So what do I expect from Saturday’s gig?
I expect the sound will be decent in terms of getting our levels right and having the sequencer at the right level. This will be largely dependent on us building a positive relationship with the sound technicians at the venue, communicating well, not coming across as a bunch of dicks and everyone treating everyone else with respect.
I think Nick will drum well, but may fuck up once or twice in setting the sequences running, or in forgetting to count me into Fire In My Eye as he does almost every time we rehearse it.
I expect Pete will out-perform all his previous vocal performances in rehearsals, and may even say a couple of things to the audience. I think he’ll surprise us a little bit.
I think I will make a few minor fingering errors on the bass, especially early on but will get away with it and will recover as the set goes on. I intend to concentrate really hard on the early songs and the trickier ones like Fire In My Eye and Sunrise of Eternity, and then relax and enjoy the easy ones like Lullaby. I will try really hard to get the main riff on Sunrise right, but already know that I’ll fuck up my short riff before the main part of the song kicks in because I often get it wrong even in rehearsals (but I also know that it won’t really matter). I am concerned about the piano part in Lullaby and hitting the wrong notes. I know that when I’m playing the bass and piano at the same time for those last few bars, that all eyes will be on me and that will add further pressure.
Mainly, its Neil I worry about. His attitude in not inviting anyone down is a concern suggesting that he expects us to sound rubbish. I think he might make some mistakes and he might let them get to him and in the end he might throw a paddy, or at least make it obvious to those watching that he’s messed up if he can’t get his lead guitar parts right. The alternative is that he won’t give a shit and we will all suffer from that just as badly. Don’t get me wrong, he’s always great in rehearsal but seems to have an extremely relaxed attitude to life and when you’ve got other people relying on you, a shrug of the shoulders and a ‘whatever’ doesn’t really suffice.
The four of us have only ever known each other in a band rehearsal situation, so we have no idea how the others will respond to pressure, set-backs or anything negative.
Overall I expect it will go well, with obvious room for improvement.
Positive Mental Attitude
I think that an important way to prepare is to visualise success. You sometimes hear of footballers taking penalties and they say they visualise the ball hitting the back of the net, and this helps them get in a positive frame of mind. If I go into this with fear, then I’ll screw it up. I can’t affect what Pete, Nick and Neil do, but if I get my part right, then there’s nothing more I can do, except hope that everyone else is approaching it in the same way.
I have a vision of everything sounding great, of nobody making any serious mistakes and the audience liking the music and responding well. There is an alternative vision of us being full of nerves, making errors and the audience turning against us, but I’m not giving that scenario the time of day. It is important to be aware that this outcome could happen, but we need to focus on the evening going well, of us playing our instruments and thinking without fear, and being absolutely positive about it.
The part of my brain that is shit scared has been locked in a cupboard, not to be let out until this gig is over, when it will be battered senseless by the other parts of my brain, the positive ones, who will be laughing as they dish out a good pummelling.