Athenian Rhapsody

ROCKAOKE - big fat greek knees-up
ROCKAOKE - big fat greek knees-up

Just occasionally we get to fly to places that are much warmer than we are used to and where I don’t have to drive home after the gig. So I get to have a few beers with the lads. And we tend to make the most of these happy days. Because I like a beer. And the lads like me to have a beer because it amuses them so.

So, on november 1st we celebrated Dan’s enrollment as an official band member with a trip to Athens at the invitation of Macquarie Bank, or more specifically by their Corporate Finance London office who were organising the Macquarie 2007 annual northern hemisphere conference. We were going to be performing to 900 investment bankers – and performing onstage withabout 80 of them. “MACSTAR” was a Pop Idol type show with 7 groups competing for the coveted golden microphone. And boy were they competitive!

Mataoke lookalikey

4 of us travelled as the MIGHTY ROCKAOKE! Dan, Basil and me and the awesome Mattaoke who was to steal the show as MC extraordinary in his traditional greek outfit (looking much like this except for bigger feet and a more swollen bottom lip).

The event was a real success – we think! Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Lots of shaking of hands and mopping of brows afterwards. The organisers were really under massive pressure to deliver. Of course we remained sublimely oblivious to all this. But hopefully we didn’t let anyone down.

Of course, then it was party time. As some of us hadn’t got to bed until 7.30 that morning, I wondered how well we’d last. But we did ok. It was a free bar until 1am which was good apart from the predictable problems getting served. The one draft beer tap was playing up and the bartenders seemed more keen on dancing than serving drinks. But soon, the bar tab dried up and in one visit to the bar Matt managed to spend the 100 euro note I’d nicked out of my eldest son’s piggy bank.

What else. Water fights. Basil stripped to the waist and armwrestling with big Jim from the Bronx (“If you come to New York, bring a spare liver”) and winning. And there we were in the spiritual home of the kebab but all we could find were dodgy paninis. That was a big fat greek letdown!!!

But otherwise we had a fantastic time! And what’s more we won – sorry, Corporate Finance London won with their ace rendition of BO RHAP! Forgive the bias please. These guys were paying us…

Finally, please also forgive the photoshop job on the photo at the top of this post. We were in a rooftop bar overlooking the Acropolis and this is what the photo would actually have looked like if we’d been able to explain the merits of backlighting to Michael the random dutch banker we’d grabbed to take the photo!