Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Tale in Three Parts For No Reason

Friday 13th May

I am in the B&B again, although I have definitely left at at some point since the last post. I am in our bedroom this time, drinking my seventy-fifth cup of tea of the day.

I was about to have a shower but the hot water has run out. I stood crossly in the shower with my hand slowly numbing itself under the icy spray as I went from patient to impatient at breakneck speed. Ben popped out to find the owner, who told us that yes, he had just done some washing so it might be twenty minutes or so before the hot water trickled its weary way back to room 4, before darkly adding that most of the guests "have had their showers by now". We didn't go down for breakfast because we were tired from rehearsing all week and Ben was up until 2am making adjustments to the script, so the chance of a lie-in the day before the show was eagerly grabbed. This course of action, however, seemed not to sit too well with John, who I suspect prefers the sort of guest who doesn't take such scandalous liberties. Over the next two days I fully expect him to dock our pocket money and tell us off for treating the place like a hotel.

Anyway. Rehearsals have been going well, apart from briefly yesterday when a hornet the size of my arm starting swooping around the room like some kind of angry, buzzing pterodactyl. I hyperventilated with fear behind a pillar that I hadn't seen before but which turned out to be very useful for cowering behind while Dan coaxed it out with a school exercise book. I nearly died. Later on a robin came in. The robin was considerably less frightening but I still kind of didn't want it near me. I think I might be frightened of all living things, which bodes excellently for when Ben and I do falconry in a few weeks (my present to him for his 30th birthday).

Band name-wise, well. Some excellent suggestions in the comments from the last post, so thank you.

However, there is nothing quite like a name with a story behind it, so here goes.
On Sunday the four of us went out to get some dinner. Afterwards Cheryl decided to turn in so she could be bright-eyed for the passive-aggression and toast which is served every morning here at 8am sharp. Dan, Ben and I decided to have a night cap at the local pub, which is called The Albert (after Einstein - one of its ales is called Realaleativity) and is wonderful, with its own micro-brewery and sense of whimsical country charm. We procured drinks and sat down at a wooden table near the bar, then took up our usual game of "Band Name?".

Tuesday 17th May

It is now Tuesday and I am sitting in a café because being in the flat was doing my head in. I am having proper post-show come down time, which Manchester's grey unpleasant prospect is doing nothing to assuage. Anyway, I should finish the story, but please be prepared for it to have a distinctly gloomier tone from here on.
We were in the Albert, for an after-dinner "one drink". I was vaguely aware that a couple had entered the pub and were talking to the regulars at the bar. The woman's voice was loud and emphatic. "She was-sh the besht cat. Such a beey-eautiful... such... the besht cat". The words wafted over to where we were sitting and I felt a twinge of empathy, recalling our recent sad little loss. I tuned back in to our band name conversation. Something good, that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but that kind of sounds good and works in an ineffable, excellent way. Preferably with some kind of story behind it.

We suddenly became aware that, over at the bar, a coincidence was taking place. The were also talking about band names, and of one in particular. Drunk woman disapproved of the name, which she roundly said was rubbish, an opinion with which I roundly agreed. Apparently the band in question was a good band, but with a terrible name. Ben, Dan and I all looked at each other with silent, high-eyebrowed, "what-a-coincidence" expressions.

We began talking about band names we liked. Either Dan or Ben mentioned the band Daisy Chainsaw, and how brilliant a name that is. Yes, the other two of us agreed, Daisy Chainsaw is an excellent name. Shame it's taken, really.

Suddenly, from across the pub, we heard the words "who'sh talking 'bout Daishy Chainshaw?". We looked up and the drunk woman was lurching towards us. She had blonde hair and a thick jumper, and her mascara was smeared underneath her bloodshot eyes. "Hey" she said as she weaved through the empty pub. "You were talkin' 'bout Daishy Chainshaw! How do you know Daishy Chainshaw?" Someone explained that we were talking about band names.

Wednesday 18th May
I am yet another café. I am one of those people in who sit in cafés crashing self-importantly on a laptop while all decent people are at work. I just had a meeting. I am in better mood today owing to an excellently exciting devising meeting last night.

Band names, we repeated, to the drunk woman's blank expression. We were saying how Daisy Chainsaw is a great band name.

Another blank, mascara-smeared look.

"How do you know Daishy Chainshaw? I know them. D'yous know Vinch? Ch'drummer."

No, one of us explained. We don't actually know the band, we were just talking about them. We don't know who Vince is. We just like the name.

Another one of us piped up to tell drunk woman that we are a band looking for a name, so we were talking about names we liked, and we think the name Daisy Chainsaw is really brilli...


No, we don't know Vince.

