What do you when the bass player isn’t going to arrive until halfway through the first set, and the drummer realises he’s left all his cymbals at home? This was the challenge facing me (and drummer Trevor) as we prepared to start our gig at a local restaurant last night. I’ve had a residency at this place for pushing 15 years and have been doing it as a piano trio for a good 10 of those – not always with the same line up.
Yesterday I knew that the bass player I’d booked (at pretty short notice – Tosh) may well be late. He had a gig finishing at 8 at a nearby street party/ mini-festival and the chances of it running late were high. Sure enough, a call an hour before warned me that he wasn’t going to make it until close to 9. But Trevor! I’m sure he’s never done that before. A call home and the cymbals were on their way (although what price Trev will have to pay I can only guess – a half hour drive was involved).
So the gig panned out something like this: The first three tunes – piano and ‘toms percussion’; fourth tune – piano, bass and toms; fifth tune – piano, bass and full drum kit! After 40 minutes we were a full set.
It was a bit of revelation. Within whatever musical resources I have at my disposal, I enjoyed the gig hugely. Tosh tunred out to a lovely player with great feel, loads of ideas and technique to burn (this was my first gig with him); Trevor I know of old, but being forced to play deifferently seemed to make us find new things to do. We have no independent arbiter of quality, but we enjoyed and a few folks listening appeared to as well.