“Hey you guys love drums or what?! We’re gonna play a little tune, you might know, called Stairway to Heaven.” – Hamish Blake, before playing.
When I first heard that Hamish Blake was doing a one show only gig, I was interested. With tickets being sold at $5 a pop (and with all proceeds going to charity), I knew even it being the coldest day on record wasn’t going to stop me. So come hail, rain or shine, I was going to be there. And for an eight minute set, I can honestly say I wasn’t disappointed!
Andy MCed the gig. Being naturally charismatic and incredibly funny, he warmed the crowd up perfectly. Although, he did stuff up Hamish’s intro, saying he was to play the electric guitar, instead of the electric drums. He later did a pick up, correcting his mistake. “The man of the moment on lead electric drums – Hamish Blake everyone! I had one job,” he laughed.
“Our snap chat artist will also be front rowing it a little bit. I apologize for putting really tall lanky guys in there, but we thought we’d give the front row to anyone on facebook live. Essentially, what’s going to happen is you guys know the stakes but we’re going to give a bit of a countdown to when facebook live starts.
Then, I’m going to walk back on and then I’m going to pretend. I mean, I can say the word ‘fuck’ right now, but I won’t be able to say that in 30 seconds time. I’ll walk back on and introduce the band and then we’re going to have the best gig of our lives … which won’t be for very long.” – Andy
I’d never heard of the band, Bonjah, (not surprising as I’m a rather uncool individual) but I immediately became a fan upon hearing them. Only now, after doing some research, I know they are a four piece band, formed in 2006 in Tauranga, New Zealand, now based in Melbourne. (or at least, that’s what their Wikipedia page says … #journofail)
“Big thanks go to the band Bonjah. I know a lot of you guys already know Bonjah – an amazing band. And if you don’t know them, you’re about to hear how good they are.” – Andy Lee
Hamish’s wife Zoe Foster-Blake sat on the adjacent stage, beside Hamish’s Mum, there for moral support – and, for, I imagine, love and encouragement – or just to watch her baby fulfill his current, random, spur-of-the-moment, radio-segment-worthy, weekly dream.
“Hamish’s wife is sitting over there to judge it. Hamish’s Mum’s come along for moral support, which I know is not the coolest thing ever for a rock band to do to have their Mum on a pedestal over there.” – Andy
The band were introduced. Hamish took his seat. The lights went dim. The room went quiet. The song had began. I couldn’t see much of the stage (too short vs too many people – you judge) – but he sounded great. Perhaps, overshadowed by the amazing vocals and stellar electric guitar, but that’s how it should be – considering they’re the professionals.
“Give it up everybody one more time! People are yelling out ‘fast and loose’ – that’s not the way you’re meant to drum. It’s meant to be tight and in the pocket. They’ll be no encore – get the hell out.” – Andy joked, walking off stage momentarily, before shortly returning.
“I was actually just doing that for dramatic effect. Thank you guys so much for coming! We’re overwhelmed. This thing’s just become heaps funnier when people get involved so thank you for making this 600 times funnier now with every individual person!
I know it’s everyone’s lunch break so you can run back to your jobs. Obviously, these guys are going to absolutely get s-faced now that they’ve completed the gig … oh, and we have to go back and do a radio show.” – Andy
Hamish then returned to the stage, throwing his drum sticks and some kind of back pack thing, which he described as the most important tool in a professional drum kit, (was it a pillow? any one out there know?) into the audience in true rock star fashion after the performance!
“I’ve got to rug up because it’s freezing. Thank you so much for coming down guys I really appreciate it. Thank you in helping this dream come true.” – Hamish
Andy, then asked:
“On a simple applause-o-meter, do you think he did enough to keep the drum kit? [The crowd broke out in loud applause] Well, who out there thinks he didn’t do enough? [The room was dead quiet. I mean, crickets. Then one guy yelled, ‘I want my money back!’ which made Andy laugh] Fair call pal, I can see what you’re saying. We’ll meet you out back. “
After the gig, one question remained – would Zoe let Hamish keep the drum set?
“The result will be up on this afternoon’s show, whether she allows it. Certainly half way through the show, it was looking good … because Ham hadn’t come in yet. I feel like he really warmed into it and he certainly impressed the socks off of me.” – Andy
EDIT: I hear she said yes. Congrats, Hamish! You earned it!