Gig: August 22, 2009
Had a quick gig at a student Hafla at one of the local community colleges.
Essentially, a Hafla is a party thrown for dancers, by dancers. There is usually some kind of food, typically pot luck kind of stuff with Middle-Eastern dishes (hummus, stuffed grape leaves, pita, cheeses, fruit, yummies!). There is always dancers and musicians, and they tend to do mini performances for each other, and then it mutates into a kicking party with the standard dancing and socializing. Standard for belly dancers and drummers that is. Imagine those teen age parties you had, but everyone is social and dances or plays. No one is shy. Lots of fun.
So, when gigging a Hafla as the drummers you are pretty guaranteed of a few things:
- Beautiful dancers
- Good music
- Good food
Needless to say, if you are invited to be musicians at a Hafla you LEAP at the chance.
So, it was a bit last minute, and intended for a bunch of Level 1 and Level 2 ATS students from the college course, hosted at the campus studio by their instructor. The instructor asked if my drummers could make it, and I said yes without even calling anyone. At worst, if I was going it alone there would be that much more hummus for me! No one eats free food like musicians, except maybe journalists. (I might be an amateur drummer, and journalist for that matter, but I am a pro at eating.)
I called the lads, and all could make it except for C, who was forced to work his real job. Very sad for him, more hummus for us!
We dressed semi casual, semi professional. Dark slacks, clean solid color shirts, well groomed. Certainly more spiffy than a rehearsal, but not as formal as a recital or performance.
So, we get there and walk in with our stools and drums, and immediately have dancers applauding us and thanking us for just being there. That never, ever, gets old. If pretty women being thankful for your presence gets old it might be time to find a box to lay down in brother…
We set up, started drumming, and the dancing began.
The studio space was very nice, with vibrant acoustics. Echoes are strange when drumming, but we sounded good, and got better as we got used to the sound.
We drummed for about an hour, ate the yummies, flirted with the dancers, ate more yummies, drummed for about an hour more, and then thanked them all for inviting us. They gave us another great round of applause, and asked if we could be there for their next Hafla in November. We of course said yes.
Life is good.