Well that was fun 🙂
It started with one of those brief conversations that seem to be the trigger for just about everything that happens in my life. Before every home match I always walk round to the far side of the stadium, say hello to the guys on the Supporters Association stand, buy a program from them, and generally have a chat for a minute or two. A couple of months ago, I was chatting to Digger and he tilted his head to one side for a moment and said “you’re coming to the do aren’t you?”
I said “Of course” and then “What do?”
Anyway, it turned out that the Supporters Association were having a tenth anniversary event on October 19th, which I’m not sure if I knew about or not, but I was on board the moment he told me. Then he said “could you play a couple of songs for us?”
I grinned/groaned a little, but was really happy to do it – I even said jokingly – “yes, and I’ll even write a new song for it”. A throwaway comment, but one that he apparently took to heart, as the next day, I see an update on the MKDSA website, mentioning that I’ll be playing, and also that I’ll be writing a new song especially for the event. No pressure there then.
The SA did the pre-match publicity really well, and we got a lot of coverage in the programme, there was coverage from the forums, and from other sites like The MooCamp, so we knew there’d be a lot of people there. All that I had to do was dust off a couple of old favourites, and then write a new song. Which was proving a little difficult.
I’d been knocking ideas around for a while, and could get a few lines together, but I was struggling to find the right theme for the song. The one thing I knew was that I wanted it to be something that people could join in with without having to know the song.
Anyway, it came down to the day before, and I still hadn’t found my theme. I had the title sorted out – “We Know What We Are” was the one that kept coming back whenever I sat down to work it out. And then something just floated through my mind – the words manners and banners kept resurfacing, along with planes, bastards and boycotts. And from there it pretty much wrote itself.
On the night, it was good to have a bit of banter with Mr Luke ‘Scummer’ Ashmead before I started singing – he’s so natural in front of a crowd, and he’s very, very good at what he does. Off-mic he asked me “how long are you going to play for?” and when I said it would only be a couple of songs – just five or ten minutes, he said “great – I’ll go out for a cigarette then”, which was exactly the sort of support I needed to relax me on the night. Thanks Luke 🙂
I have to give major thanks to everyone who joined in on the night. We’ve Got More Roundabouts is very MK-focussed rather than Dons-related, so the fact that everyone joined in was fantastic – it’s a song that I always love playing, but it takes on a whole new life when people sing along.
And then it was time for the new one. I was nervous, mainly about remembering the words, the tune, the key and just about everything else, but I guess most importantly, whether the song would hit the mark. I took everyone through the “We Know What We Are” bit where their participation was required, and people seemed up for joining in. As it happened, the response from the room was fantastic, and to be honest, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced from a crowd before. The moment I got to the first punchline, at the end of the first verse “we don’t need to hire a plane, to tow crap banners” the place erupted, and it carried on like that throughout the rest of the song.
I was beaming as I finished off, said thanks, and had unplugged my guitar before I realised that there were shouts for an encore. Never one to miss a chance to play more, I was plugged back in and ready before they could change their mind, and decided to give There’s No Need To Mullet Over a go – I’d only ever played that one once before, coincidentally at another SA do about four years before, but I’ve always felt it deserved a wider audience. It’s about Winkie, so I was an odd mix of relived/disappointed that he’d left, but again, people responded really well, and laughed at all the right points, particularly the Samson and Delilah bit, which I wasn’t sure whether anyone would get.
I’d relaxed totally by the end of the first verse of We Know What We Are, and I’d had a great time, and sat back down to enjoy the rest of the evening. A little later, Digger popped over and asked me whether I’d mind playing the new one again just before we switched into disco mode for the rest of the night, and of course I said yes. Some people had missed it, and some others had wanted to hear it again, so it seemed like a great idea. To cut a long story short, having relaxed so much that I wasn’t concerned in the slightest about performing it again, I managed to forget the tune, the key, the words and I ended up laughing through most of it, but the audience were fantastic again, and it didn’t seem to matter. The chants of “You’re just a fat Rick Astley” will haunt me till the day I die, but I had a fantastic evening – thanks very much to everyone who was there.