Last week I learnt that our beloved Monday nights would be no more. The Skatton Club band will no longer host a traditional ska night at Les Bobards. After months of our blissful ritual, sadly, they will be moving on. Why is this happening? The story doesn't say.
And of all things, their last appearance at the club is on my birthday. What a bittersweet moment it was going to be. So there was nothing that was going to stop me from joining the fellows for one last skanking bonanza.
If you remember my last foray with the Skatton Club (see the February 4th post), I was looking for a do-over. Come hell or high water, I wanted to nail that intro to Once Step Beyond once and for all. And to top it all off, I was going to do it on my 39th birthday, with the whole gang in attendance. How could Andre, the bandleader, refuse such a request?
Even though two of the band members had come off a plane from Winnipeg a couple of hours earlier, they played with full force. They masterfully mixed ska and rocksteady, covering the likes of Alton Ellis and the James Bond theme. The feet started tapping and the beer never stopped flowing. They even threw in some Jamaican mento for good measure. There was a party atmosphere in the air. My lovely girlfriend, who is usually sound asleep at that hour on Monday nights, was made an honorary Skatton Family member for one night.
Everything was in place for my second appearance. The band was briefed this time not to start playing as soon as I opened my mouth. I was going to hop on stage during the second set. Andre, being the gentleman that he is, eloquently introduced me and mentioned that it was my birthday. He even gave my blog a shout out! (Thanks again Andre)
So here I am, I have a chance to redeem myself and there's a captive audience in front of me. "Hey you, don't watch that. Watch this! This is the..." And I drew a complete blank! It serves me right to accept a few pints of Guinness on my birthday before I get on stage! My friends didn't miss the chance to burst out laughing. Andre then turns to me with a smile and says: "Hey, this is what happens when you play live."
Well, I guess third time's the charm. And it was. Plus I got to stay on stage to shout a few other "One Step Beyond". I have to admit, it was one of my best birthday gifts ever.