I had to leave college early today. It’s our first ever gig, and I had to get back to Glasgow in time! Just like yesterday, I couldn’t keep still or stop grinning in class. I was so excited.
I dashed home, changed, grabbed my stuff and got on the train. Unfortunately it was the Long Train. I missed the repeated warning that this was the long journey to Glasgow. I had been stressing out about which train to get. I had heard the announcement, but assumed it was about a different train. My Auditory Processing Difficulties had made it unclear.
When the ticket inspector came through the carriage, he assumed I hadn’t been paying attention and had missed the announcement because I was listening to my iPod. He said this to me. I had put my iPod on after the announcements and the train started moving. Like usual, I had my iPod turned down low so that I didn’t damage my hearing, and could listen to the music while hearing what went on around me. I told him that I had hearing issues. I don’t like it when people assume that I’m not listening, although gradually more and more nowadays with the band and music on my mind and Drums, I’m not.
My friends gave me a lift from their house to Paisley Bungalow, where we were playing our first gig. We were second last on the list pinned to a support pillar in the room, and waited ages. I was still really nervous, and I had no idea what to expect from the drum kit on stage. I hoped it would be easy to play.
I wish I could write more about what happened with the whole band, but panic made me self-centred.
The first problem was that I hadn’t brought a snare. The snares on a shelf beside the stage were old, holed, or didn’t make a snarey sound because the levers were broken. The staff lent me a good snare from the office. Going out on stage to put my cymbals onto the stands was scary. I didn’t look at the people in the room, but imagined them watching me. It was partly nerves, but the kit felt weird. I didn’t take time to adjust it properly, something I will make sure I do next time. This made playing feel awkward, and the bass drum started to slide away halfway through a song. One of my friends and a member of staff came to my rescue and shoved it back into place mid-song.
It wasn’t really the equipment’s fault. Although drumming is my passion, I am very inexperienced.
The songs are amazing. I love playing them. But I struggled with the beat.
You know that feeling when you’re pumped full of adrenaline and time seems to go in slow motion? I was freaking out and unintentionally took us to a fast punk rock tempo. It was a slow song, but strangely I was worried that I wasn’t playing fast enough. They were so good about it though. We all made mistakes although at the time, my mistakes seemed really bad. After the gig (which flew by, no thanks to me) we had chips and they took me back to my parents house. It was too late for the train back to Edinburgh, so I stayed over in Glasgow tonight, coming down from possibly the most exciting night of my life, which had seemed like a blur.
It was our first gig. Of course it didn’t go perfectly. For a first gig, it was good. It may not have seemed like it at the time, but busking had helped a lot. Without it I would have had no chance.
Next time will be easier, and hopefully there will be many next times. I would love to earn money for playing music with some of my favourite people in the world. That would be a dream come true.