The funniest gig...

The funniest gig...
Authored By John Nicholson
The funniest thing I ever saw at a concert was at Middlesbrough Town Hall in the mid-70s. Camel were touring their Snow Goose album. I really liked Camel, though it has to be said that they were very serious po-faced boys and they played this concept album with all due solemnity. This made what was to happen even funnier.
We had seats on the balcony. To our right were some empty seats with ‘reserved’ pinned to them on sheets of paper. We thought nothing of it until the encore, when a team of half a dozen roadies arrived as the band took to the stage. With them they carried a strange contraption.
After a few minutes it became clear that this chick wire, cotton wool and feathers was supposed to be the Snow Goose. However, we were nearing the end of a tour of the provinces and the creation was looking a bit threadbare, and was moulting its covering.
A zip wire that I had previously thought belonged to the lighting rig, ran from the balcony to the side of the stage and the roadies fearlessly attached the moulting ‘goose’ to it as the band played the final song on the record, ‘Rhayader Alone’ and at a predetermined signal, heaved the wire and feather creation so that it slipped down along the zip wire to the stage. The effect was supposed to celebrate the returning goose of the album, but as it travelled along the zip wire it shed more and more feathers, revealing the shaped chicken wire underneath.
As we were so close to it, it seemed absolutely hilarious as the band played this serious pastoral prog rock. This balding goose made its stately way to the stage. This wasn’t high tech stage effects, it was the ultimate in home-made props. The roadies clearly thought it was a waste of their valuable snakebite drinking time.
To make it even more amusing, it came to rest at the left of the stage and just hung there, to all intents a flightless bird with alopecia. As the gig ended it was some poor roadie's job to unhook it with a pole and place it in a box on to the next gig. Hilarious.

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