We’re as guilty as any other group of preparing an encore just in case we do a good enough job to warrant one. After all, we’d hate to palm paying punters off with a poor performance and second rate singing, if they’ve enjoyed us enough to request more… Last impressions and all that.
The thing is, though, that the requests can often be a tad specific, and one request has been bellowed at our bowing bodies more than all the others put together. It’s a song that’s been with us since our first gig over five years back, as famous for its moves and video as its music and vocals… none other than Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller‘.
It’s quite a rush dragging your reluctant feet across the stage, crooked arms outstretched to grab the virtuosic Vishal, while trying to remember whether this ‘doop’ is the one that’s sharp… But like all our songs – and our members – it needs some time off to put its feet up after a long stretch of hard work.
So if you’re coming to see us on Saturday, please do ask us for the encore we’ve so presumptuously prepared, but don’t expect to have any choice in what it is. You’re gonna love it.
It’s always fun when your brief is a lot more vague than those of your brothers and sisters. Oh well, here goes nothing. Adopting a gestalt approach, the bits that seemed to stand out for people were:
1. the presence of Tyler
2. the absence of sunshine
3. a kind of thick wettish mist rising through our Pyrenean forest home
4. books everywhere (although maybe that was just me)
5. a screaming goat
So you might suggest a short story: A lonely tiler, laid off, tramps through a kind of thick wettish mist. Bored, he happens upon a pile of unread books, sits, cross-legged on the ground, and begins to read. Through the dark moisture, he hears the rich golden tones of Bill Withers, “…ain’t no sunshine, when she’s..”. Suddenly a goat screams, as if outraged.
ITS tradition during weekends recording or rehearsing is to intersperse intensive practice with equally intensive eating. In the early days, teams organising breakfast, lunch and dinner would make so much effort (and so much food) that we needed naps to recover which was not good for rehearsal efficiency! We have learned to eat lighter breakfasts and lunches to concentrate on our music (and minimise weight gain).
One of the many desirable attributes the boys of In the Smoke boast is their cookery skills. Without exception, all ITS menfolk (past and present) have been enthusiastic co-ordinators of communal cookery during our various weekends away.* Whether you fancy a fiery curry, creamy chowder, a full Sunday roast with all the trimmings or enough guacamole to wash your face in, the gentlemen (and let’s face it they really are) will provide.**
Ladies of the world, take a tip from we Smokettes: choose your man (or men) carefully and you may enjoy the payback your grandma earned. We sit back, look pretty, drink wine, sing when required and let the lads look after us. Because we’re worth it!
* Interested ladies: unfortunately (but probably unsurprisingly) none of these highly eligible men are currently available for dates. Should this change we probably won’t let you know – we know when we’re onto a good thing.
** Prospective new male members, please be aware that a ‘signature dish’ should be provided at any audition for our consideration.