Loading, storing and packing – strange gig!

I did a gig in a “boutique” hotel in Oxford last night. This should have been an easy gig for me as I live in the area – a lot of my gigs have me traveling all over the country so was looking forward to a quick drive home (and maybe even get a rare chance to see my girlfriend on a Saturday night before she went to sleep).

When I arrived at the hotel (about 45 minutes early) a very helpful member of staff helped me in with my amp and directed me to the area where the PA was waiting to get access to the room. We couldn’t go in just yet as the room was still in use from the previous clients (we were told they were being very slow to leave).

Once the room was actually clear we started loading equipment into the lift. The lift was capable of carrying 8 people, although these 8 would need to have very few hang-ups about personal space; it was very cramped! There was only one lift, so we had to share it with guests at the hotel and staff (being a polite band we obviously gave precedence to everyone else first) but although it was tricky, we managed to get everything into the stage area quite quickly.

Once we’d set up we started looking for somewhere to store all the various cases and bags a seven piece band with their own PA and lights might have with them. Again, helpful staff directed us to an area behind the stage and we started moving all the cases here. However, it quickly became apparent that this was not going to be big enough to store our cases and also fulfill its main purpose as a fire exit, so we were given access to one of the hotel rooms and moved all our cases in there.

We played the gig, a good crowd (an American company’s annual awards and Christmas bash) made the gig even more fun and come 1am we started to pack down our gear.

It was after we finished the gig and started packing down that we learned that someone had been given “our” room (the one with all our cases in) and was sleeping in there. Apparently they knew we’d be going in at some point during the night and wouldn’t mind…

I never really found out who this was, but I’m guessing it wasn’t a hotel guest as it’s unusual to have to share a room with a van load of drum and guitar cases and PA equipment boxes. A tap on the door and a few moments wait and no answer so we used the key to get in. Whoever had been given our room was fast asleep, so we spent the next 15 minutes tiptoeing in and out carrying our cases as quietly as possible.

If it was you I hope we didn’t disturb your sleep! Although seeing as the room was so close to the stage I’m guessing the sleeping person had some very good earplugs…

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