session at The Bank (it was a bank, it’s now owned by Banks’ Brewery). There was a wide range of refreshingly amateur talent, and at least one well refreshed amateur: * Old blokes in baggy blue jeans playing 12 bar blues. Well, it’s more acceptable than smoking a pipe and talking about your prostate op. * Sensitive solo crooners with guitars and “a song I wrote last week”. * “The kids” grooving down to the funky rock sound. * One extremely pissed drummer, accompanying some like-minded souls only a few drinks behind him.
Now, I like bad drummers because they make me feel good about my own playing. I always find a little practice makes all the difference, and it was the distinct lack of same that made the last bunch stand out a mile. That and the large guy desperately trying to hit the snare drum (which he seemed to have some trouble locating and which at one point made a spirited attempt to escape him by shooting halfway across the floor) more often than once per verse.
OK, I might be unfair. He might have just begun learning how to play - we all have to start somewhere. He might not have possessed natural rhythm; I can certainly sympathise with that. But I venture to suggest that his performance might have been considerably more accomplished if he hadn’t started the evening rolling drunk. No, really. My suspicions were first aroused when I noticed him fall over a fellow punter at the bar earlier, mumble a slurred apology and then leer with his tongue out behind the guy’s back.
This … still entertaining workout was terminated when he abruptly gave it up as a bad job mid-song (Jeez man, how many snare drums were in that kit anyway??) and walked off stage, pausing to lovingly rub the second guitarist’s bald head. He later staggered back up to shake hands with all concerned - particularly the owner of the kit, who had jumped onboard in a last ditch attempt to save the ship (or perhaps go down with it). Presumably this was intended to convey the fact that he still had his dignity. Then he crawled quietly away to curl up and die somewhere. Aw. Or maybe he was hurling up in the gutter.