Alan Perrott: Spinning a tale of woe

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"Hmmm, I wonder if LCD Soundsystem are on yet? Bugger. I hope Arcade Fire sucked. Bloody Canadians ... hang on, what the hell is that racket? Feedback?"

A quick glance at the mixer, looks fine, then a moment to tune back into what's playing: "Dancing Queen ... young and sweet ... only 17 ... " "Urgh, sounds OK. Hmm, there it is again, only louder and screechier ... "

A quick look to my right and ... it's a woman shrieking at me. The effort is making her face distort and encourages a slosh of wine to make an untidy escape before the words come into focus: "Simply the Best ... Simply the Best."

Christchurch, Tina bloody Turner. Heaps of people I know are probably leaping around to LCD's All My Friends at this very moment, about five hours and umpteen hicktowns northish. But here I am wading through me box looking for the Tina bloody Turner record I'd had to buy all special like. It cost 15 bucks. And I might add that caterwauling track is actually called The Best.

Oh never mind, weddings are spiritual occasions, a time for familial bonding, romance even, and the punters do seem to be enjoying themselves. Well, apart from one, pissed-off bloke who wobbled up, went to say something, then decided a dismissive swat would do before swinging around and wobbling away again.

But that's wedding DJing for you, you can't please everyone all the time. Still, the couple are really cool people, so you gotta knuckle down and do what you gotta do as best you can. But there was no ignoring that quiet pang. Maybe the Big Top had been hit by lightning and I didn't miss a thing?

It had started happily enough in November: "Could you DJ my wedding?"
"Sure mate, no worries," I'd replied. Of course I would. No problem, he's a top bloke and you always try to help out top blokes. Besides it's ages away.

Scroll forward a month and a half and the TimeOut editor casually wanders over: "Hey, could you help us out at the Big Day Out?" "Woohoo. Damn right I can," I'd said. "Umm, when is it again?" "Umm, January 18 I think."

"Ohhhhhhh." A few rusty brain cogs clonk into place as my guts fell to my knees. Then I find the rapidly aging email. Yep, I'm now double-booked.

Still, as I say, lovely couple. But who schedules a wedding when they should be Big Day Outing themselves? Last year's was only the second I'd missed, bloody work deadlines got in the way, so I'd been determined not to let that happen again only to fall at the first hurdle. So there I was at about 11.30am on the day of the wedding/Big Day Out, crossing the reputedly spooky range between Taupo and Napier.

Then the sun disappeared and rain began spitting down. Charming. Just to rub salt in and poke its tongue out, the radio picked that moment to begin minute-by minute Big Day Out updates. "Oh, it's so hot." "Oh, the crowd looks so hot." "Oh, didn't that band rock."

"F*** off. Leave me alone ... . oh well, maybe there will be some lovely, available ladies? Yeah, let's try to be all Mr Brightside. There will be another BDO next year and I've never been to the Hawkes Bay, might be some cool second-hand shops ... I just hope the aunties go easy on me ... "

So, I don't want to hear anyone's Big Day Out stories, it never happened, nothing to see there, and besides, as the Walker Brothers, not to mention Midge Ure, said: "There's no regrets ... "

But if anyone's after a crap Tina Turner album, I know where there's one going real cheap.

- NZ Herald

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