Panic Attack Probed
(The extract below is based on the forward from the first song book, however since that was published there have been quite a few changes. The band, perhaps more correctly described as 'front row scrum' is still formed around the original three - Dr Birkett and the menopause. in the scrum on second row we now have Brian, a new fantastic fiddler and meself, Dave still struggling with the dripping drainpipe).
I was asked to write a short piece about each member of the band and I thought this was a good chance to repay the debt incurred when Ian produced a wonderful photograph of the group. The only one in the photograph who looked as if he’d not just beamed down from the planet Zog was himself. The rest of us looked as if we’d been in the hall of mirrors at Blackpool and uttered the word used when you reach twenty in a game of pontoon. If I can slip a copy past him it’ll appear somewhere in this booklet. If not all this’ll be censored and you’ll never know.
Those last three words are indeed profound because one of the endearing qualities of the band, I’ve been told by our fan, is that you never know what’s coming next. Ian always likes to give the impression that this delightful spontaneity is based on months of serious planning, practice and utter professionalism. The reality is just a touch different. Philosophers tell us that we are all searching for our own nirvana Each of us in the group exhibits this personal search in our playing.
On a good day Ian’s fingers fly frantically across the tortured twines amazing all who witness the event, as if he’s trying to climb into the instrument to find the chord that is so elusive. On a bad day the void that originated in a bottle of Jamiesons somewhere just West of Kilfenora takes over and he stares in disbelief at the guitar as if it were about to dissolve. One wonders at moments like this if he’s serious when he claims not to need Prozac no more.
On a good day Christine surprisingly sings songs from somewhere that complement the manic pluckings from Ian and Dead Puppies live again. After a glass or two of a pleasant New World red however the trials of her daily life may crowd in and her brain will go into ‘buggarit’ mode. This results in the ‘Joseph’ syndrome and any dream, or note, will do.
On a good day Hanna will harmonise with Christine to the point that audiences pack up their sorrows and join in gleefully. On a bad day the bodhran beats the player and she complains that the World is full of men who are either mad, married or homosexual.
On a good day Brian bends the bow over the silver strings and the angels have to concede that the fiddle is not the instrument of the devil. On a bad day he. will mumble catastrophic curses at the crackling catgut of the sort that he could only have learnt in far off lands
On a good day Morris will colour the background with bass or sing of drunken maidens whilst playing the squeeze box. On a bad day he will moan and mutter at the lack of contact with others in the band
I have no good days and it really doesn’t matter what the hell we’re doing next cause I only have a small piece of drainpipe to play with and it’s got me into serious trouble in the past.
June our ‘manager’ got me to write all this and said that if I didn’t do it proper she would beat me senseless with my own wee whistle. A light brush to the head she felt would suffice.
(The Wayward Whistler)
PS. For those who may have already been to a concert and are consequently confused occasionally there may be visiting guest artists performing with the band. It should be stressed that.PaNiKaTaK take no responsibility for anything that these artists may perform. No band members speak Welsh or have any connection with anyone called McPuke, Hamish or Fingle, anyone who prepares turkeys for Christmas dinners or anyone who causes suffering and distress to animals or helpless creatures other than humans.
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