Last night can be summed up in just 2 words.
Not the main show. The main show was fine. Good even. No it was after the main show.
Allow me to go into detail. We had finished the show and were due to go and do a short 10 minute set for Max and Ivan at the ROFFLE club. A good fun gig we'd been looking forward to, so we finished our show and were ready to head over.
Problem was Paul wasn't in a good way at all. Now Paul is a drip at the best of times and has a tragic allergy to anything that may be construed as fun but in fairness to him he genuinely did look a mess. A hideous mess. So we decided that, with another late night slot to do after tonights show too, the best thing to do would be to send him home with a hot water bottle (we dont have one) and a warm mug of horlicks (we didn't have any of this either).
I confidently said to the boys "Oh don't worry, I can cover Paul in Danny Boy (Funeral scene where Paul does some amazing singing) and Craig (Office scene where Paul hops around in a thong)." We all nodded and off we went.
I knew pretty quickly after we'd started that this wasn't going to plan. As soon as we stepped on stage to do Wrestler Dad my voice was on the way out. No problem. I'll grab a microphone before Danny Boy and do it on mic to make it fly without pushing myself.
That is not what happened at all.
What happened is out came the microphone and I attempted to sing every note apart from the appropriate ones. In fact not even sing. Scream. Shout. Wail. What should have been 20 seconds of me singing seemed to stretch on for about 15 minutes as I stared out over an audience of horrified 19 year olds. All looked entirely unimpressed. Some actually looked scared. I think one of them may have been crying.
So onwards through to the end of the song and the lights go out and we move to the next sketch. It's ok I keep thinking to myself, not a lost cause yet. We can win them back still. And we tried our damndest to do just that. And I think we were on course to at least escape from the gig with some dignity intact when we got to the last sketch.
The sketch where Paul, with his wonderfully bizarre body, prances around the stage in just a thong pulling all manner of unusual shapes before we hit one of our best punchlines.
It's a banker.
We were all over it. The scene starts well enough. People at the bar were talking a little loudly but not to worry, Paul's gonna come out in a second and everyone will laugh at the carefully prepared moves he does.
Except Paul wasn't there. Which meant that Paul's weird body wasn't there. No. What we had instead was me. In a thong. With messed up hair to make me look 'wacky'.
It. Was. Excruciating.
Rather than "Ooh look at the weird guy with the thong and the weird body" we had "Why is that normal looking guy wearing a thong and what is he doing?"
I know. I'll go into the audience and interact with them as this weird creature thing I'm playing...
There was to be no audience participation. I even got thrown off a guys lap who was having none of it. The guy was a bloody peoples champion for that!
I tried to stagger through to the end of the sketch and get back on stage as the wall of apathy otherwise known as the audience shifted uncomfortably and waited for us to just get on with it.
Out came Matt for the big punchline. He delivered the line like the pro he is and...
We turned and ran and never looked back.
Moral of this story is there are certain scenes that certain people have to do. They all seem to have been written by Paul and for Paul.