We got to the venue in York and were cordially greeted by the promoter – Joe.
“Hi,” he said. “Is that all of you now then?” “Yep, that’s us all” Nathan said. “Ah good” Joe said. “He said you wouldn’t be far behind.” “Who said?” Nathan said. “The other member of your party.” Joe said. “There is no-one else.” Nathan said. “Hey?” Joe said. “That’s funny, he said he was with the band that were playing tonight.” “Who said?” Nathan said. “Well come on inside, he’s just in there waiting.” Joe said. “He did seem a little odd,” Joe added for measure as we walked down the corridor leading to the performance space. “A little” he paused. “Punctuated.”
Opening the doors at the rear of the venue we stepped into a large room fitted out with wooden chairs and tables. The room was bordered by old, cosy looking settees. Red brick pillars absorbed the dim yellow lights and the bar shimmered its brass fittings through shadows at the back of the room. The place had warm memories of a bygone workingman’s club. The Duchess it was called. The stage rested beyond the pillars soaked in a frosty blue light.
“There he is.” said Joe cheerfully. “He asked if we would not disturb him till the artists got here.”
There, perched high on the blue spotlight and majestically silhouetted was Crow.
“Crow!” we all cried. He turned around nonchalantly and greeted us with a bow, lifting a single wing into the air. He used formality with poise. “How do you do?” he said. “Oh good Crow, really good. How about you?” Nathan said. “I have been well, very well, despite my course.” he said looking about him in disdain. “Crow,” said Liz. “This is Phil ‘Owley, he plays drums. Phil this is Crow, he toured Germany with us.” “Hi” said Phil “Delighted, I’m sure,” He turned to Liz. “Have you been breeding again Liz?”
I have to explain here that Crow does not fully grasp the concept of mammals or infact social interaction outside of the family unit. Despite his upright education he is actually of the impression that Liz laid and hatched each member of the band. To correct him would be to repulse him on all possible fronts.
“Well I suppose he’ll aid the time keeping.” He turned to me with a look of hopeless incorrectability. “What brings you here Crow?” I said, “I thought you’d flown back to Frankfurt.” “I did,” he said “but then I discovered that you’d forgotten your waistcoat so I thought I’d better bring it to you.” “But I don’t have a waistcoat” I said. “I know you don’t” he said, “which is exactly why I bought you one.” “Oh well thanks Crow” I said. “It’s the least I can do to help with your stage presence. We can work on your posture another time.” “Are you sticking around Crow?” Liz asked. “I don’t think I can dear,” he said with a deep remorse. “Concert season is coming up, besides I wouldn’t know where to start in this climate.” “Nonsense Crow, you’d enjoy it here and we’d love to have you.” Liz replied.
“Well if you still need me I suppose it would be wrong to neglect my duties. Where’s my dressing room?”