This One Night – Egyptian Reggae

Our brilliant (and bizarre) regular First Draft host, Andrew Williamson, gives us our next This One Night guest blog. 

Mark Lamarr comes to the end of his DJ set in the little tent. He has to finish now, right now. Mark Lamarr plays Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers. It is a strange choice of last song, he’s the last act of the evening so the crowd makes the most of it, shuffling left and right.  Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers comes to an end and the crowd cheers, but Mark Lamarr isn’t finished. He hasn’t had his fill.

Mark Lamarr plays Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers. The crowd thins, but those who stay put more effort into their shuffling. The security guards sigh. The song ends, the crowd cheers, Mark Lamarr plays  Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers for third time, the crowd cheers louder and shuffles vigorously. The security guards twitch.

Mark Lamarr plays Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers for a fourth time. The crowd is down to about 30 people now, but they are louder than ever. Their dancing becomes bigger, wilder, more erratic, more erotic.

During the fifth and sixth plays of Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers,  despite having listened to the same song over and over and over, the crowd becomes frenzied and forms a large, rotating circle in the middle of the tent. The crowd gallops with joy round and round the circle to the tune of  Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers. As each minute passes, the circle rotates faster, and increases its radius in accordance with the conservation of angular momentum. The circle spins and spins and limbs begin to fly out to the side like a never-ending, bottom-feeding, conga line. Mark Lamarr looks out at his creation and shakes his head. “What’s wrong with you fuckers?” he says into the microphone. The crowd takes this as a compliment. The security guards push their earplugs in further.

Mark Lamarr plays Egyptian Reggae by Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers for a seventh time. A chorus of “For fuck’s sake!” erupts from the security guards. But the circle keeps on turning. The expressions of those lost souls trapped in this perpetual game of snake are that of love, exhaustion and hysteria. And all the while the vortex keeps on spinning, destroying feet and wellies and hope, hope that they might escape this whirling prison.

Mark Lamarr ends his set and leaves the stage. The security guards weep with joy. But the circle keeps on turning and turning and turning. And turning.

No, we’re not quite sure what that was all about either…

Hit me again!

(Well, ok. But only if you mean that metaphorically…)

We’ve been asking First Draft performers – past, present and future – to blog about a live performance/event/experience that has been particularly significant to them, in the lead up to our next cabaret night: One Night Only! 

Read all the other This One Night guest blogs here.

Join in the conversation and tell us about your most memorable live experience using #ThisOneNight

Andrew is also a musician, and you can watch some videos of him in action at our past events here.

Follow Andrew and First Draft on Twitter

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