Good Ol’ Country Music

"Hey Roadie!  Set up two more mic's and find three hairbrushes, NOW!"

“Hey Roadie! Set up two more mic’s and find three hairbrushes, NOW!”

Last weekend the Gladstone Country Music Club hosted its’ fifth annual Country Music Festival, and they gave me another gig as a roadie.  Which, considering they’d already seen me in action at previous festivals, was very kind of them.

So I spent the weekend onstage, moving microphones, tripping over leads, mixing up the music sheets, explaining to the band how I would have played each song, and telling the sound tech’s what they were doing wrong.  Even though my advice was politely ignored, the show still managed to run smoothly!

It’s great standing in the wings watching the contestants give their all, whether they’re eight or eighty.  But the real magic happens when things don’t quite go to plan; particularly when it isn’t my fault.

The first time I saw that magic was a couple of years ago when a woman stepped up to the microphone, warbled the first verse of her song, then forgot the rest of the words.  Horror stricken, she stood mute in front of a crowd of hundreds, tears filling her eyes.  Then someone in the front row started singing, and one by one, the rest of the audience joined in until we were all yodelling along.

Now, I can’t recall the song, or the lady’s name, but I certainly remember the look of relief on her face, and how the atmosphere in the hall wondrously changed.  Suddenly no one was thinking of judging her song, what she was wearing, or how she compared to the other contestants.  As a group we had helped a friend in distress, and in doing so, had gone from watching a competition to participating in a special event.

And this year there were a couple of similar memorable magical moments; it’s the only contest I know of where just participating makes you feel like a winner.

And speaking of winners, thanks to my enthusiastic efforts this year, I’ve been promoted to the role of Backstage Director of Static Porcelain Systems; I’m not sure what that is yet, but I’ve been equipped with a long handled brush and a free can of air freshener!

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