Shazia Mirza’s View from The Mic Stand

I went to do a gig in Preston last week where I had to stay at the promoter’s house. As I walked in, a big brown dog- so big it looked like a horse, I could have ridden it, starts barking really loudly. I ran to the corner of the room grabbing an umbrella for protection.

I’ve been scared of cats and dogs since childhood, when my mum used to tell me they were evil (don’t ask).

The dog owner said the usual things, “Don’t worry it won’t bite, it’s a friendly dog”

Shaken, I headed upstairs while the promoter went to set up the gig.

“Just be there for 9pm, you won’t be on stage till 10”.

At 7pm I walked down stairs to watch TV, to find the dog had blocked the doorway and was barking so loudly the neighbours were peering through the window.

How was I going to get past the dog to get to the gig?

Suddenly I became close to tears.

I tried talking to the dog from behind the staircase, he only barked louder.

I even told him a couple of jokes. I tried banging things to frighten him.

I could not, and would not, miss a gig because I was too scared to pass a dog in the hallway that sounds too much like ‘The dog ate my homework’.

So I started screaming ran towards him with a mop in one hand and an empty can of hairspray in the other, which distracted him long enough for me to escape and then charge up the road.

I turned up to the gig three hours early with some unusual props.

Some of the audience must have seen me, because as I walked on stage some woman shouted, “Have you been cleaning the local hairdressers?”