We've all had one of those nights, be it a party or, in this case, a gig, where the whole affair is punctuated by a series of bizarre incidents, when you can't predict what else is going to happen but know that something definitely will, with alcohol usually the culprit. I had such a quintessential one of these last Saturday that I had to relate it in a blog post for posterity.
It all began with the suggestion from my 60s music-loving mate Pete that we go and see 'Cosmic Charlies' at Fiddler's Elbow in Camden, the band being "Europe's premier Grateful Dead tribute" est. 1988, and the venue a dive pub near Chalk Farm Station, in its own words "a classic, no-nonsense, retro live music venue".
What made this an attractive proposition is that Pete is a proper 'Deadhead', having seen the real deal a couple times in the 60s & 70s, and he rated the Charlies - had even bumped into fellow Deadheads at their shows who were at the same concerts fifty years ago. So for me, having listened to a lot of Grateful Dead over the years and knowing that it was more about the 'live experience' with them, this would be the closest I could get to it, surely.
After roping in mutual muso mate Gordon, 10 years older than me and 20 younger than Pete, and equally beguiled by the Dead's legacy, we assembled in nearby retro bar Joe's for pre-beers, where Pete primed us by waxing nostalgic on the quasi-religious communal experience of the Dead's often 7-hour sets, plus how he once climbed up the scaffolding tower at one of the big outdoor shows while off his face before remembering that he hated heights and couldn't work out how to get down. Tonight would have a lot to live up to.