So, next morning, anonypooh and I literally had 5 minutes to wolf down our continental breakfasts before hitting the street; she to go to the McDonalds around the corner to write up her gig report for the forum, and me, to go window shopping (love_by_137 had wanted to come with me, but found herself unavoidably detained). I spent a few hours checking out and trying on shoes in L K Bennet, Office, Poste Mistress, Bertie and a host of other shops, but couldn't be persuaded to part with my money in any of them. In the end, I just picked up a manicure set in Boots and went back to the hotel to wait for Julia and the others, who arrived soon enough. love_by_137 had packed in such haste that she'd forgotten to bring any towels, toothpaste or eye pencil, while miss_fairfax seemed to have been more organised or methodical in her packing, carrying a ruddy great bag with her. We changed into our evening wear and headed out to the Troubadour once more, again to meet up with the usual suspects.
The bar soon filled up; there were far more people there than there had been the previous night, and a proper queue was formed on the stairs. Again, we took our regular seats; and I asked Cam, the sound guy replacing Brian, whether I could have the set list when he was done with it. He told me that in the event that he got one, it would be his pleasure; and we had a little chat about the equipment he had to work with...in the course of which, I reminded him to pick up on the banjo more, prompting him to explain there had been a problem with Jordan's mic the night before. What am I like, telling a perfectly lovely sound guy how to do his job? He didn't seem to hold it against me though, and we had several friendly exchanges as the evening progressed.
Again, Corn Mo set the tone for the evening with a wonderfully energetic set, in which Jason Kline made an appearance (or have I mixed my nights up and was Jason Kline the night before and Busey Boy this night? -- no matter), and then...if I'd thought opening with Normal Sea the previous gig had been a bold move, what word can I use to describe their decision to start off with a brand spanking new song, not even a UM yet, with the working title of Smile II? I was in awe, I tell you, awe! And by the looks of it, I wasn't the only one. We were all there, mouths agape, totally enraptured...And the surprises just kept coming: a stripped down version of True Hollywood Romance, banjo on Union Dues, muted trumpet on Offstage Lines (still one of my all time CoRo favourites, especially in this new mellowed rendition), a lovely version of Belfast with a snippet of Folsom Prison Blues in it, slide guitar on Smile, delayed trumpet on Auctioneer...Eric's solo was I Saw That Film, but by then, things had started to turn ugly. On the other side of the room, a heckler had begun to annoy those around him, the band and particularly Adam, by repeating the words "Look! It's Warren from Buffy!" the entire time...and why do drunk people always seem to think they are dead funny? So after a while, Adam had had enough and handed the guy one of his harmonicas saying "Here, suck on this!"...but instead of being suitably shamed into silence, the guy then proceeded to play the thing and put it down a fat girl's sweaty cleavage before putting it down his own pants. The heckler and his troupe of toadying females continued to annoy until Eric stepped in and took the harmonica off them, but the damage had been done and I missed half of Given Signs, a song I love, through their antics. Cam was equally ticked off and when his shooting pellets at them didn't work, stepped out of the booth twice to call them to order, finally succeeding in getting through to the guy...who I hear apologised to the band afterwards, but not to the many other people he upset on the night.
Anyhoo, they did do an off-mic as their last song this night: the topical Louisiana 1927, with Cam holding a flashlight up from the stage so the people who now found themselves at the back of the crowd (i.e. us) could see the band surrounded as they were by the audience. After the song ended, he said to me that it had been totally awesome, and that he'd never seen anything like it before. I think the band may have made a new fan then and there! But Cam was our hero for the night.