Of course I waited until the last minute to prepare for the event. In the afternoon, I went down to RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, for you non-Londoners) down on Malet Street to set things up, and, gasp, to see if they had a PA system that would suit our needs.
After checking the equipment, I then went to Goodge street station to meet, for the first time, my cellist for the evening, Katie Ross. She seemed very nice.
We then went back to RADA and practiced in their closet for an hour, going through ‘Charge of the Bald Crediteers,’ as well as ‘April Breeds the Cruellest Moths,’ and ‘Idle Sounds.’
Katie picked it all up rather quickly because she is a superstar cellist from the Royal Academy, e-vun.
It was a mid-August day, so it was really hot in the closet, and, yes, it was a little odd to be in such close proximity with a perfect stranger and playing music, then performing it in front of a packed house. But we did all that stuff.
My ol’ friend Ian Pugh showed up, which was completely amazing. He was visiting from the States to give a paper at Oxford. Nice one.
Kim was out there, minding the front door, wonderfully taking money from people for copies of The Howler. We sold 30. Ah. We’re such capitalist pigs.
John Constable and Niall McDevitt played very well, as did Christopher Twigg and his band, all of whom were featured in the issue.
Niall ended the evening by abandoning stage and mics and somewhat refreshingly strolling around the audience’s seats as he played, like a wandering troubadour of old, a la de Ventadorn.
So it went off whithout a hitch, surprisingly. Packed house. Happy bar staff. I even saw some people (besides Ian) whom I had not seen in ages. My friend from the Wellcome (and Shakespearean scholar) Erin Sullivan showed up, as did a lot of long-lost London Consortiumites.
It was great to see everyone again.