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Acid Tongue 894 - A Big Day Out

Author: Dave Jory
Friday, 1 February 2008
So here’s what happened. One night my buddy comes up to me and asks if I want to be a part of his new project. It’s a choir. A man choir. A choir comprised entirely of men. Naturally I thought this sounded like a wonderful way to spend some of my ample spare time so I signed on.

We rehearsed in a warehouse in Enmore. There were about a dozen of us. Comedians, journalists, musicians. A nice mix. Sort of like the Choir of Hard Knocks for people who failed the Means Test. We worked on two songs; Queen’s Fat Bottom Girls and Radiohead’s Street Spirit. And we really were trying.

But we had no gigs.

Then it transpired that a couple of members of Man Choir were heavily involved in Big Day Out. How would we like to do a gig there- Well of course we would. There were some minor grumbles from some choir members who had been in bands for 10 years, doggedly trying to get on at the Sydney Big Day Out. And now here it was, served up on a silver platter in some filthy warehouse.

The plans were set. We’d sing our entire repertoire of two songs, clad in blue singlets emblazoned with the Man Choir logo.
I’ve never been in any kind of band. In fact I’d never been to Big Day Out. And let me tell you, performing at it is the only way to do it.

We went down for a sound check the night before and it was all very exciting. We’d be on at midday, not a gold timeslot, but not terrible either. We were in reasonable voice and we all knew most of the lyrics.

The following day Man Choir made our way to Homebush. We assembled backstage and were given our Man Choir singlets. At midday we were led onto the stage at Lilly World where literally dozens of people were watching us. We opened with Street Spirit. No irony. No wacky lyric changes. We just did it the best we could. Which was OK. Then, as we loosened up, we kicked in to’. I won’t say it was the highlight of the Sydney Big Day Out, but it was OK too.

People looked slightly confused, even concerned. But by the end they seemed to come around to our way of thinking.

When it was done, we walked backstage and raided the esky full of free beer. Then we were exited from the backstage area. And that was it. We had our admission to Big Day Out and the rest of the day was ours.

So there it is. If you’re an aspiring band and you want to play Big Day Out, just do what I did. Fall arse backwards in to some ill-conceived musical group and go along for the ride. The music business really isn’t that hard.