If someone had told me at the start of 2009 that by the end of the year I would've played five gigs I would have had them sectioned under the Mental Health Act. But shiver my timbers, that individual now writhing around in a padded room in a strait jacket was right! Release them! (I'm in a strange mood tonight; that's what an exciting day at work does to me).
The final Witness To The Beard gig of the year took place last Friday in Stockwell, and what a cracking evening of entertainment it was. We played at The Cavendish Arms at An Event Of Some Kind (I've blogged before about the general format of this particular event), and it was such a quirky evening. We were the first band on after the accomplished compere / event organiser extraordinaire H Anthony Hildebrand did a little ditty on stage and we played a 15 minute set; the tightest we've sounded yet I reckon. I also bit the bullet and sang my alternative 'Saved By The Bell' lyrics.
After us was a brilliant comic called Eric Lampaert, whose wacky (but not over the top) physical comedy, combined with his improvisation skills, got us all chuckling very heartily indeed. He even did a bit of comedy about our band name! He was also a fan of the other band's name who played after him: Don't Tread On Spiders. Oh. My. God. They were absolutely amazing. Check them out for yourselves, but you really can't appreciate them until you hear / see them live. The drummer ROCKED. She has completely mastered the whole singing whilst drumming thing, and I've still got loads of their songs stuck in my head, despite only hearing them once (such as the song below, demonstrating awesomeness of said drummer). LOVE them. Need to buy their entire back catalogue (yes, unlike Witness To The Beard, they've actually recorded stuff).
During the interval there was a drawing competition. We were asked to draw two things kissing under the mistletoe. I can't draw for love nor money, but I can pun for prizes. So I drew two feet under the mistletoe, labelled the big toes "toes" and labelled the mistletoe "mistle". Yes, sounds very random, I know, but so is this event, and I won a prize for my skillz. After the interval (and mince pies) it was some more fabulous word-play observations from Monsier Hildebrand, then us again. Omar and I were convinced / bullied (joking!) by Kev to don Santa hats with beards attached for our final mini set. Humorous, indeed, but Kev wasn't laughing when the beard fell over his face whilst he was singing. Ha! Then his strap fell off mid-song: disaster! Thanks to the valiant help from Sonny from DTOS and the legendary sound man the situation was remedied without us having to stop the rock. And Kev totally redeemed himself by saying after the song: "Well, that was a strapping performance!"
We came off stage and waiting in the wings was the headline comedy act for the night, Tom Basden (*swoon*). It's just him and his guitar. And an endless supply of hilarious - yet extremely melodic - songs. My personal favourite was one about Neighbours (but Neighbours as it was ten years ago when Toadfish was still a chubby rebellious teenager rather than a slimline high-flying lawyer). He also sang about a ghost who keeps himself to himself, a girl with a glass eye, a guide dog who is being fooled by his non-blind owner and a Chinese fellow called Wan Ni. Have a listen to some of his songs here or in the video above.
All in all it was a fantastic night.