Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The MySpace Revolution

It must be about 2004 or so. My band Transport is booked to play in Port Macquarie. We are broke, demoralised and tired.

But there's hope - this new MySpace thing. It's incredible. You can get a million friends and then get signed just like the Arctic Monkeys did! We believe it.

Scotty even found someone in Port Macquarie through our MySpace site and she has offered to come down and man our merchandise stall. This MySPace thing is brilliant!

MySpace Girl turns up at our soundcheck and seems nice. We thank her profusely for helping out and we set up the merch desk, pinning t-shirts to the notice board behind it, displaying CDs. After half an hour it's ready to go.

We start our soundcheck and she hangs around to listen. I'm thinking we sound pretty good, but then I look up and see MySpace girl. All the pleasure has drained from her face. She looks...confused or even constipated. Maybe she's thinking about some trouble she's having at home or something - it's not us is it? It's not our music doing this to her face? Is it? She knows it's a soundcheck right?

After sound check she smiles weakly and says she'll see us again at when the doors open at 7.

She doesn't turn up at all. In fact, nobody turns up.

When I say nobody, literally not a single person from the public turns up. Oh, there is a guy playing acoustic guitar as the opening act, and his girlfriend shows up, so I guess you could count her.

We sit at a table in the cavernous, empty venue and we look at each other. We've done so many gigs like this now we don't even need to have the conversation. We have disappointment fatigue.

Before we were disappointed...

Anyway, when we take to the stage, we do it with determination. The support guy and his girlfriend have been kind enough to hang around and watch us. Well, we'll give them the show of their lives! We'll play our fucking hearts out! By the end of this night we'll have at least two new fans!

We play as if the house is full. Our high volume, high energy rock bounces of the empty walls and back in our faces. We jump around, we lose ourselves in the music.

The guy and his girlfriend really seem to like it.

Then, just as we are nearing the end of our set : hope. A group of five or so girls tumble into the venue and all start dancing to our music. Even though there are only five of them, by contrast to before it feels like a sold out show.

They scream and cheer for us after each song. During one song, one of the girls goes over to the unmanned merch desk. She  peels off her shirt, and swaps it for one of our t-shirts and returns to the dance floor. Not only do we have fans, we just sold a t-shirt! Who needs that fucking MySpace bitch!

This is actually a photo of 8 Ball Aitken playing in Port MacQuarie,

Dripping with sweat and catching my breath I announce that this will be our last song.
The group of girls run off the dance floor, through the room and out the back door. They take our $40 T-shirt with them.

The guy and his girlfriend look expectantly at us.

Afterwards we get drunk. Very drunk. On the walk home I spot the bin where I threw out my half eaten Chinese dinner before the show. I fish it out and eat it.  Later, back at our room, I vomit.

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