GUYS. I didn’t tell you about the Beatles night.
So a month or so ago it was the fiftieth anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The next night was Friday and a Hackney club planned a Sgt Pepper night, with DJs playing Beatles (and etc) tracks and a live band doing the whole album.
I went with my friends Violet and the Dark Lady and we were SUPER EXCITED. I love the Beatles and the Dark Lady is a superfan, as are her parents - she was almost named Rita because of the song (and Rita Hayworth). So I got this genuine 60s Sgt-Pepper-style jacket in pure white, and the Dark Lady did incredibly elaborate Twiggy eye make-up, and Violet got out her mod boots. We predrank and had pizza at theirs and headed to the club.
When we arrived the booths were full of late-middle-aged people, and the dancefloor had clumps of young people who’d dressed up like us. We got drinks and listened to Beatles tracks like Come Together
, which I fucking adore, and talked about being feminist John Lennon fans and how your favourite Beatle changes as you age. It was great. We also noticed the guy who played Lord Percy on Blackadder
in a booth.
Eventually the live band came on.
First bad sign: it was two people. Two people can’t really substitute for four, especially four people at the top of their craft and doing technically complicated work. Plus as the lead singer introduced himself, it became clear --
DARK LADY: Is he American
LOKI: I think so!!!
): Americans can be fans too.
LOKI (trying desperately to be rational
): Yes, of course! Right. Yeah. It’s fine.
As it turned out they were actually Canadian, and doing a weird cod-Liverpudlian accent anyway. IDK. The lead singer looked like a hipster Draco Malfoy and had the talent of Jez from Peep Show
Cos… yeah. It was not good. Two problems: they weren’t very talented or skilled, and they DID NOT KNOW THE MUSIC PROPERLY.
The first song was a bit off, but you’ve got to give ’em time to settle into things, and besides the goodwill of us all wanting to have a good time carried them through. The second song was worse and I didn’t quite dare look at my friends. By Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
I was glancing at them and we were all sharing the realisation that this was Not Good: there was interference, the timing was off, bits were out of tune… It was also blazingly hot cos we’d put ourselves at the front of the crowd (adding to a sense of Don’t Look Appalled, They Can See You) so I escaped outside. As we left the dancefloor, the lead singer was between songs and saying, “we’re Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!” Lord Percy shouldered past me snarling, “you’re fucking not!”
There was a bit of a mass exodus while the three of us were standing outside agreeing about The Horror. We went back in, though - we were already there, and not being under the glare of dancefloor lights would mean we could be horrified and not feel bad. A third of the crowd had gone in like twenty minutes, so there was a booth available now! Although I definitely had a moment of “...what if we want to leave and we feel too guilty? HOW EMPTY IS THIS CLUB GOING TO GET?” She’s Leaving Home
was all right - they seemed to do better with slow stuff (although I have a complicated relationship with that song, because it’s my mum’s favourite and she kicked me out that time) but it only got worse from there.
- The other guy sang one song and he sang it out of a notebook and STILL got it wrong
- They had to start Within You Without You
twice because the singer missed his cue.
- There was a stage invasion by three brilliant girls who’d dressed up and were clearly trying desperately to help these people stay in time and in tune.
- They missed a verse and two choruses of When I’m Sixty-Four
- THEY SKIPPED GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING ENTIRELY. For a second I really thought I was going mad -- did they skip one?? Did I just forget this album???
- They missed the “one and only, Lonely Hearts Club Band” line.
- THEY GOT THE WORDS WRONG IN DAY IN THE LIFE
. There’d been multiple fluffs of a line but grabbed my coat, grabbed my hat
? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?
Plus there was MASSIVE interference a couple of times.
IDK. It was hilarious and bizarre, and a very very memorable night. I’ve still no idea why they hired these guys -- it’s not like London has a shortage of pro musicians who at the very least know the words to A Day In The Life
. But whatever. They finished the album, Violet and the Dark Lady went to the loo, and when they came back I was like GUYS THEY JUST MASSACRED STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER IT’S NOT OVER. So we left early and went back to their flat to hang out and drink some more.
Man of the match is definitely Lord Percy: We’re Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!
No you’re fucking not!This was originally posted at http://lokifan.dreamwidth.org/361226.html. Comment wherever you like :)