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Angela’s Garage: Jenny Powers

Click.
“Shut up Billy, you’re ruining it,” Angela hissed at the audience.

“I’m starting again,” I said.

Click …. Click.

The lights came on. I took another deep breath, composing myself again, then stepped out onto the stage in front of the cheering audience. Well, it was supposed to be cheering. I stopped to glare at the audience, which just stared back blankly at me for a moment before remembering its job.

“Oh, cheer, cheer, Yay, Wow, erm… fantastic.”

I gave a deflated sigh, stumping over to my guitar and putting it on. Angela fell over while getting behind her drum kit, the audience cheering properly for that.

Janet shuffled over to her bass guitar, black greasy hair falling over her face, which at least covered the spots.

“Hi everyone here at, erm…. Knebworth!” I shouted at the audience, punching my fist in the air.

“We’re nowhere near there,” the audience said, sounding confused and not getting into the spirit of it at all. Angela’s brother Billy was a couple of years younger than us, only thirteen, and didn’t have the maturity to play his part properly. Unfortunately all the other potential audience members had run away this time. I decided to ignore him and carry on.

“We are Diva and this is our very first concert!”

“Yay.” The audience sounded dispirited now.

“Let me introduce the band,” I yelled. The audience had its fingers in its ears. I kicked it.

“On drums we’ve got Angie Death!”

“Yay.”

There was a crash behind me as Angela hit a drum and it fell over. I ignored it and the sound of her scrabbling to fix it. I’d have told her off but it was her garage and her brother as the audience and she gets sulky at times.

“On bass we’ve got Jan Suicide.”

“Fat cow,” the audience muttered.

“I HATE you,” Janet hissed at the audience. They’d rowed because Jan had eaten the last of the cake, the bit Angela’s mum had told them to save for Billy. I kicked the audience again and turned to glare at Jan. It wasn’t easy as her glasses reflected the strip light above making her look like lights were shining from her eyes.

“Said I was sorry,” she muttered.

I turned back to the audience, seeing that it was staring at my legs. I flushed, tugging the hem of my skirt down a bit. Mum had a point about it being too short really.

“Little perv,” I snapped at Billy who blushed and looked away a bit.

I took another deep breath, composing myself yet again.

“And I’m Emma Pain.”

“yay”

I waited for more, but it wasn’t a giving audience.

“Right, this is our first song, ‘The blood from my wrists’. It was written by Jan Suicide,” I yelled, turning to her while making a dramatic sweep with my arm. She made a half-hearted, embarrassed looking, attempt at raising her fist, fingers making horns.

“Ok, here we go,” I said, panic rising up then. I turned back to Janet, “What is it, an E?”

“E minor,” Jan wailed, as thought the question challenged her entire right to existence.

“Oh yeah, right, got it now.”

I turned up the volume on my guitar to full, the amplifier buzzing. The audience covered its ears as I crashed the pick down on the strings, a wall of muddy sound filling the concrete garage. I started to sing,

The blooood from my wriiisssts is aaaaaall you will seeeeeeeeee
When you come home and looooooook for meeeeeee
Cos I willl be dead and then you willl beeeeeeeeee
Damned to regrets for eternittttteeeeeeeeeee

Jan and Angie had joined in when I started to sing, a mass of sound. It was fantastic. Well, the audience still had its hands over its ears but he was just being stupid. I carried on blasting the song out, we hadn’t really worked out the verses yet so I just sort of hummed them.

“That’s the theme from Postman Pat,” the audience said.

“No it’s not, shut up!” I grated, launching into the chorus again. I did start moving about a bit. It wasn’t easy, the skirt really was too short and Billy is a total perv. I leaned forward to make it cover me a bit more.

“I can see your arse Emma,” Angie laughed. Honestly, it’s no wonder Billy is so bad. I felt myself flushing but carried on with the song, realising my hummed bits did sound a bit like Postman Pat now I thought about it. I focussed again though, time for the bridge.

“Hang on,” I said, trying to get my hands round the B minor chord, I had to stick my finger across all the strings but half of them just gave a dull ‘thunk’. Angie and Jan stopped playing while I got it.

“Ok,” I said, blasting the chord out, then singing really quickly so I didn’t have to hold it long. Angie and Jan sped up with me. The audience just laughed.

Ok, the hard bit was over, I went back to the normal chords, changing my pace again. It took Angie and Jan a bit to catch up with me again.

“That’s the Muppets’ theme you’re doing now,” the audience called out. I hate hecklers, so I kicked him again.

I screamed out the final chorus, just reaching the high point when Angie’s mum came bursting in.

“Are you alright?” she asked, worried.

“Yeah, fine,” Angie said sullenly. “We were just right at the good bit then.”

“I thought somebody was being killed out here with the screaming,”

“It was just the high bit Mrs Weston,” I said, back in my meek voice.

“She keeps kicking me mum,” the audience complained.

“No I don’t,” I said hurriedly.

“And she’s a flasher,” the audience added, running out giggling as I turned a horrified look on him.

“That skirt really is a bit short Emma,” Angie’s mum said. “Anyway girls, Tom will be home soon so you better wrap it up, Ok?” she said, leaving me standing there, torn between indignation and embarrassment as she swept out and silence descended on the garage.

“Good one this week,” Jan said after a moment.

“Yeah, you really should write the verses though Jan, that was definitely Postman Pat and the Muppets in there,” Angie said.

“Good B minor this time though Emma,” Jan said hurriedly, seeing me getting ready to blow.

I took a deep breath, composing myself for the final time and smiling at them.

“So two weeks more to go before the school concert, we’re ready I reckon.”

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