At this moment or another moment very similar to this one, drunk woman budged Dan along and sat down next to him. We all silently and inwardly groaned as she leaned forward with an expression of confusion and sambuca clambering across her face.

"Why" she began in a whisper "were you's talking 'bout Daishy Chainshaw?"

I will spare you the agony of having to read the exact conversation and myself the tedium of having to write it all down. But, to summarize, she knew the band a bit because she went to Australia and met someone who had just broken up with his girlfriend and nobody was looking for a relationship and then someone else (possibly her) went to Canada and then Green Day came round and then she went out with Vince or was it Frank then she met Daisy Chainsaw before they didn't go on tour with Nirvana.

"And that" she finished, with a dismissive wave in the direction of the bar "is how I met George."

We nodded.

"Wait. What was I saying?"

We nodded again, hopefully.

By this this time, against all the odds, she seemed to have sobered up a bit. She called over to George to get her another drink.

"My cat died today, that's why I'm this drunk. I don't usually drink in here" she whispered conspiratorially "the wine's horrible." Then, "oops" as her glance drifted down to my glass of red. I told her I didn't mind it, that we usually drink the two-bottles-for-a-fiver wine from the shop down the road and quite enjoy it, but she had stopped listening by then.

"Anyway, what are you all doing here?"

We explained again about the whole band/show/name thing, and she nodded sagely.
"I've always wanted to do that sort of thing." Another vague wave. "But I'm not actually sure I am talented. Last Christmas George asked me what I wanted, I said a piano. So that's what I got."

Dan began to say how that seemed like a good thing, to get a piano, but she shook her head.

"Trouble is, I've never played it. Not once." She shook her head again. "Think how much Botox that could have paid for."

We collectively did not know what to say.

"I did write into The Word magazine once" she continued, undaunted. "But they didn't write back. Just sent me my own letter back to me! Bastards! Although I suppose my letter was more of a complaint that said I should be there instead, so I'm not that surprised. Anyway, I always had a band name that I liked that I thought I would use if I ever had a band."

(At this point George brought over a round of drinks that included a shot of sambuca each. There was a brief conversation about hats as both Dan and Ben were wearing them, which prompted the barman to leap about in various different comedy hats. At one point I requested a contemporary dance, which he duly performed.)

"What" continued the drunk woman, whose name we had now discovered, was Charlotte, "wash I shaying?"

We reminded her.

"Geddes Loom. That's what I would call my band. I think it's from Citizen Kane. Have you seen it."

"I have" replied Ben.

"What?" said Charlotte.

"Seen it."

"Seen what?"

"Citizen Kane."

"Oh. Why?"

"Because of Geddes Loom."

"That's my band name!"

As it turns out, there is a character in Citizen Kane called someone Geddes, but as far as we know he doesn't have a loom or indeed any particular weaving experience or training.

To cut an already very long and boring story down to mere epic length, we decided to name the band Geddes Loom. Because of Charlotte. Because she was excellent and funny and weird and totally loved Dan's bald head and said I was really pretty (although later on I overheard her saying to Dan "she's pretty isn't she? I'm mean, at first, you're like, no, but then after a while, you think: yes". Hey, that's me, I'm a grower.) Because we were in a pub telling each other that we wanted a name with a story behind it and then, out of nowhere, a story started. A story started in the place where all the best stories start, in the pub, an hour before closing.

So, we are Geddes Loom. Thank you, Charlotte.


Blogger Davieboy said...

What was wrong with "Besht Cat"?

Anyway, good luck with the band, look forward to hearing great stuff.

5:22 pm

Blogger fergus said...

You... you... YOU CAN'T STEAL SOMEONE ELSE'S BAND NAME!!! What is wrong with you?!? Someone's cat dies and you steal their long-standing hope of one day expressing herself through song!!! That name is CURSED! CURSED, I say!

7:30 pm

Blogger Benjamin Mellor said...

No no no Fergus, she gave it to us! She told us she thought we should call ourselves that. Don't worry, we didn't rob the grave of her creativity, or if we did she invited us to so it was OK. We have to write "Thank you, Charlotte" in the notes of any album we bring out. Don't curse us, please.

Davieboy yes, Besht Cat might've been an alternative. Hmmm....

7:38 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

Sorry, that was me. Ben was signed in on my computer (something he does to deliberately leave my witty comments on things in his name).

7:40 pm

Anonymous dave said...

Hmmm.... not sure about "Geddes Loom" but hey, if the music is good enough, the name sticks. Just ask "Pink Floyd" . I think you may come over as mid 70s psychedilia a la "Curved Air", "Soft Machine", "Gentle Giant" and so on .... or maybe it's just me... Well done on choosing though!

12:01 pm

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