If I were to present to you a crisp piece of fresh white A4 paper then use a biro to mark the smallest dot imaginable on it and then ask you what you saw in all likelihood you would say the dot.
This is a illustrative metaphor I learned during teacher training and it held true this evening. In the later show this evening there was a dot. She was a 22 year old goth and a Camden local.
Forget that within this room of 30 real audience the sophisticated women on my right were laughing in all the right places, forget the group behind them that were screaming "Two Shots!" on cue, forget the second and third rows on the left that were doing their bit shouting "One Shot!" back at them, even forget that the dot's friends looked amused. The dot did not like me and the dot wouldn't stop chatting to her friend and checking her phone.
Mid-song I crouched down to eye level with the dot whilst she was looking at her phone and sang in her face for about ten seconds. When she finally noticed she looked really angry. I went over to the other side of the room and topped up on smiles again.
Do not confront the dot. The dot is not an attitude fuelled nine year old who needs reminding that in your class you are the teacher and they should hang on your every word. The dot has paid ten pounds to get drunk with their friends and has no time for your immature rap shit when real music made by real people with real realness is being played in a variety of venues down the road.
If you are going to confront the dot do it after the song in an expertly crafted conversational fashion like the headliner who followed you and smashes the room to pieces.
So yes, I was back at Monkey Business tonight. Like previous nights there were a variety of trademark Martin Besserman's (the promoter) in effect. We reconfigured the panic room style basement from looking like a lecture hall to a supper club five minutes before the audience arrived, the microphone grill fell off during my early set and was sellotaped on forever after, the mic stand broke, and no-on really knew when they were due on until the show was underway. Chaotic. Anarchic. Oddball. But it worked and both the early and late show audiences appeared to love every minute of it.