I was Like the Band on the Titanic

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I’ve played many gigs in the past few years in a lot of different types of places. The people and
situations you come across doing so are both life lessons and extremely entertaining. For
example, a lady once came into one venue with bottle quite clearly not containing “Pepsi” as the
label suggested. She proceeded to shout in my face about how I was the worst singer she had
ever heard. Within two songs she was dancing, singing along and blowing me kisses. Takes All
sorts!


At another gig, just outside Hayes in North West London, there was a guy who all evening had been putting a bit
of a show of himself. So far he had managed to knock a high table over, smashing a pint of
beer in the process. Bump into my Piano so many times I was beginning to think he believed it
was his dance partner. Generally ruining people’s enjoyment by being rude. Finally, the
inevitable happened. He asked the wrong person to dance with him, and was quickly told to
“Fuck off!” Not liking this at all he was ready to be Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately for him,
everyone in the pub was sick of him too! No less than 10 people grabbed him and collectively
piled him outside, after which he had suffered actual broken bones.

Marky Dawson's Police inner cordon tape

It didn’t take long for a large group of police to flock through the door (I was playing ‘Message in
a bottle’ at the time, conincidentally by The Police, hehe). They ordered everybody to stop and leave the premises exactly how it was as
it was now a “Crime scene.” I wasn’t allowed to touch my Piano or go home until CID turned
up. Which was the best part of two hours later, during which time the staff and I had passed the time by
drinking shots in the kitchen. A pair of head officers turned up. I was greeted by them with “Ah,
you’re the piano player! We’re very impressed with you”. I was confused before they explained
“We’ve seen the CCTV, fight going on three feet (1m) from you and you don’t stop!” They were right. I was
quite enjoying my version of ‘Mustang Sally’ as everyone was throwing punches. I showed my
interest by holding the penultimate note long enough to watch everyone clamber out. Only to
finish the song as the door closed behind them! “You were like the band on the Titanic” laughed
one of the officers. “You’re okay to pack your stuff up now.” “Thanks” I sighed. “Do any of you
parties coming up? You know the man for the job!” I joked unplugging the piano.
As I waited for my bus, exhausted. The traffic was getting back to normal after diversions had
been lifted. I noticed a little piece of Police tape had been left attached to the bus stop. “A nice
little Souvenir” I thought. Untying it and taking it home to remember yet another eventful gig.

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