The song chosen was 'Rumble in Brighton' by The Stray Cats
He stepped out into the cool overcast night. The metal heels on his wingtips clinking against the tiled doorstep. He pulled the door to his childhood home shut and was took a breath. With his guitar slung effortlessly across his back, his new leather jacket creaked as he raised the collar to his chin, he shoved his hands into his pockets and walked with scrunched up purpose to The Gabardine Club.
He didn’t look up until he turned onto the street of the club and only then did he notice the rain. It was coming down in sheets, the wind forcing it to fall at an acute angle, it pummelled everything it came into contact with and had begun to pool alongside the kerb as the drains could take no more. The rain slowly seeped into his consciousness and yet he still doubted its existence. His jacket still open, he pulled at the clothes now plastered against his body and ran his fingers through his sodden mop of hair. He stayed standing in the street not wanting to seek cover from the elements but rather relishing the combination of the strong ice wind, the prickly stinging rain and the arthritic damp as it slowly entwined around his legs as it rose from his water filled shoes.
He wanted to hold his arms up and his hands out and laugh loudly and maniacally at the universe for bringing this downpour. Its severity would no doubt be on the news and no-one would be leaving the dry comfort of their homes regardless of how important tonight was for him. He saw the door to the club open and the head of Johnny Big Guns poke out.
‘HEY! HEY! Danny! Bloody ‘ell man, get in ‘ere pronto. We’re all waitin’ for ya!’
Danny made a dash for the door as Johnny held it open for him, ducking inside he was instantly met with a wall of people, and he sidled by them all to the stage. As he removed his guitar from his back he noticed that it had been functioning as a bucket in the rain and his heart dropped, he couldn’t perform without music. Disappointed he left the guitar on the stage and headed to the bar to tell The Gabardine Club manager that he couldn’t play tonight.
‘What? You mean I stopped all these people from going home by promising them that the next big thing was playing here tonight and you’re telling me you can’t? Why not? If its nerves Danny, you really don’t need to have any, you’re good. You’re really good.’
‘It’s not that. My guitar...the rain…sorry…’
Danny headed towards the door; he didn’t have money to spend on drowning his sorrows so there was no point sticking around. Torrential rain pour had to be better than an angry crowd. As he reached the door Johnny Big Guns stopped him.
‘Boss wants ya’
Danny looked back to see the manager beckoning him back over.
‘Yeah?! Don’t yeah me Danny, d’you hear? Look, there is no way I can disappoint the crowd in here, the place has never been so ram packed and you know the talent agent from that label is in tonight too, don’t’ ya?
Danny knew about the agent. It was the reason he was late. He wasn’t sure what he would do if the agent liked what he heard and he wasn’t sure what he would do if he didn’t. He had purposely taken his time in getting ready only prompted to leave when his dad had banged on his bedroom door.
‘What you doing in there Daniel? You trying to self-sabotage again. I’m telling you this for your own good, but if you don’t go there tonight and give it some welly then you can find yourself a proper job or start looking for somewhere else to live. I’m sick of all your talking and no action.’
Danny knew his Dad was right. He always did this. It didn’t matter what the occasion but if he could find a way to sabotage himself then he would. He didn’t know why he had so much fear of success. He was as fed up with himself as his parents were. Tonight would be different; nothing would stop him from finding out once and for all if he could make it.
‘Danny…Danny! You listening?’
‘Yeah, sure, yeah. If I had another guitar or…’
‘You’re in luck, I always keep a spare, now get a bloody move on. The punters are starting to get rowdy again.’
Danny stood at the mic, guitar in hand, still soaked through, a lump in his throat, dry mouth and the shakes. He wasn’t entirely sure if the shakes were from the rain or the nerves and he opted for rain. The sea of people in front of him chatted to one another as they waited, he leant forward,
‘Good evening…who’s ready to rock? I said…WHO’S READY TO ROCK?!’
The crowd roared.