Man alive, Thursday night was a rush! In fact, the whole weekend has been a veritable roller coaster of emotions, alcohol and bare-faced cheek. Good grief. I can barely remember it to recount it.
Well… for those of you who don’t know, last Thursday I offered my long-dormant services as compere (that’s emcee, non-Brits!) at a John Peel Day tribute gig, featuring 15 acts and a remembrance speech by John Peel’s longtime friend Geoff Docherty. I don’t tend to get excited or nervous about anything until very soon before I have to do it. Consequently, by Thursday afternoon, reality was kicking in and I realised that I hadn’t formed any kind of a plan. Step in my amazing life coach, aob for a 20-minute emergency pep talk, who helped me sort my swirling thoughts into some kind of order, and I was raring to go. Raaaargh! So before we knew it Lucyann and I were drinking free wine and mingling with the acts in the green room. A green room! How rock and roll is that?!
The place was full to the rafters, which made it a lot less scary to get on the stage – a big crowd means you’re more likely to get some kind of a reaction! Geoff, our guest of honour, was running late, so it was left to me to kick proceedings off. Maaaan, it was ace! What was I worried about? As soon as I started I was loving it. It reminded me how and why I used to do it all those years ago, and I set about it with gusto, getting to know each act to glean material to work with, schmoozing and flirting like a good ‘un, and hopping up on stage to chat to the audience before each act as if they were my bezzie mates. It was exhausting – I think I was on the stage every 15 minutes for about five hours – but I got such a rush out of it. Holding the audience’s attention wasn’t always easy – people at the back tended to talk amongst themselves rather than listen, but I didn’t care cos I got a great buzz off pretty much everyone. I worked the audience a few times, promising them that my mate Pete would take his top off in exchange for loud applause. I made the mistake of looking at Pete while introducing Geoff Docherty, and introduced him as Pete Doherty, but turned it to my advantage and got a laugh out of it. I even got a little fan club – a couple of guys who told Roy they thought I was great and want me to host another night for them :-) So many of my friends were there, including Paolo whom I met in real life for the first time, and I’ve attached the photo to prove it! Paolo, thanks for coming to support me. You’re a very nice man! The acts rocked the house to the last man, and it was such a fitting tribute – John Peel would have loved it. We raised £500 on the door, plus a percentage of the enormous bar takings, plus a donation from the bar owner, plus any money we make when the CD of the night is released. The photos can barely even begin to show what a fantastic night it was. I’m still buzzing!
But the night ended in tragedy, and hereby lies my next tale… 9 years ago