Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Best Moment in His Career As an Amateur Musician

Chantelle and her BFF Suzannah, with a z, were going to chill with this fit DJ Suzannah had met the week before, but then he texted her to say that him and his mate were like running late. The girls, who’d already that evening had half the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended maximum weekly intake of alcohol, amuse themselves a while taking sultry selfies, but then decide it might be a giggle to go up the road to the well scuzzy old Queen’s Arms and give some of its downmarket clientele a taste of real glamour.

As they walk in, making every male head turn with their extremely short skirts and thigh-high stiletto boots and, in Chantelle’s case, eyebrows she’d spent 45 minutes getting just right (those stencils Boots were selling are well dodgy even for someone who hadn’t had a tall vodka and orange before she even started. 

The band, for which the Arms are a second home, notice the girls too. The youngest of them is 58. Three of the four of them have grey ponytails. Two of them have bald spots on top, and Mick, the drummer, has shaved his head because he’s mostly bald spot. They play the blues, for a lot of reasons. It would have been unseemly to play current pop hits, Taylor bloody Swift or the little girl whose concert in Manchester that mad Muslim cunt bombed. The blues are easy, and everyone in the band had been playing every song in their repertoire for decades, so they didn’t have to do a lot of tedious rehearsing before they started earning a bit of dosh. And people — or at least a certain sort of person — never seem to tire of Smokestack Lightnin’ and Hootchie Cootchie Man. None of the band has ever come even close to making a living as a muso. 

Derek, the singer and harmonica player, has been married from the age of 19. His wife Eugenie stopped coming to his gigs by the time he was 22. She likes Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour, but not Howlin’ Wolf or Muddy Waters. Dez was terribly shy as a child and teenager, and married Genie largely because he couldn’t imagine getting anyone better. She’d never really got his jokes, and had no sense of humour of her own. Their sex wasn’t very good, though for the first couple of years she was willing to wear tnaughty attire Dez enjoyed buying her in sex shops. 

But that, of course, was decades ago. The couple barely even spoke anymore. They’d eat dinner in virtual silence, and then head in their separate directions for the balance of the evening, Dez to his little study in the attic to watch shemale porn (he was straight, but found the shemale stuff more exciting than standard porn) and Eugenie to the lounge, there to watch the soaps she’d recorded earlier in the day, or programmes about people even more obese than herself. 

Back at the Queen’s Arms, Chantelle has necked her fourth vodka and orange in the past two hours, and says to Suzannah, “Let’s pull the singer,” as Dez’s band waits for Jimmy, the guitar player, to change his A string. Suzannah’s like appalled at first, but then gets the joke, and the two girls move to a table right in front of the band. Chantelle bats her huge false eyelashes, which she has to order specially from ebay, at Dez, and makes sure he gets a good view of her cleavage. He doesn’t dare believe his eyes, but over the course of “Got My Mojo Workin'”, there ceases to be any doubt about this very hot…what’s that word?…hottie seeming to fancy him. After the song ends, Tommy, the extremely self-confident bass player, whispers in Dez’s ear, “If you’re not having that, mate, you can be bloody sure I am.” Dez spends the next song, the last of the group’s second set, wishing he had some brandy in him.

But he worries needlessly, for Chantelle pops up the moment he announces the band will return in 15 minutes, and asks if her and her mate can buy him a drink. She sends her mate to fetch the pint of Carling he requests and they sit down, Chantelle taking a very long time to get her pretty legs crossed, and causing some stirring in a part of Dez’s anatomy he hasn’t used for anything more glamorous than peeing the last nine-plus years. “Your band is mega,” she says. He’s pretty sure that means she likes it. This might be the best moment in his career as an amateur musician. 

But then her mate returns, talking on her phone. She excitedly tells Chantelle, “They’ve finally got there. They’re waiting for us at the Le Radis. Come on.” As quickly as it began, Dez’s dream is over.  Twelve minutes later, his band begin their final set of the evening, to an audience of four, not counting bar staff. 

No comments:

Post a Comment