Sick as a dog: What's your story?

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 10:54 07/07/2014

Without going into details in any huge way I spent most of the weekend in bed. I slept as if I spend far too much time staring at a computer clacking away, creating inanities and that I'd been given - finally - a window for catching up. Turn off Facebook, turn off the world - and sleep. But of course for that to happen - for me - I need to be one thing and one thing only: sick as a dog. And I was. Wiped out. Sick As A Dog

The only problem - I really did love sleeping a lot, it's good to try new things and I finished a couple of books too in the waking daze - was that I had a gig to do in the middle of all this.

On Saturday night I played some Talking Heads records in a bar, starting at Midnight.

I got out of bed at 10.30pm - and started the thawing process; of course as far as gigs to do when you're brutally, uncomfortably sick go this was a doddle - I'm just standing there flicking between records, picking some favourite songs - all by one band, only 10 albums to choose from.

So I don't want your sympathy. It was a quiet night - I was out for a couple of hours and I returned home to bed after. And then slept on and off for most of Sunday. I think I'm better.

But while I was DJing I kept thinking about examples of playing gigs - or seeing gigs - where you or the musician you've gone to see was very much sick as a dog. I had this ongoing condition - for the best part of a decade I played in an Irish band and I was almost always sick on St. Patrick's Day - and not the drunk-sick variety. I never worked out whether I was possibly allergic to Kiwis pretending to be Irish and was just totally in the wrong industry or if it was a simple, odd coincidence. But on my busiest weekend of the year, back in those days, I might play five or six gigs over two days - breakfast, lunch and dinner gigs, sometimes in more than one city, so a bit of travel too - I was always sick. Rundown, crook, whatever. It just always lined up with St. Pat's.

So I was thinking about that. And I was thinking, too, about the small handful of times when I've been sick - brutally sick - and still had to head out to review a show. I couldn't enjoy Bonnie Raitt all that much last year even thought it was a terrific show. I'd had to drag myself there, so sick. I had to leave before the end - couldn't make it to the end. But it was great, what I saw. I wrote it up - I did my best, but there was no real joy in attending a show that I should have loved.

So then I thought about when it's the person on stage that's sick. They have to do the show anyway. Sometimes they end up telling you they're under the weather - other times they soldier on and perhaps you didn't even know at the time, you find out after.

Thinking about this - odd as it might seem - is what got me through my two-hour DJ set late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. That and of course the thought of returning to bed - forever. For always. Or at least until Monday morning.

And I wondered if you have stories of being sick as a dog but carrying on with the show anyway - in a gigging sense, or gig-going sense? Or if you've seen a show where the performer battled on valiantly despite being under the weather?

I wrote this - and then I see Lorde suffered from sickness in one of her rescheduled shows

Postscript: The other thing that provided solace was the new Bob Mould album. Among his very best  which, given the highlights of his career, is saying something. (And here's the set of Talking Heads songs I played, if you didn't already click this link up above).

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