These musicians whose careers had been built on years of fine-tuned performances would be leaving with reputations in tatters but huge smiles on their faces.
I had several blips during the night, a mixture of wine, an energetic burbling crowd and being poleaxed by laughter meant I missed Duncan Eagles brave version of Lionel Ritchie 'Hello', although I heard the lady next to me say, "I wished he'd fucking say Goodbye..."
|Sam (& Jenna)|
Holley Gray gave a rousing 'Eye of the Tiger' followed by the heavily fringed Michael Kew whose hands shook so much he placed them firmly in his back pockets as he sang Ronan Keating's 'Life is a Rollercoaster'. A spirited 'Gangster Paradise' by Kingston homey Ant was received well by the swelling crowd.
Just like Marlon Brando he sweated sex-appeal but also inherited his mumbling diction and we all worried one of us would wake up with a horse's head on our pillow in the morning.
The best three dancers of the night came next. Sam and Jenna (Particularly the former) were scintillating with their moves on 'No Diggity'. While George Trebar's camp version of 'Abracadabra' would have brought the house down at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Becky Scarrott, dramatic 'Year 2000' was a real thriller never to be destined for the pulp fiction shelves.
Another George Michael pretender (Chris Southwell) came to the stage but this time with his Andrew Ridgely (Matthew Cox) and we were woken up before the drink took its toll.
The biggest surprise of the evening was a man who had morphed into not one man, but five visions of Adonis. He oozed the strutting confidence of Robbie, the musical prowess of Gary, the unbridled sex appeal of Jason, the enigmatic subtlety of Howard and the sensitive caress of Mark.
Take that No.88 Bar he sang, 'Could this be magic?', for me it was. Just like the mild mannered janitor, George 'Badass' Bone, had turned into the Hong Kong Phooey of the Festival of Awfulness.
The Ballon Merde of the Festival must go to Leo Appleyard because of the shear awfulness he brought to his Toploader tune. The hours of practice he must have put in and to unselfishly sacrifice his ample talents for his friend Dan were admirable. It wasn't all his fault though. The crowd had been baying his name like a pack of hunting hounds with a whiff of blood in their nostrils since the start of the evening.
Stumbling back through Kingston's bus garage and into a half-consumed can of super strength lager I knew I had arrived.
What will next year's Festival of Awfulness bring us I wonder.
All I know is Dan Redding will be a year older and everyone will be waking up the next morning with sore ribs from laughing (and possibly drinking) too much.
Happy Birthday Dan!