In which The Author puts his thumb to his nose
I'm sitting in the bar in Jacs at the time of writing. It's Thursday, and a decent gang of younger lads are in to take advantage of the free pool table. Amanda and I have been using the small table near the electric sockets to work on promo material for the venue, and thereby hangs a tale.
Ordinarily we'd have had to put our gear away tonight to make way for the small-scale karaoke set-up. Alternatively, I'd be in the music room helping Barrie to rig up the kit in there instead.
But it ain't happening!
The last time we did karaoke in the music room was over a month ago. It was a Thursday night, of course, a couple of weeks after Lindsey's birthday. I'd called into the Glosters for a mid-afternoon pint. I hadn't been in there very long when a gang of lads in their early twenties came in. I recognised Chazza's brother – not the sort of person you'd normally expect to see in the bar. Hot on their heels was Chazza herself. She spotted me sitting at the bar, said hello, and looked really pleased to see me. I got the impression that she'd been trying to give her brother and his mates the slip all day. I decided to rescue her, so I got her a drink and invited her to join me in the evening.
When we walked into the bar, Philvis was horrified. He'd thought (as I had) that we'd never speak to each other again. But the three of us sat down and had a chat before we went through to the music room. Chazza had never seen the stage before, and it blew her away. When she got up to sing, I knew straight away that this was why she'd spent all her time pissing about in the Lighthouse, the Bush and the Cambrian. After all that practice on crappy little systems in awful places, she was totally ready for Barrie's system.
I actually thought that she'd spread the word around, and that we'd be able to establish a nice Thursday night scene in here.
It didn't happen.
On Maundy Thursday, Barrie wasn't even going to bother setting up the gear. But a few people messaged us to ask if karaoke was on. So we went small-scale in the bar. And in fairness, we had a decent gang here through the evening. People were still coming in after our usual time to shut down, as well. For a moment, it looked as though we'd finally found the winning formula.
That was three weeks ago.
Not even Philvis has been here since. He's delusional enough to think he's in with a shout for the hundred quid prize in the Bush. Or the Lighthouse. Or whichever pub is hosting the professionals tonight. Yeah, as I told Barrie and Amanda the following weekend, they're all a bunch of fucking breadheads.
Three weeks ago Barrie set up the gear in the bar. He and I messed about for a couple of hours trying out songs we've always wanted to do. Adrian drifted in as part of his circuit around town, sang a couple of songs, and buggered off again. Barrie and I soldiered on and tore the gear down at about 10 p.m.
A fortnight ago, it was the same story.
Last Thursday, when only the three of us (and Amanda, obviously) were in the bar anyway, we decided it just wasn't worth fucking bothering.
On Saturday, when Barrie and the rest of the gang were at the races, Amanda and I took Thursday Night Karaoke off our Facebook listings. Amanda's just taken it off the website as well. I put a status on Facebook earlier, telling everyone that Karaoke isn't happening tonight. Lindsey responded with an unhappy emoji – a bit cheeky, I thought, since she baled out on her own birthday and hasn't been seen since. I know she works, and she's got her own singing career at weekends, but we got it going again purely because it was Lindsey's birthday and she asked Barrie if we could set it up again.
The Incredible Vanishing Girl has lived up to her bill matter, and hasn't been in her since. In fact, she was supposed to have joined me for the John Otway gig here. No show. At least Chazza could conceivably win the ton on a good night.
Barrie and I are of the same mind when it comes to the professional game. As I've said before, I think it's rather like going down the Ynys on Sunday for a five-a-side kickabout and Gareth Bale turning out for the opposition. Barrie's been a professional singer for a long time, but he treats karaoke in the same spirit as I do. Last week, we suggested going for a walk to the Lighthouse, Barrie entering the competition, and walking away with a ton in his arse pocket. I wonder how long it would take the rest of the crowd to cry foul.
Ironically, Steff and Wendy have just walked in, wanting to do karaoke. I know them both, but neither of them are on my Friends List. If they didn't see the various posts on the Jacs Facebook page either, that ain't our fucking problem, is it?
Remember, boys and girls, karaoke is for life, not just for birthdays and bank holidays