in the forehead.
"Holy shit...that's not the disco...that's the fucking band playing!"
"Shit a brick" yells Chris, and we hurtled out of the room, down the corridor, and stood in the doorway of the main lounge, out of sight of the band. Sure enough, there they were, playing their little hearts out on stage, listening to themselves in the monitors and imagining that the crowd was listening too! Of course, there was only the unbalanced sound of their actual instruments and no vocals whatsoever. It sounded really bad - no wonder we thought it was the disco!
Chris and I crouched down on our knees and sneaked across behind the crowd to the mixing desk. Very slowly, and still kneeling down, I inched up the levels on the faders, so the sound gradually increased, until within a minute it was back up to normal ear bleeding levels again.
I changed from kneeling down behind the desk to being hunched over it, and the band continued on their merry way. I'm sure they didn't notice, as they never said a word about it, either then or later!
However, the evening was all down hill from there. Looking at the gig in retrospect, I think the major mistake the pub made was to serve bowls of small frankfurts with tomato sauce for supper, about half an hour before the end of the night. They were only complying with the law, of course, since at that time a pub was required to serve 'supper' if it was open past normal closing time.
This 'supper' was usually something quick, easy, and above all cheap. It was often just a bowl of chips (fries); this night it was small mini frankfurts, or 'little boys' as they are more commonly known. What with all that beer consumed, though, and everybody wanting to have a dance before the end of the night, it wasn't long before what went down had to come back up.
Pretty soon little piles of half digested frankfurts started appearing everywhere; on the tables, on the floor, back on the plates, on the shoes, and in the drinks! Someone even managed to land a couple of piles of frankfurt purée onto the multicore snake running down to the mixing desk, so three guesses as to who got to coil it up at pack up time!
"Oh, Chris, could you organise the multicore snake while I go and get the truck open, mate?"
"Yeah, no problems, Dunk," he said, and started coiling it up into its road case. Suddenly the 'frankfurt and beer surprise with digestive juice sauce' slipped through his fingers.
"Aagh, a pile of spew, aagh," he yelled, wiping his fingers on his jacket in a reflex action. "Aah shit, now I've got it on my jacket".
He turned around to see me pissing myself with laughter.
"You bastard, you knew that was there, didn't you!"
I was laughing so much I could only nod my head.
I don't think he's forgiven me yet!
This story first appeared in Connections magazine