A real musician

A real musician

I was in a band once.
We mostly just liked playing for ourselves,
and sometimes for a few friends,
but one time we actually got a gig, at a party.

We were pretty nervous setting up in the hall,
but we tuned our instruments,
and did our sound checks,
and then went off to sit in a car round the corner
for a slightly paranoid smoke.

We were part way through our precious songs,
to, as far as I could judge,
polite indifference from the few people
chatting at the far end of the room,
when a man appeared
and started to set up his keyboard beside us.
He then began to play along.

We looked at each other in puzzlement.
We knew him vaguely as a real musician,
but did he not realise this was our first gig?
Not being Oasis and not wanting to make a fuss,
we had a quiet word.

He was keen to join in,
and we were embroiled at the time in idiot inclusivity,
so we let him.
We told him our songs were special,
we’d rehearsed them a lot,
and he needed to play with sensitivity
in order not to ruin them.

The musician added his crashing chords
and ruined the songs.
The people at the far end maintained their indifference.
We gradually understood who the real musicians were.
And as for our gig:
we’d taken the Oasis test, and failed.

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