We couldn’t do what we do without the support of these wonderful people
Firefest 2009… not only was it was certainly one of the biggest events of the year for FM but personally for me it was, definitely! It marked to me the real confirmation of me being in the band. It was my first opportunity to play to a packed house with the boys and I must say with a few butterflies too!
The rehearsals went fine but as we all know it's a different matter once you get up on stage. I've got to say that I was extremely aware that many people would be judging my performance and presence that night as it would for most be the first time they had seen me with FM. In that situation it's pretty hard to relax and just play. You tend to try too hard and make mistakes in the process but on the whole it couldn't have gone any better than it did. I was fine up until about an hour before we went on; then the nerves set in! I had to go on stage behind the curtain for a minute to check my gear. I could just see the audience and to be honest it calmed me a bit.
Eventually the intro tape started and we all went on stage to start Wildside. Bit
of drama here as for some reason neither mine nor Merv's rigs were working. Panic
set in and I think Merv got his bass going about 2 seconds before he was due to come
in. I knew things couldn't get any worse than that and fortunately they didn't!
The gig is a little bit of a blur but I do remember that it was real good fun. I remember the audience singing Face To Face and Dave Ling and co. joining us at the end to sing Purple Rain which had been pre-organised although we didn't know about their costumes in advance.
The strangest part for me really was that I had been in the audience for Firefest 2007 watching FM thinking that I'd love to be playing guitar in that band. I had no idea that it would ever be a reality. Also, to be playing alongside my drinking buddy of the last 5 or so years (Stiv!!!) was really cool and to be playing those songs that I used to listen to on vinyl years ago at parties at my house was surreal.
The aftershow was another particular highlight of the year as I managed to consume about a gallon and a half of lager at it in such a short space of time and nearly had to be forcibly removed from the bar at 4.30am by the hotel staff… but that's another story!