“Man, I really needed that. Not doing sound. Not playing in my own band. Just to drink beer and dance.”
It’s cold outside, but the heat inside is oppressive. It’s the heat generated by constant movement. The smell of sweat and beer permeate every corner of the bar. There is a very distinct type of sweat and beer smell that you get in a small bar packed with people who have been drinking cheap beer and dancing non-stop. The bar is absolutely roasting. I have to go stand outside to cool off. Smiles, not grins or smirks, but ear-to-ear smiles are on pretty much everyone’s face as I walk through the crowd towards the door. The energy level is higher than I’ve seen here since, maybe, ever. It’s an electric night.
There is a surprisingly large amount of talented musicians on station, given our small population. The band room is quite well equipped, so people forms bands. Various work stations will host parties periodically and often will have multiple bands play. As one might expect, classic rock, 80s hits and personal takes on pop songs are the most common. This winter has seen some pretty impressive performances. Some put on more regular performances, others make more episodic appearances. People get dressed up. Both performers and concert goers. There is typically a theme of one sort or another. It’s an event. It’s something to look forward to; a way to break up the monotony.
Last night’s theme? Punk rock night.
After one of the more regularly performing bands warmed up the crowd for about an hour, we made our Antarctic debut. 11 songs in just over 25 minutes. High tempo, blazing horns, dance your face off punk rock. In a dive bar. In the middle of the Antarctic Winter. Never figured I’d get to claim that. I haven’t performed in front of people in probably 10 years. I hadn’t sat behind the drums in probably 2 years. They had been relegated to a closet in my tiny Seattle apartment. Shortly after I got here, I got wind that a couple guys wanted to put together “a shitty punk band.”
Which is the only kind I know.
I immediately signed on for the project. Then we found a trumpet player. And put together a list of songs. From the Clash and OpIvy to Buck-0-nine and the Aggrolites. And practiced. And practiced. And practiced some more. And then, finally, The Terror Tykes were unleashed on the populace. And people danced. Non-stop. For the entire show. People screamed and yelled and carried on. People smiled. We got calls for two encores. We played literally every song we knew, and one that we only kind of knew, and it still wasn’t enough. We brought fistfuls of energy to the lull of winter.
I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun. It’s been a long time since I got to full on rock out. Usually, folks clear out of the bar pretty quick after last call. There was a lot of lingering post-last call last night. The bartender wanted to go home, so people finally dispersed. None of us wanted it to end. But, like all good things, it had to come to an end.
Some of the Kiwis made the 4km journey across the hill to witness the spectacle, some of whom were still on station for breakfast today. They want us to play a show at their place.
Looks like the Terror Tykes are going on tour….