Me, Paul and our Dad are all guitar players. Neither Paul nor my Father could bring themselves to learn how to tune a guitar properly so it was always left up to me to do it. There's still 3 or 4 of Paul's left handed guitars dotted between my Dads and Mothers homes. One was restrung for right-handers when we used it for a Bone Cancer Research Trust benefit gig we held in Paul's memory but the majority were left as they were or are hung on the walls. What a waste of Guitar! Gonna need the new sibling to fill up all those empty chords, and to save us re-stringing...
Challenge 2 – Left-handed Arm wrestle. The remaining contestants line up opposite each other and do battle. There are winners, there are losers. We're down to four potential siblings.
Challenge 3 – Mime Surfing Competition
Paul, Me and our Dad used to go surfing a lot, mostly down Llangennith , usually in the winter when there was no body else mad enough to go in the water, and when Eddy's Cafe was still a static caravan with a great big dirty greasy grill in it. We'd get out of the car, get blown down the beach, jump in the water and get chucked about for an hour before getting out for burger, chips, can of fizzy pop, all piled up in the car exhausted, salt crystallising in our hair and greasy potatoey fingers. Lush. Paul seemed invincible surfing and showed so little concern for his own personal safety he had to wear a helmet just in case. He'd routinely leave my Father and I flapping around in the water as he caught wave after wave, looking back shrugging at us as unable to work out what the fuck we were doing wrong.
To the Hawaii 5-0 theme tune the contestants let rip throwing some awesome moves. There were a few gentlemen at the event with a video cameras, I will get the footage, it was class, headstands, the lot. I was so impressed with the effort I tried to let all four be my new siblings but the audience wouldn't let me shouting 'NO! You've got to pick ONE!... '. I try and fob them off but to no avail.... so, there had to be a...
Surprise ROUND 4! – Q&A Session
From left to right...
This gent had been very competitive, the first person I had shown my pre-show song to and has been calling me 'Brother' since the competition started. I'm not suppose to have favourites but he'd been chatting away all night and I could easily handle him as potential family.
Ann, one of the other One Note Missing artists, starts blocking the Q&A session telling me where to stand and I'm half way through following her orders when I decide she's far to bossy to be my new sibling and disqualify her from the round.
The leaderhosen wearer, Wolf. We disclose to the audience about our uncanny exchange earlier in the evening, how peculiar it was that he had misplaced the ancestor stone there he now was competing to be my new sibling.
The lady on the far left made some really fantastic arguments why she should be my new sibling; she would as a sister provide Yin to balance my Yang, she could give me valuable advice about girlfriends. I have to confess that I had just inherited two step sisters so, if anything, I might need the balance readdressed in the other direction.
Eventually it went to a vote. There were protests that I should pick the winner myself but you don't get to pick your family, do you? By round of applause Wolf was awarded my new sibling status. Finialy! A new sibling! Think of the things we have to do, all the secrets we'll have to keep quiet about and the plans we have to nurture. I should really get in touch for a catch up
The big thing for me from the evening for me was the way it allowed the audience to start up conversations about their brothers and sisters in a way I don't think would have been possible if I had lead the piece with Paul and my loss. Those gathered told me how I reminded them of their older siblings when I was bossing them around, how they hadn't been in touch with their own siblings for years, or had peculiar relationships which involved phoning each other once a year to hurl 5 minutes of abuse from across the Atlantic. It was great to find out this stuff but I don't know whether these exchanges with the audience would have been as easily accessed if I had lead the piece with my loss and had let Paul's death become the focus. Perhaps a spoon full of sugar is needed to help the medicine of grief go down? Is too much sugar disrespectful to our loved ones memories? I want to be able to use my own emotions and experience of the loss of my Brother within the piece as it develops and still be able to leave enough room and permission for audiences to feel they can be involved with their own thoughts, emotions and loss. It's a delicate balancing act I'm looking forward to finally exploring.
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