Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 23 2007

Sappho gig

Slim ties Sandman's gold bowtie at Sappho before the gig.I was exhausted from editing by the time David, Sandman and Conor showed up at my door at 4pm on Saturday. While it was good to have company, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to make it through a show that started at 10:30pm and lasted into the wee hours of the morning, as is our wont. Slim called and said he couldn’t make the pre-gig practice, and Thumper was in Kaohsiung, so we ran through a few of the horn pieces until we were more or less satisfied everyone remembered how they went.

After packing up and heading over to Athula’s for a rotti dinner, it began to sprinkle. I went to the local shop and picked up a new washtub, and Athula helped me poke a hole in the bottom with a piece of metal heated on his grill. In addition to the rotti, I also got a beef kebab and tossed all the gritty bits at one of the local dogs. David and I then caught a cab to Sappho while Sandman and Conor waited for Jojo to drive them.

Sappho is, simply put, 1977. Or rather, what I imagined that year and we drove past lounge bars with the word “DISCO” in lights above the door on rainy Houstonian nights. The crystal motif permeated the place, and all the surfaces were shiny with a distinct lack of right angles. Even the music was appropriate to the era. I tried and failed to capture the brown tones and funky barstools with my camera.

We threw our stuff in a side lounge and started setting up as the other Ramblers began showing up. Slim took a while tying Sandman’s gold bow tie, resulting in the picture above. We got two free drinks. My first was the worst rum and coke I’ve ever had. The second was the worst ginger ale and whiskey, but slightly better than the rum and coke. But they did the job. Plus the Panadol I took for the oncoming migraine I was feeling, or rather, seeing in the form of bright lights flashing across half my field of vision.

There was only a small crowd when we began playing, and only one of them had a suitable hairstyle. From what I understand the bands there usually only start after 11pm. Playing 20’s and 30’s music in a 70’s lounge bar was a little strange, a feeling enhanced by the fact that the sound was muddled and far away sounding. We couldn’t hear ourselves very well. The sound guy took our name literally, I’m thinking. The bass was muffled and faint most of the time, yet managing to emit loud booms now and then. The small crowd was growing, and everyone was trying to talk over us. It wasn’t a very good set.

The second set was much better, however. The sound guy figured out what he was doing, and the crowd got into the music, even dancing on the lighted octagonal floor tiles. We played for quite a while. It was about 2am when we stopped. I was still conscious, but my feet were dragging. Fortunately Sandman and Jojo gave me a ride back to Bitan so I wouldn’t have to deal with a cab ride.

posted by Poagao at 2:10 pm  

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