Fat Fighters, The Debut Gig.

Wednesday evening saw the debut gig from Fat Fighters. We’ve been in rehearsals since January and built up a catalogue of about 2 hours of material.

Fat Fighters

Soon after we started rehearsing we secured a booking at Bilston’s Robin 2, a great venue that most of us have played previously in various other bands (Jason & I together in Queen On Fire a few years ago).

We met up after lunch to load the last few bits of gear into the van before making our way over, discovering our first problem of the day – our secret weapon, the Marshall Snack, wouldn’t fit in the van with the rest of us, so rather than all going together in one vehicle, we had to take a car as well. As it turned out, this turned out to be somewhat of a blessing for Alex and Bren – the rest of us got caught in traffic as soon as we left the M6, after a lorry shed its load. We were about 5 minutes from the venue at this point, aiming to arrive for a 4:30 load in. We finally arrived at 6:00… A phone call to Alex and Bren meant they avoided the traffic and arrived a good hour before the rest of us, so were able to keep the venue updated on our progress.

Taylor Porkins and Chris Schnitzel en route to the Robin.

A very rapid load in preceded an equally rapid soundcheck. Fortunately everything went smoothly at this point, thanks in no small part to resident engineer Bill and our engineer for the evening (and future?) Sean Lloyd. We evacuated the stage and allowed the support band, Manchester’s Freedom Of The City to set up, soundcheck and get a short break before the audience arrived and they could play.

They put in a great set to a receptive audience and in no time it was our turn to take to the stage. The intro tape started playing and we followed one another onto stage, plugging in and switching on our various pieces of equipment. I turned up my amp and got a wild squealing. I switched it off and on again (the easiest way to fix any piece of technology), but it still squealed. Panic as I realised I may have a little trouble – the intro tape ended and Jason counted in for us to start, but I still had no sound. I couldn’t even turn my amp down and allow the PA to produce my sound as it was still squealing. Alex shouted over my ear, “use your cable, forget the wireless!”

I quickly re-wired, but still the same problem. It wasn’t the wireless. Finally I plugged straight into the amp, missing out my pedal board, and success. As a result of this problem, the first few songs were a blur as I played while figuring out whether the lack of effects would cause a problem through the gig. It shouldn’t, but still it put me on the backfoot.

Four or five songs in we stopped to introduce the Marshall Snack to the audience – the stack next to my bass amp is actually a fridge, stocked with beer, sausage rolls, doughnuts and other goodies. We threw some of the tuck out to the audience before cracking into the next number, while Alex wandered through the crowd with food for everyone.

Marshall Snack

With the audience fed we started relaxing more, the set really starting to flow. We designed the set to include some of the big hits as well as a few of the lesser known fan favourites and every song seemed to go down as well as the last.

In no time we reached the last few songs and it was soon time to leave the stage to let the crowd scream for more. Fortunately they didn’t disappoint and Bren returned to sing Everlong as a solo piece. Behind him I crossed the stage dressed in a towel to grab a snack from the fridge, then turned, feigning shock when I saw the audience. I ran off again to hastily get changed in time to miss my cue for the end of the song…

We finished with Best Of You to a great round of applause, took our bows and left.

All in all, we consider the gig a success. It didn’t pass without its faults, but none was large enough to ruin the evening. ¬†Tomorrow evening we’ll be getting together to watch a video of the show so we can see exactly how it went…

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