So yesterday I took to the stage in Oxford with half my hearing and a wrist screaming complaints.
I better explain.
This week I attended the future of the left show at the ULU, unwittingly sans earplugs, which were only missed by the time it was too late to recover them. No real problem there, I've been to gigs unguarded before, but in this instance my ears were blown clean away, standing as I was in front of the guitar amp of the guitarist in a band known for having very loud guitars. (Falco himself these days sporting the kind of short back and sides that a PE teacher would be proud of, and only 4 strings adorning his custom-destroyed 6-string).
After a heroic performance in goal last Sunday I also took a direct hit to the wrist, the very same wrist which, last May, I hurt during a 5-a-side tournament where I was voted man of the tournament and promptly passed out from the pain in a bus lane in Reading town centre later that evening. No such passing out this time around, merely tons more pain as i crushed it and crunched it in various positions at tuesday's gig. Also at the show was Steve Lamacq, though anytime i was anywhere near him he was deep in conversation, whereas Jay (Newton - Full Force Gales, Heartwear Process, Broken Tail) later sauntered up to him and grabbed a few words, thankfully two of which were "thank you". In shame at my failure to talk to him myself, I have since written him a letter which he'll get in triplicate later this week.
Yes, in triplicate.
The gig was of course fantastic, and support Pulled Apart By Horses were great, though Paul (Smith) would later mark them down for looking like they intended to smash their instruments and then not doing it, leading him into the realms of disappointment. Anyway, less fantastic was the complete failure of my hearing to return, leading me to believe I am suffering permanent damage. The damage to my wrist isn't so bad, unless it's carpel tunnel. This entire backstory led me onto the TEAM GAMES stage at Oxford's Thirst Lodge, a bar on a Friday night, to be drowned out by conversationists by the time i'd even struck the first note. Sometimes you can't win, but i can do without the pain and confusion of my own body rebelling against me.
The day, naturally, was rescued by the kindness and generosity of the people who travelled to say hello; Mike and Friend From Work Whose Name I Forgot, Phil Makepeace and Hugh, who gave us a place to sit around post-gig to discuss random things (to, i believe, the dismay of his hall-mates), Jacqui for making the trip down and swinging by Reading on the way home and a couple of members of my family for the same, and to Sky and TEAM GAMES for making me a cake. No promoter has made me a cake before, though Mike did have some made for the crowd once.
As I wander through oxford i realise i am piecing together the geography now, and i can go from A to B to C to D, as long as i do them in that order. It's curious how much i'd like to live there, for the vibrancy of a city that, whilst obviously smaller than London, i think would be able to provide more of a home.
Something to think about perhaps.
If only i could think through this tinitus.