The Socks have been asked to play some novel and varied gigs over the years, from birthday parties in converted railway stations to that gig in Castle Skibo to a couple on their wedding anniversary with no-one else there. Add to that list their first Purim gig. Courtesy of the Bloom family in Hendon, the Socks found themselves in the lounge at the head of a table seating what seemed like fifty people and, after Kev F had done an epic afternoon of caricaturing, the Socks played a half hour set which included the debut of their adaptation of The Book Of Esther. This went very well.
I called on the services of young Zacharia, middle child of the family, to operate my iPod, and he did a sterling job. One that, quite possibly, I might not have to oblige anyone else to do in the future.
Because tonight, in Glasgow, on the first of the Socks' two-night run at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, we performed our first-ever self-teched show.
Up until now I've needed someone to operate the sound cues on the iPod, reasoning that I can hardly make it work with Socks on my hands. I had tried, to no avail. Then, necessity being the mother of invention, I tried again in the run up to the Glasgow gig, when it looked like I wasn't going to be able to find a technician. Amazingly it worked. Somehow I am able to operate my touch-sensitive iPod through socks. And by attaching the iPod to the set, via the hi-tech method of sellotape, it stayed put firmly enough for me to do this during the show.
I cannot tell you what a revelation this is. This would have saved a dreadful show I did back in September last year when, in the support slot of a comedy night, I had to call on someone from the front row to help out and, beset by connection problems, it all went disastrously wrong.
This also means, in theory, I can chop and change tracks more easily during a show, without having to confuse a technician who can then get it wrong.
It's not perfect, mind. The iPod cable was very lucky in only having to reach a mixing desk that was directly behind me tonight. Though it would work for reaching my mini Marshall amp, which I use for gigs like the Purim party, so that's opened up possibilities too.
I have a second gig tomorrow night, at which there's every opportunity for this whole set up to go tits up. But for the moment I'm delighted that I pulled off a very good gig - even shifted a few bits of merchandise too (note to self, print more t shirts) - with a wonderful and appreciative audience, and didn't need a technician or anyone else's help whatsoever. I even took the tickets at the door myself, all sold online by one of those smashing online ticket systems the kids have nowadays, this one called See Tickets (we'll see just how smashing it is when we find out how long I have to wait to get paid.)
UPDATE: Second night in Glasgow was probably even better than the first. Had a bit of a technical hitch with a guitar, and an entertaining Socks fan called Hughie in the front row, who's been before. Neil Aitken captured a moment when the two collided:
Feb 15 - Buxton Pavilion Arts Centre Studio
Feb 17 & 18 6.50pm - Kayal, Leicester Comedy Fest
March 9 - Aberystwyth Arts Centre
March 15 & 16 - Dram! Glasgow Com Fest
March 23 - The Bill Murray, London
Apr 1 - Rotherham Comedy Festival
Apr 6 - Victoria Theatre Halifax
Apr 8 - Rondo Bath
Apr 13 - Hexham Queen's Hall
Apr 22 - Swindon Arts
Apr 27 - Stroud Subscription Rooms
Apr 28 - Merlin Theatre Frome
Apr 29 - Perth Concert HallMay 1 - Chiddingstone Castle Kent
May 5 - Artrix Bromsgrove
May 6 - Stafford Gatehouse
May 13 (4.30pm) & May 14 (5.30pm) Komedia Brighton
May 19 - Carriageworks Leeds
May 26 - Aberdeen May Fest
June 2 - Eden Ct Inverness
June 15 - Crescent Arts, Belfast
June 17 - Dalkey Festival, Dublin
June 23 - Hertford Comedy Festival
June 24 - Ludlow Fringe
August 15 - 17 Camden Fringe