At 6pm I became very nervous about the gig tonight. Our friends had come round and were coming to the show. Nora and Clay (wife and son) were also thinking of coming, as was Andy's son Dylan and his wife Jo. Now Clay has never seen me play before and I kind of felt that the environment was maybe a bit too adult and even though it is an acoustic show, the sound might be too loud, even with his ear protectors. And seeing me do this totalIy weird thing might scare him, might blew a fuse in his beautiful new brain. He just knew me as Papa afterall.
Anyways my friend Josh picked me up at our place and we drove up a little earlier than usual.
Sat around before the show until Andy arrived. Jo and Dylan had fallen asleep at their hotel so I called Nora to tell her but she said she was going to walk our friends to the venue and then make a decision on it...see how he was feeling.
In the meantime, Andy and I rehearsed New Amsterdam in a big room on a grand piano. Then our managers came in and asked if someone could come back and say hello. "Who?" I said, having asked for folks to come after the show for a visit instead of before. "He's about this height..." gesturing to about 2 and a half feet off the ground. "Clayyyy..."
So he came in and we played and chatted and then it was time for the show. I just assumed he was going home. Nora had gone to say goodbye to our friends and then Clay with our manager, wandered off as I waited to go on stage.
The first 4 songs of the set were great and ran smoothly. My between song talking was the steadiest it had been on the Joes run. Then in the silence between bending down to pick up my towel, I heard this familiar voice break through the silence. " Brown Teddy do it..."
Arrhgghh!! It was himmm... He was there...
"Is that you darling?" I said. "Yes?" he called back. "Are you ok?" I queried "Yes?" " "Are you having a nice time" "Yes" matteroffactly.
The audience was now laughing and turing round to see where this wee voice was coming from. Thankfully he was unfazed.
So the gig continued and every few songs he piped up with a " Hello Papa..." after one interlude he treated the audience to his rendition of Billy Jean. It was very very cool.
Then after we played Last Train he shouted over the end of the applause "Papa?" "Yes?" "Stop singing now." The room erupted. "Did you not like that one?" I asked "No. Clay want to go home now... Clay want to go home with you and mama" More laughter from everyone...
Now I was looking at the set and thinking "Shit, there's 5 songs left..." 'Ok" I said. "If you wait one more song there is a song you'll really like..." "Ok" he said.
So we played New Amsterdam and then I introduced My Eyes with my usual please don't take pictures of the next slides announcement and then showed the slides which he liked. Especially the last one. I explained that after a long romance with Grandmaster Flash he was now enjoying Michael Jackson and at the end of My Eyes I recited the first verse of The Message and everyone sang the chorus loudly... He loved this. I could see him in the shadows, bopping. Then we played two more songs and that was that. No requests at the end tonight. I had to meet my upstager backstage. We had the biggest hug after and I asked him if he had enjoyed it and he said yes. I had the best show ever too. I think maybe the best Travis show I ever attended.
This morning he didn't mention the show at all apart from just before he woke he said in his sleep "Not that song Papa..."
LOVED THE SHOW! Who charges so little for tickets for such a small venue and spends hours with fans singing, chatting, meeting, and greeting? For this, these guys are coolest. In it for all the right reasons- for the love of music and connecting with those who love their music! Though I would've loved to hear a few requests, it was pretty special to be a part of the audience while Clay experienced his 1st gig.
Still, I am confused with one thing: SING... so did it come along b/c of Nora or b/c of swing, swing, swing?