The crowd was rowdy already, a cacophony of competing conversations that filled the dim interior of the pub.
He placed his amp on the small stage area then stepped up to the bar and ordered a whiskey, knocked it quickly back, and returned to his car to grab the rest of his gear.
It was a cumbersome load, but a comforting one.
He loved playing for a crowd, and as distracted and loud as they were right now, he knew he would win them over in time. That was the real joy of what he did, winning over a tough room.
As he slowly set up his mic and guitar, he knew this would work out fine.
He strummed a few chords and a distant woo-hoo greeted him from a darkened corner. He cracked a crooked grin and leaned forward to the microphone.
"Thank you," he mumbled.
He strummed a few more chords and sang a verse, then returned to the bar where he ordered a cold, frosty pint.
He would start his set in earnest in a few minutes time. It was going to be a great night.
He could feel the flare of anticipation slowly spreading through his belly. It was the same way every time.
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