2009 was a rather pleasant year for us gents. Despite what the occasional threadbare suit, anemic turnout, or negative bank account balance might suggest, business is booming! Below, we share with you some 2009 superlatives. You are welcome to dispute our choices, and welcome to suggest new categories and winners of your own.
Rowdiest Concert: SUNY Stony Brook Swim Team Bash (Stony Brook, NY 4/25/09)
No, really. These swimmers, and their pals, know how to party. We gents have put on some rowdy recitals, but we’d never seen anything quite like this. Excessive drunkenness plus a twenties theme? My goodness, yes! And there’s video evidence!
Most Peculiar Engagement: Emerson Elementary School (Lakewood, OH 3/6/09)
Yes, an elementary school invited us to conduct an assembly for their entire student body. School administrators were under the impression that we are historically minded children’s entertainers. We, in need of a handsome payday, did little to disabuse them of the notion. The children seemed to enjoy themselves. The teachers objected to our subject matter (nautical disasters, limb amputations, flu epidemics) and several, so irritated by the deafening sound of a screaming, 500-child re-enactment of the Hindenberg Disaster, shot us looks of hate as we have never before seen from the stage.
Smallest Audience: Studio 99 (Nashua, NH 8/7/09)
7 human paying customers plus 1 bat. The bat did not pay. But he did put on the evening’s more entertaining performance.
Best Post-Recital Experience: New York Burlesque Festival (Brooklyn, NY 10/1/09)
Though not specifically invited to do so, The Councilman and I took it upon ourselves to tend bar in the backstage dressing room after our set. Our duties consisted entirely of asking scantily clad burlesque dancers whether they’d prefer a shot of Jagermeister or a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (the only items in stock). We remained, despite the obvious temptations towards rogueishness, perfect gentlemen. The Councilman has told me since that is was the greatest evening of his life.
Most Elegant Treatment: Festival du Jazz de Almodovar (Almodovar, Portugal 4/29/09)
These lovely folks flew us from London (where we’d finished our UK tour), chauffeured us across the lovely Portuguese countryside, took us out to a delicious sunset dinner in the hills, arranged a fully catered backstage (we were too full to enjoy it), rustled up a full-house for our concert, treated us to an evening on the town afterwards, arranged a lovely hotel room for each gentlemen, chauffeured us back across the lovely Portuguese countryside, flew us back home to New York City, and (best of all given exchange rates at the time) paid us in Euros. Concert promoters, take note!
Most Patient Audience: JJ’s Bohemia (Chattanooga, TN 6/23/09)
It was a Tuesday night. The recital was advertised as a 9pm start. The first of two openers took the stage at 11pm. We went on just before 1am. Nobody left early. But then again, Chattanooga does advertise itself as Tennessee’s Most Patient City. So I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.
More later, friends!
Yours very truly,
Andy Bean, from Hong Kong
The Two Man Gentlemen Band