Last night Archie had a gig at The Piano Room in Kings Cross.
The preparation for the 30-minute set had been going on for a week with Archie attending uni by day and not coming home at night. ‘I’m rehearsing mum. And it could get pretty late so I might stay the night here or I could go to Webb’s’.
‘What are you doing for food, Archie?’
‘Well I’ve got a bit of cash’.
‘But won’t you need that to buy your lunch tomorrow?’
‘Oh yeah. Yeah that’s a point. Well it’s okay because I’ve got a mate working in a bar and he can get me free drinks’.
‘But that’s not food, Archie’.
‘Don’t worry, mum. I’ll be fine, honestly’.
‘But why do you need to rehearse so much when you already know your set-list?’
‘Mum, my double-bass player is overseas so she won’t be there so I’ve got this mate and he’s got a mate who plays the mandolin. Isn’t that cool? Don’t you just love the sound of a mandolin. It’s so awesome. So he’s said he’ll support me on Saturday night so I’ve got to rehearse with him. It’ll be great mum, it’s a great sound’.
So with very little cash but a lot of free drinks and a mate’s mate with a mandolin, Archie spent the week not coming home.
But he did come home Friday night.
Walked in on my dinner party.
With two other mates.
And they were hungry.
And they ate all the macaroni and cheese I’d made for Alfie. And they ate the chips. And the caramel fudge and the strawberries and the chocolate, almond and date torte I’d made for my guests. ‘Best dessert ever, mum’. And everything was all the better for having been swallowed down with the red wine I’d foolishly left in the kitchen and then they went to the beach to watch the moon and the stars and be poetic.
But they came back. And they stayed the night. And there was a body on the couch in the lounge and another one was on a fold-out mattress. They slept until noon, ran through the set-list then asked for a lift to the station. ‘We’ve got so much to carry, mum’.
So I took them to the station then organised to get myself to the gig.
I asked Carl to bring our pocket camera that is small but takes great photos, especially with low-light. After a futile search and a lot of yelling out of, ‘Who’s seen the camera?’ we left without it. We arrived early and the venue is so dark you need a guide dog. Archie introduced us to some blacked out figures who were the mandolin player and the guy doing backing vocals.
As soon as Archie began his set the room was suddenly filled with 13 heavily armed policemen and sniffer dogs honing in on people’s bags. I believe that after last week’s murder the police are letting the public know they are out in force. I had expected them to be out on the streets but didn’t think they would wander up to a venue on the first floor to interrupt a performance complete with their dogs. But Archie sang on regardless.
At that moment I asked Carl to take some photos so with my i-phone that is pathetic in low-light he moved to the front of the stage and held the camera up to Archie to take a few shots. That was when Archie leaned into the microphone (with a row of armed policemen standing behind him) and said, ‘Don’t worry, that’s not a paedophile, that’s just my dad’.
Isn’t that good to know!
So the gig went well and Archie was very pleased and then Carl and I left the Cross because the statistics are that only 4% of people visiting the Cross are over 40. We four-per-centers needed to head back to our own part of town.
Next Saturday night we’ll be watching Archie perform at The Roxbury Hotel in Glebe. A venue where we might see some people our own age.
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