Monday, July 25, 2005

Port Eliot

Had a great time at the Port Eliot Festival at the weekend, even though it was rained out. First thing we did when we got there was spread a few flyers around the place, seeing as no one would know who we were, and we were hoping for an audience of at least two (other than my wife and Rob's girlfiend). We put the flyer together the night before at about 2am. Credit must go to Johnny Walker (both Red and Black Label)...



Anyway, the flyer (or more likely the fact that it was pissing it down outside) seemed to work, and the marquee was packed out at showtime minus five minutes. The act onstage before us - some rapper poets I forget the name of - seemed to be rocking the house, so that would have got a lot of bums on seats too. Anyway, all of these matters conspired to pile the pressure on us big time, as we paced around backstage... roaring, shadow-boxing, and chest-thumping (each other's). Also it didn't help that I couldn't find our "backing" CD, which meant Rob would have to make his entrance unaccompanied by his Survivor theme tune. Luckily I found the thing with literally five seconds to spare. I threw it across the backstage area like a frisbee. It sailed through the air as the MC shouted: "Ladies and gentlemen, a big round of applause for... er...". The sound engineer caught it as Rob thumped his chest one last time and jumped stageward. Just before he landed and started doing his thing, the first crunching blow of EYE OF THE TIGER hit home. Phew.

Anyway, after that it was a bit of a daze. I went on and did my nutty Mangel-esque professor routine, explaining about the roots of noir, paying particular attention to film, music, and the roman noir (invented by Julius Caesar in 266BC). I had course notes to hand out and everything...

I dunno. To be honest, it was a miracle we managed to get through the thing. We tried to knock it all together as best we could, but what with one thing (laziness) and another (drunkenness) we never got around to rehearsing it. I've never done anything like that before, and I don't think Rob has either. And believe me, neither of us knows anything about performing. But I'm hoping the audience knew this, and let us off a bit. They were great anyway, and clapped and laughed enough to make us feel like we were doing something right. Hey - if you were there, thanks. And if you are the woman I hit in the face with the flying book (BILLY MORGAN by Joolz Denby) - my sincere apologies. Some flowers are on their way to the hospital.


Dr Charlie Williams lectures while Rob Lewis does his John Inman impression


The fest itself was great. Wish I could have seen more of the place, but even with mudslides and lightning blowing up trees and torrential flooding, everyone seemed happy. And I met Jai there, who I know online from way back. And... AND... we saw this big giant wickerman running alongside the motorway on the way home:


8 comments:

Jai said...

why he's been there years Charlie old man! (you can tell I go up and down the M5 a lot!)

Charlie Williams said...

Long time since I've been past Bristol. It's really beautiful down there, Jai. Had a walk along the beach next morning.

Ray said...

I'd like you to explain your outfit, please. A rather sports-casual look for you, yes?

And are you wearing bicycle clips?

Charlie Williams said...

You like my style, Ray? Get into bicycle clips now, before everyone starts wearing them.

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Anonymous said...

Why did you throw my book at someone? And by the way, it's 'Billie Morgan'.

Joolz