An 80th Birthday

It might seem unusual to have a rock/pop band for an 80th Birthday, but the birthday boy has followed us for a number of years now so it seemed apt.

The hotel it was held at was a great place. Top end of Heckmondwike; a place called Healds Hall.

It was an early start as we had to be set up by 6. The load in was quite easy although I think the staff were very surprised when we kept loading more and more boxes into the place though.

Setup went well. It was the first full length gig for a while so we ran through a few of the songs we’d not played to just brush them up. Strangely, the last few gigs had all been around an hour performance time. We had to be silent at 6:45 as the special guest was arriving for a “meal in the restaurant” but he was then told the restaurant was very busy so they were in the back room…

Surprise!

The first set was a blue suit set. It felt a little tight on me and even though the scales show my weight hasn’t changed I need to keep an eye on that. It could be that my newest jeans all have stretch in them and I’m not used to a rigid waistband? After all the waistcoat and shirt felt fine.

In-between we had food. That, for me, wasn’t great. No detriment to the food, but as a vegetarian any mention of buffet or hot buffet fills me with dread. If it isn’t the mixed sandwiches cross contamination hell, or the “has it got meat in it” roulette with quiche, it’s the hot buffet “that’s your entire vegetarian choice” which contained aubergine. I don’t like aubergine.

The chips were nice though.

For the second set, after much threatening and teasing I wore the PVC suit. Dennis had been searching for one for himself and like many others who weren’t quick enough when I told them about it, he’d missed the boat. He then ribbed me about it onstage… Twat.

I combined with with the new shirt I got from River Island.

I looked good. Kinky good.

Sadly that’s where the good ends, as I’ll never wear that suit onstage with Face the Music again. 45 minutes in a plastic sauna suit under hot lights… Nope nope nope nope nope.

I suppose the one amusing thing was the stereotyping thing… Apparently shiny suits like that are usually worn by gay men.

Yeah whatever…

I’ve got thick skin. I don’t actually give a toss.

So, back to normality for a few weeks. And next time it’ll be back to normal jeans for the second set.

Dear caterers…

Stop doing this. Now.

Mixing various sandwiches on a platter so you get the visually appealing mix of colour is an absolute delight to see, but every vegetarian, every Jew or Muslim, and every allergy sufferer just steadily shakes their head and dives into their bag for the emergency muesli bar.

I’m vegetarian. I don’t eat meat. I don’t really want my sandwiches to be bathed in meat sweat and juices. I don’t want cross contamination.

I have Muslim and Jewish friends. Pork to them is unclean. Random meat of indeterminate origin is not their bag. They usually take the vegetarian route where the meat is unclear, but when it’s all touched each other it’s not really fair.

My wife, well she can’t eat sweetcorn. A hint of it sets off a bad reaction. She doesn’t want to go anywhere near the tuna and sweetcorn. That would be very bad.

You can’t even smell for it on one of these platters because with these platters you just end up with a mixed smell, often drowned out by the tuna.

Even the supermarkets do it, although they do now seem to offer a vegetarian version (some do, at least).

What’s wrong with a plate of each type of sandwich? Seriously? It’s not that difficult to do… You could even do us a favour and write on the edge of the plate in Sharpie what the sandwiches are. Takes the guesswork out of the meats.

As for the samoas and “random filling rolls”, well they’re just a minefield! It could be meaty… It could be people meat… You just don’t know.

At least quiche is a little easier to guess!

Until something changes, the tracker bars will remain on standby.