Adrenalin – the fun-and-games hormone

Adrenalin. It’s the fun-and-games hormone of limitless cliche, isn’t it? When you feel that adrenalin surge you know you’re in for a bumpy ride. It gets you quivering with excitement, quaking in your boots, turns your legs to jelly, makes your throat as dry as sticks, has you pacing like a caged tiger, jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof, gets you shaking all over, sends shivers down your backbone, makes you feel hot under the collar, brings you out in a cold sweat, gives you butterflies in your stomach and good vibrations elsewhere, makes your heart skip a beat…

…no time is it more active than when you have to perform in front of a crowd. That’s when adrenalin is both your best friend and your sworn enemy pumping you up so you can get on down. Rehearsing is easy, it’s the best time to make mistakes, anticipation is easy at that point it’s still all in your head. But when you’re plugging in that amp and adjusting that microphone, doing the old 1, 2, buckle-my-shoe at the soundcheck and the crowd (packing out our local pub*) has downed its first collective pint, then that old devil adrenalin gets you up and running, or rather up and strumming.


C5, our ensemble, featuring Jo Livingstone and Andrea Thomson on backing vocals and percussion, Adrian Hillier and myself on acoustic guitars and vocals, Richard Blakesley on lead electric guitar and wah-wah pedal and Roger Brass (of Roger and Jo 2.0 fame) on bass guitar were all hot to trot with a bunch of cover songs – everything from Bowie and The Beatles to Carole King and the Human League by way of George Ezra, Hosier and Joni Mitchell and a few original tunes by Adrian and myself. Usually, we’re totally acoustic, but this time we were wired and wired for sound (using a SmoothHound wireless guitar transmitter to reduce the trip hazards and still get crystal clear reproduction from guitar to PA to audience ears) and, as Mrs Sciencebase adds, it was all about that bass, which aurally and psychologically seems to be the audio element that an ensemble needs to fill out the sound.

Anyway, to those who came along, thanks for turning out on a drizzly school night. I don’t think the pub were quite expecting a full-on gig, but were happy for the hard-drinking crowd (obviously) and have asked us back for a weekend gig some time soon…watch this space.

There is one thing though…adrenalin withdrawal…it leaves you with a smile on your face, exhausted, but unable to sleep, tossing and turning all night and wide awake in the morning pouring out a stream of consciousness into your latest blog post as the only way to shake off the dregs of that nervous energy.

*Last night, the most excellent Chequers pub, 297 High Street, Cottenham, next to the War Memorial, CB24 8QP, where there is ample parking, fine ales and stone-fired pizza) C5 photo by Moira, lasershow by accident.