I have a lot of crazy ideas, mainly because I don't like rejecting any that merely sound impossible before checking out whether they really are impossible. Now, for once, I and the amazing crazy friends I have actually followed through on one of these ideas, which led to an epic road trip weekend away.
It started in a smokey upstairs bar on the edge of a student's knowledge of Grahamstown, otherwise known as Slipstream. This venue has a small stage and dance floor that has been home to many an awesome band evening. There have been great nights spent with skanking Slovenians, dub-step dj's, and a local lark or two, to mention a few. Some bands love it so much they come back for more. Some fans (cough Something Epic cough) love the bands so much that one small gig in Grahamstown is not enough.
This is the setting, but we have not yet explained how we got there, and who we came to see. The bands on this particular evening were Kill the Messenger, and none other than the band that started it all - The Dead Will Tell (if you do not know this story, you will have to, um, ask. It's way too long for an aside). They were coming down from Joburg for another three gigs - one at SSS, and two in Port Elizabeth. It promised to be rad.
As should be expected, various obstacles arose to threaten the Weekend. The first of these was the fact that one of the original members of our group was missing. The second was that one of the original members of the band was missing. And the third was that Exams got in the way and both Sharlene and I would not be able to make one of the three nights - the Friday. Easily resolved problems, to be sure; they merely threatened to thwart a tradition before it was made. We could have our weekend, it could be Epic, but in a differently new way.
Ah, but what is an adventure if obstacles are so easily overcome? I mentioned impossibility. I am yet to fully explain why.
A missing guitarist from The Dead Will Tell was already a miserable contemplation. It happened to be the person that had spent the entire evening chatting to us, and the only one I had spoken to. I barely remembered any of the others, having only been to one of the three gigs. However, our misery was to be compounded by the news that the front vocalist would not be able to make it either. 2 out of 5 members of the band - that's practically half of them. And the vocalist happened to be the reason we (we being Sharlene) liked the band in the first place.
These issues, plus the looming exams and lack of funding, caused us to decide that a weekend away was not the best idea. We would see the two bands in Grahamstown, enjoy the show, and go home.
But before we get to where this story began (that smokey bar), there came another threat. On Monday evening I fell sick. It wasn't life or death, merely a cold, but the fact that I had a voice exam on Friday made me bundle myself in layers of warmth, gulp down vitamins, and hide from the outside world whenever possible. Come Thursday evening, the night of the Grahamstown Gig, I was almost recovered but not quite. Going out for the evening was definitely Not Wise.
So I compromised. I would meet up with the Crew for supper beforehand, then see them off to their musical pleasure, and retreat to my room to sleep. Steers was the rendezvous, and seven-thirty the hour of meeting.
Ah, but my carefully laid plans were thwarted, almost before they were made. I was trying my best to resist the contagious excitement (no, I wasn't), when Sharlene walked in. Well, actually she limped. Here follows her story:
You see, she also got sick that week. She also had a voice exam the next day (2 in fact). And to top it all off she had pulled ligaments in her back and legs. Yet here she was, ready for what was to be a crazy evening. How do you enjoy a gig when you cannot dance, and show your enthusiasm when you cannot scream? Ask Sharlene. Pro.
So with a generous amount of guilt and FOMO heaped upon my head, I made the decision to go anyway, and suffer the consequences. And boy am I glad I did.
So, FINALLY, we arrive at the beginning - that smokey bar on the edge of Town. It is here that the real adventure begins.
But, consequently, we also arrive at the end of this blog post. The rest of the story will have to wait for another day.
(p.s. this blog post is for sharlene. cuz, you know, blogspot captcha thinks she's cool like that :)