The smoke machine is going full tilt, the PA is crammed with powerchords, it’s dark, and the drummers are wearing sunglasses. Oh – and the headmaster is away, so Ted’s in charge. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
It must be Gig of Glory 2021, back in black, and this time installed outdoors, fulfilling every Hurtwood rocker’s dreams of being on the Pyramid Stage. The set list is eclectic, with the usual AC/DC four-to-floor mixed with bouncy covers of Blondie, the heady falsetto of Muse (confusing, we know), US punkers Green Day, and the Beastie Boys’ obnoxious 80s frat-boy megahit ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’. No beer cans flying in this version, however. Maybe back at house? Who knows. Our very own Daytona covering Nina Simone’s Feeling Good (or is it Daytona covering Muse covering Nina Simone?) was a poignant highlight. Simone’s words resonate particularly powerfully in 2021 after such a rocky ride. A new dawn? A new day? It certainly feels like it with all the energy and enthusiasm tonight.
We clearly weren’t alone in enjoying the rare opportunity to partake in a Hurtwood moshpit. It wasn’t quite Brixton Academy, although one student claimed afterwards to have some bruises, especially once the staff band hit the stage with sparks flying – literally – and Ted’s trademark throat-shredding vocals. We were then treated to – in quick succession – Motorhead, the Chili Peppers, a campy, vampy Metallica, and Oasis. The musicians were great, often showing talents in multiple instruments, and all this talent was finished with the usual professionalism of Dave and our very own 'Axe Master Extraordinaire', Dan Pearson, with his amazing Satriani solo.
Special mention has to go to the students who did an amazing job of the livestream, Troi Hector and Emmelie Wright, mixing the live sound on the desk as they went (you see the fruits of their labour here: https://livestream.com/hurtwood/gigofglory2021), and Perdy, Joe and Arika who all did stellar work on the sound of the show.
The mood was jubilant right to the end despite the rain, with an incredible energy from the crowd, and a heartfelt signoff from Dave, our hard-rocking deputy head who really meant it when he said that he’d missed the Gig of Glory. So have we, Dave. So have we. Rock on!