Last night was the Marquee Club staff party. It all took place downstairs in Hell’s Kitchen and featured gifts, amazing food, tons of free booze, backroom hijinks and live entertainment by The Mellotones.
There were lots of people there. The Marquee Club has a staff of probably seventy-five or eighty people, each of whom were allowed one guest, and then there was the usual assortment of shadowy figures and hangers-on.
One of the bouncers came up to me and said, “Man, I don’t know half the people here.” I pointed out that half the people there were guests. He said, “Hey, you’re right!” and walked away with the twin lights of epiphany burning in his slightly reddish eyes.
Since I am the Hell’s Kitchen sound tech, I got to mix the band. That means while the rest of you were boozing it up, I was working. ‘Sallright though. I still got to have some fun. I wore a suit and tie to the event (surprise!) and danced around at the sound console with my hot young vixen of a date.
The night got less fun when my date finally left and yet it looked like the band were poised to play all night long.
Sometime after 4am, it looked like the boys were going to wrap it up. They left the stage and I went to start tearing down. I had shut off the monitor amp, unplugged a couple wedges and pulled all the lines out of the snake when two members of the band came up and said, “Hey, we’ve decided to get up and play another set.”
This posed a bit of a problem, as I had no way of knowing which cable had been pulled from which input of the snake. They said, “Oh, it doesn’t matter man, we’re not too fussy at this point.”
So I plugged the thirteen cables back into the snake at random and got back to the console and tried to figure out which channel was which as the band started up again. It was uggg-lee.
I managed to find the lead vocal and get it going and then worked on the other instruments. I had to loosen my tie for this one.
It occurred to me that I was at a party, and yet this situation was more stressful than anything that had happened recently in my normal working life.
The band had told me it would only be a short set. However, it turned into a drunken free-for-all jam session.
At 5am I mentally washed my hands of the whole mess. I was tired and my head was starting to hurt. I had lost the urge to drink, which means for me that the party is over.
I pushed up all the faders, turned down the monitors, slammed a compressor over the master outputs and turned around and walked out of the bar.