There's been a fair amount of music-making at work recently: a singing group that I was partly responsible for starting, which has already had a couple of rehearsals (and looks fair set to be able to do a handful of a cappella carols at the Christmas party); and a proper actual band (with guitars, I mean) consisting of the Director and a handful of other guys (also intending to play at the Christmas party). One of the basses in 'our' singing group is also the singer with the band (they don't have a name, and I don't think 'Steel Metropolis' would suit them), and he happened to mention a couple of weeks ago that he was having trouble hitting the high notes for all these Beatles songs they were covering. "You need a chick singer," I said. "All bands need a chick singer." We laughed, and he said "you should join the band," and we laughed some more, and then today he said "so are you coming to tonight's rehearsal?" And I laughed a lot, and then went "erk", having never actually been in a band that actually got as far as having rehearsals before (Steel Metropolis only ever got as far as having band members and a list of possible songs before the cool goth chick went and joined a proper band). But of course when somebody asks you to be in a band you say YES!
To be honest, it was pretty awkward. The band were okay but seemed to be suffering a bit from the lack of a bassist (they normally have one but he couldn't make this rehearsal); M— the 'real' singer and I hadn't had a chance to agree anything about who was doing what, so there was a lot of "Um do you want to sing this bit and then I'll do that bit", which is just messy, and we weren't helped by the fact that we were sharing one microphone (he's about 6'3") and I'm lousy at singing with a microphone anyway. (More Singstar required, I think.) And on the whole I felt like a spare part (next time maybe I'll just take my tambourine along); they were all friendly about everything, but they'd been practising for a month or so already and so they already had some kind of growing band-ness, togetherness, and I didn't really fit into it. Not surprising really, but still, a bit awkward.
That said, we did manage passable renditions of a couple of Beatles songs ("Eight Days a Week" and "I Saw Her Standing There" -- neither of which I know very well), a slightly odd version of "Jolene", and rather shambolic versions of "Merry Christmas Everyone" and "Merry Xmas Everybody" (a theme, there). It was a bit weird having me singing the Beatles stuff (which is all about fancying gurls) and the real singer feller singing "Jolene" (which is all about yer mate stealing yer man), but hey, we could be some kind of novelty gender-confounding pub-rock band. Or get a cheap laugh at least.
The bits where it worked best (apart from obviously all the bits where I wasn't singing, natch) were the bits where M— and I got the cheesy harmonies working, proper leaning-into-the-microphone-together stuff. On about the ninth chorus of "Merry Christmas Everyone" I figured out a harmony line for the 'love and understanding' bit that kind of worked; and on the third or fourth chorus of "Jolene" M— worked out his harmony line and we actually sounded quite classy on the last run through it (at least as far as I could hear over the drums). So there's hope. And I think it will be fun if we do get as far as getting up at the party and playing something, because of all the stuff I said about just doing it, and also because it's clowning about with colleagues, which is always good for a giggle when you get on well with said colleagues.
But in the meantime I am thinking I need to practise a) singing like a Beatle, b) harmonising along with stuff, and c) not being nervous at the prospect of doing either of the above in front of the Director (who incidentally looks pretty damn cool with his guitar and can actually play the thing).
Unless of course they email me tomorrow and say "Um, actually..." at which point I will say that it's okay, I want to concentrate on my solo career anyway, ha ha, and then breathe a sigh of relief, or regret, or both.
But at least I'll have tried.