Contrary to popular belief, I'm not really an angry person. Sure, the music is angsty and i'll deliver it with conviction, but whatever happens in-song, mid-song, onstage is fair game. Hell, you could write a song about the audience being cannibals; they'll still sing along if you give it a catchy chorus line. There's no harm done.
But recently, having sat been at the front for up-and-comer Jay Newton's quiet set, only to hear cackling at private jokes from the very back of a venue no bigger than most people's living rooms, I'll admit to being a little hot-blooded when the same pattern emerged after just one song of my set. The live room is tiny and quiet; the bar is next door. I inform them of these things and invite them to fuck off.
The crowd cheer.
To my surprise there's no rebuke, merely some shadowy figures making for the exit during the second song, but I feel uneasy. Post-burst, and still able to hear them from the bar next door, I try and blame my confrontational tactic on watching too much of Stewart Lee's superbly, dryly-deadpan Comedy Vehicle, though the real reason is likely to be a) i have a new haircut and i never like it for the first two weeks, b) i have my first crown and it feels like someone has jammed a tooth-shaped, expensive and shit cue ball into my mouth, c) i cannot relax because i have to go and DJ at an indie disco immediately post-set, d) i have a new phone and the buttons are so small i feel like i might have taken the first step to being unable to communicate with the youth of today, though it's most likely e) i've been reading too many of Falco's venemously-excellent Future of the Left blogs.
I remember far too late post-profanity that some friends have bought their small child along and, to round off a good evening, I punt a balloon from the stage into the audience as I launch into the set closer and look up expecting to see final-song revelry, only to see said balloon on its way back off a nice lady called Linda who has come to see me, who would probably have dodged it with deft skill and/or fired it straight back at me were she not registered blind and unable to see it coming.
I only hope the broad smile on my face, frozen there from pre-kick, belies collossal embarrassment and not amusement.
I have to get out of Reading.