In the village pub.
“And then Daltrey tried this,” continues the Well-Spoken Barman. “And Townshend worked on a few chords, and got something together.”
We lean in, agog to hear his stories about his times with The Who pop group.
I sit at the end of the bar sipping my drink, and smile. I do not mention my time in the nineties supporting The Sultans of Ping, as it is rude to trump other people’s stories.
We continue talking about music. By closing time we have formed a band. I had known that the Chipper Barman played the bass, but finding out that the Drumming Barman played the drums is a bonus, especially as it fits his name so well.
“We need to have a rehearsal now,” says Short Tony (vocals/saxophone).
With the Chipper Barman needing an early start, it is just the three of us that head back in a sort of zigzag fashion to my living room. At this point it transpires that the Drumming Barman, whilst being a good drum player, doesn’t actually have any drums. But he has a didgeridoo, which he picks up on the way.
“I’ll get some wine,” says Short Tony.
“Are you sure this will be OK?” asks the Didgeridooing Barman.
I explain that the LTLP is away for the night, and start setting up my Massive Cock-Extension Amplifier. Unfortunately after several pints the wiring bit defeats me, and I have to bring down my smaller Size-Is-Not-Important Amplifier instead.
At this point, things stall slightly. There are a limited number of songs in the classic pop canon for our particular mix of instruments. Short Tony announces that ‘Rat Trap’ is really the only thing he knows on the saxophone, and I remember the overall, major, most fundamental thing that has always done for me at parties – that I am completely unable to play the guitar when I’m drunk. Meanwhile, the Didgeridooing Barman is playing along nicely, but potentially getting a bit frustrated with the single note that he is able to generate.
Still, we get through a passable ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” which shows promise.
We part in the early hours, enthusiastic to arrange our first gig.