I went to The Plough last night to put up some posters. I cannot explain why I bothered, and I left in an abject fug of pointlessness and stupidity. They were the last posters I will ever put up.
Experience has reminded me time and again that nobody responds to posters. At least not the ones I come up with. When was the last time I went to a gig because I happened to be at the venue and saw a poster for something I had never heard of? That itself makes me quite certain that absolutely nobody will see what I put up and go oooh, that that looks good... and checking quickly in my diary I can see that I have nothing to do next Tuesday evening... oh, yes I do... well bollocks to him, instead I will hasten my return to this fine drinkery on the advertised evening and watch these clever music-makers to my better enjoyment, yes I will.
Using slightly less baroque diction, I chatted to some people in the pub. Correction, they started chatting to me. They did! I beg your pardon, I know this is no mystery in the civilised world, I am just conditioned to Central London pubs. Then I put up my two A4-sized wastes of time facing in and out on the window, the inside one at about eye height. Whereupon, one chatty patron, fresh from insisting we include a theremin player in our lineup, offered the following razor-sharp appraisal of my poster-mounting aptitude.
It's too low, you can't read it from the side.
Hmm... no, I didn't understand either... apparently if you stood directly in front of it, it was OK. If you stood, ooh, six feet to the right, although in no way obscuring the clear view of the window, you couldn't read it. For which the solution was to position it higher. Okaaaaaay...
I should have left there and then. But I am impressionable and pathetic, plus I hadn't finished my coke, so I humoured him by shifting it 18 inches higher. It now sat over the poster I had faced outwards, and with the streetlights shining in through the window, was more or less illegible.
That's better, he said.
I knew there was I reason I had long ago ruled out this pub as a possible venue. As I was leaving, at the end of the small exhibition of myself trying to peel off the sticky pads that my first siting of the poster had left on the frosted pane, another friendly local quizzed me thus.
When is it?
The moment I was out the door, I almost took out my phone and cancelled the gig. What was I thinking when I organised this? I wanted something better than Imbibe...
I'll tell you why I'm not going to cancel.
I used to believe that the things you least look forward to often turn out to be the most fun. Nowadays I think that is only true of events over which you have no control. If this gig is an ugly mess, it will have been of my own making. I'm kind of curious to see how it goes.
Meanwhile, that was a good suggestion with the theremin, I must admit. Anyone got one?