This story is about 2 years old, one which I was only reminded of very recently after bumping into an old friend completely by chance. Don’t you love it when that happens?
So, there I was, in one of my favourite venues in the city. The Philharmonic Hall. I was with my boyfriend at the time (Matthew), my sister (Hev) and her boyfriend at the time (Sean). Sean had bought us tickets to one of his favourite music acts, and since he is a musical genius, I’m pretty excited. We go for a quick drink at the bar before heading to our seats inside. Hev and I had taken the decision to dress up a little, wearing heels and dresses. (One must always look ones best in the Phil, mustn’t one?) Sean leans over in excitement to emphasise just how great these guys are, and I glance at my ticket which says “JERRY DAMMERS SPATIAL AKA ORCHESTRA” in bold letters. Never having heard of them before, I was optimistic.
All of a sudden, the lights dim, the stage fills with smoke, and a low droan surrounds the audience. A man dressed head to toe in green sequins is suddenly illuminated on stage, making me jump. Hev and I exchange worried glances. The instruments are all already on stage, many of which look to be handmade. The rest of the orchestra joins the green man, and appear to be attired in a wide range of costumes, the brass section, I note, are all donning Egyptian Pharoah masks. I feel Matthew shift uncertainly in his seat.
The music commences, and the green man begins singing. Upon getting to the chorus he starts chanting “It’s AFTER the END of the WORLD” several times, whilst beating a tambourine. At first the music pauses and he continues a capella, but then the music starts up again, and instead of a change in rhythm or key to keep us on our toes as an audience, he simply carries on for around…I’m gonna say at least eight minutes. He is then joined by a women wearing a tribal mask with large black feathers coming out of the forehead. All I can make out of what she’s doing are animal noises. Matthew leans over to me and says, “Are we definitely at the right gig?” At the same time, I look at Sean to gauge his reaction. His face mirrors ours: Surprise, Confusion and Awkwardness. He whispers something to Hev, and she grabs my hand. We all walk out to the foyer in the middle of the song, and there’s an awkward silence.
Sean looks at me for a reaction, and laughter drowns me. Everyone else erupts into hysterics. “I’m so sorry guys, I didn’t think that would er…happen…” Sean manages between tears. It takes a moment for my sides to stop aching, and we resolve to go back to our seats and try to endure the rest of the concert, but we don’t last long. We notice an empty box on the far left hand side of the hall, and in telepathic agreement, we leave our seats once more.
Miraculously evading security guards, we locate the empty box. Having never sat in a box in the Phil, I have to tell you, things are so much more enjoyable from higher up. However, as I look around the improved scenery, I notice a coat draped over the back of Matthew’s chair. My eyes widen. Before I have the chance to say anything, a woman appears at the door. We all freeze. The pearls around her neck tell me she’s wearing more money than I own in the world. She looks quizzical, “Sorry, I’ve got the wrong box…”, she giggles, but before she has a chance to check the number on the door to confirm that she has in fact got the right door, we flee. In the foyer and breathless, we resolve to bail and go for an Indian.
As strange as it was, it was the funniest night of my life, and although this may not seem like one of my funnier Awkward Moments, it’s definitely the most memorable. Maybe you had to be there…