What To Do When Gigging: Part 1 – Be Nice To Everyone


“This song is for the drunk that has been asking for a Van Morrison number.”

This was the low point in my musician career. I was gigging in a pub in Rugby, Warwickshire and a guy had been heckling me for most of the evening asking me to play him a Van Morrison song. He was loud, obnoxious and determined to get his request played. I knew he would keep asking but I was trying to put it off for as long as I could just to annoy him.

He knew what I was doing and he knew I knew. I had the microphone. He had a large loud gob and didn’t mind who heard. He had also consumed a a fair amount of Guinness. I was turning out to be an interesting gig. Things went downhill from there.

We played a song. He called out for Van Morrison. We did another song. He called out for Van Morrison, only louder.

As is happens we knew loads of Van Morrison songs – I love him to bits – but I hate gobby people.

Eventually, after a few more songs and after he had drunk a few more pints I decided to sing a song for him.

Over the mic, in front of a pub full of people, I declared …

“This song is for the drunk asking for a Van Morrison number.”

“I’m no drunk!”, he said, and then he stood up, and so did 15 of his mates. They  walked towards the stage. I didn’t realise that “The Drunk” was part of an Irish Gaelic football team enjoying a night out.

Nice audienceI was stupid, cocky, and very, very lucky that they were just out for a bit of fun and they kindly decided not to insert the thin end of my guitar into my bottom.

These days I remember that we are there to entertain the audience. Without them I would be playing to myself, and maybe the bar staff if they decide to listen.


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