I posted the application without really thinking. I’ve applied for this competition before with Bad Science, yielding nothing, and so sent the Dizraeli CD this year with no expectation at all. It’s just something you do, in the daily dig of self-promotion; you send CDs off.
Imagine my stunned-ness, then, when I got an email announcing that out of 1600 entrants, Dizraeli and the Small Gods had wound up one of 11 bands chosen by the judges of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. Chosen to play in the finals at Pilton Working Men’s club, with the winning prize of a set on the Pyramid Stage dangled large above us.
I probably don’t need to explain that playing the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury is a huge and holy Grail for most UK musicians, me included. Ever since I first realised that I was the type of Ego that enjoyed people looking at me and hearing me talk, I’ve dreamed of pacing that stage, with that many tens of thousands such people spread out before me. Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, KRS-One, Dizraeli*.
But I can’t do it. The finals are taking place on the 27th and 28th of March. On the 27th, I’ll be in Cairo performing the Rebel Cell, and on the 28th, I’ll be beginning the long trek home overground. Three times BOLLOCKS. Bollocks. Bollocks. But surely there must be a way, right? I tried to persuade the good Pilton people that I could compete at the finals via a live web-link from Cairo (imagine! So modern!) but they eventually said No. I tried to persuade myself that it’d be OK to fly back to the UK for this purpose, but this UnPlaned project, and the hours and pounds of honest support that people have given it, and the promise that it promises, all eventually said No.
Bloody blood. It was a strain, at first, I have to say. To have a carrot of this size waved in my face was almost too much. But I do believe it’s worth the sacrifice. I think that UnPlaned will ripple out further than any amount of applause, if we make it good. We’d better. We’d better make it good. We will.
*I know that none of these people have played Glasto, but you get the point.