Point of order, Mr. Speaker…

Last month, my band Firewire headlined at Cromer Carnival for the third year in succession. As with the previous performances, it was a killer gig from the word “go”, with an audience in excess of 1,000 well and truly up for a good time. This year, the sound crew decided to try something different with ther 15kw PA rig, grouping the four huge bass bins together in front of the stage rather than in the scaffolding supporting the rest of the speakers on either side. “Better penetration of the bass frequencies further down the marquee,” they’d said. Slightly strange to have something standing up in front of the stage like that, acting as a barrier between us and the audience, but we went along with it.

We quite often bring the first set to a rousing close with our rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, and even if the name of the song doesn’t ring a bell, the bass part which it ends on is instantly recognisable as the theme tune to BBC1’s Formula One coverage. Generally the point where I switch on the stunning red fretboard LEDs on “Boris”, my limited edition Alembic Spyder bass, and – as you might say – give it some!

While we were setting up I’d wondered how safe it would be to try standing on those vast bass bins. They seemed rock solid, but the problem was that the shape of each one was angled towards the back, so there were gaps in between them. And I could see it would be a fair step up to get on to them, even without the significant weight of my bass hampering my movement.

When it came to it, I couldn’t really pass up the moment. I’d already warned vocalist Marcia Elliott standing next to me that I was going to “go for it”, so I suspect she was rather more apprehensive that I might fall off than the rest of the band – who weren’t prepared for what I was going to do, but by the same token weren’t surprised when I did it.

Once up there, it was easy. I just had to tell myself to keep my feet firmly in place on each speaker, and stay there until the end of the song. The result, as you’ll see within our newly released compilation video, was pretty spectacular.

And as a delightful postscript to the tale, we hadn’t even finished our last set on stage when we were told they want us back to do it all over again next year!

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