Full Cup Café is on a side street in Yau Ma Tei, two blocks down from the MTR. It’s between Nathan Road and a quiet neighbourhood with small Chinese restaurants, dark bars and hole in the wall shops. It was a particularly hot and humid afternoon as super typhoon, Haiyan, had just roared through the Philippines and was heading towards Vietnam. I looked at the weather map online and was shocked at its size - it spanned the whole of the South China Sea – wisps of clouds were shooting off it like the sparks of a giant Catherine Wheel.
Aileen and Darren were doing a sound check when I walked in. As I sat down there was a loud bang - the sound and lights went out. Carrie, the booker for the venue, told us that the building had had trouble with the electrics for the past three days and there was an electrician there now attempting to restore it. She suggested we re-schedule as she didn’t know if the electricity could be connected in time for the show.
The walk from the MTR to Full Cup had pushed my body temperature over the limit and with no air conditioning in the room I felt uncomfortable. I was concerned it would affect my performance. My stomach started to grind reminding me of my pre-gig jitters - my nerves were on edge. I tuned up to prepare for my set. Then, the lights went on.
I plugged in, everything was working but I couldn’t seem to cool off and I felt awkward. I had a burning desire to talk - to relieve my anxiety. I worried about going over time as I’d started my set 15 minutes late. How could I fit in all the talking I wanted to do along with 10 songs? I wanted to connect with the audience but I felt a great gaping gulf between us. My voice sounded strange, the guitar sounded harsh, the lights were too bright. Full Cup were filming the gig and I all I could think of was how discombobulated my performance was.
We mingled and chatted with our friends after the show. Then, there was a loud bang as the electrics blew out again. We stood in the dark – neon lights from nearby buildings illuminated our faces and silhouetted our bodies. We were amazed at the timing - our gig had fit perfectly in between the two blackouts. The Life Force had not abandoned us, it had taken care of the electrics and had probably listened to our show too. - Sue