Who could tear up the stage without a stage? Without sweat and chanting, without bone-shattering noise, without intense encouragements accompanying even the smallest motions? They would have to become placid creatures, so conscious of their capacity to create an explosion that they wouldn’t have to expose it. Self assured, calm. Serene, even.
That morning, Nic Offer was serene. That morning, Nic Offer was the classiest gentleman on earth. A short pink shirt, a simple trench coat, and not one word any louder than another, not a hint of anxiety, irritation, impatience, even though, it has to be said, nothing was ready. We left to get a coffee while the rest of the band sat in a grey hotel room, making a last-minute attempt to adapt their music to our constraints. Without changing his rhythm he nonchalantly rejoined them as they worked, then comfortably lead everyone outside. The weather was nice, time was on our side.
That day, !!! (Chk Chk Chk) was a cougar on vacation, a beast who could have pounced but who knew she would be noticed regardless. The band worked with the rhythm of the sunny morning, tourists passing by lent their distracted ears, pretending to ignore the drunkard at the other end of the square while pretending to ignore that this music could have pounced upon them without warning. Naturally, in the air of pretending, the only dancer was an old man, who had taken the time beforehand to detail how these afternoon dances saved him from the boredom of old age.
Nic did keep one of his reflexes, learnt during his career as an unfettered singer: no matter what, as soon as the camera got close, he couldn’t help but stare into it. He should have danced with someone instead.