At long last, Alex Cameron and Roy Molloy were back in The Bay.
Nothing on Alex and Roy, his beard wearing saxophone rearing sidekick, but the crowd itself was thin. Seeing it was below 50 degrees outside and raining, one could understand the turnout. Everyone inside though was warm, excited, wearing smiles and jiving with jubilation as they waited for the down under duo to show up, yet he wasn’t there. I myself was curious where they were, seeing The Independent was mostly surrounded by bars, barbeque, and a Popeyes Chicken. If I were him, I would have been at the later, but I wasn’t the showman for the night so, where the hell was he?
At around 8:30, my prayers were answered, sort of.
Emily Panic, a comic, opened him with some standup. I’d never seen such an act before a music show before, but for some odd reason (see Alex’s music videos – he’s definitely a strange one) it made sense. She had a variety of chuckles from the Holocaust to Yelp reviews. “You can gas me up” I recall her saying, followed by a detail of her “concubine face”. She got a 10/10 review for selling weed to white women for her “quick” and “efficient” services. Throughout her set, between mild chuckles and awkward shuffles, I was amazed at how long she, feining insecurity with a bubbling kind of confidence and authority, was on stage. Where was Alex?, Molloy? Were they saving kids out at Rockaway Beach of Queens again?
At around 9, there was a 2nd act which gave a holy, quirky vibe that sent me immediately to the bar. Confused and out of sorts, the only thing I knew how to do was get myself a drink so to calm me down.
“How’s your night?” I asked the bartender, a frizzy-haired taut chested man with a smile that would make Mr. Rogers blush.
“What can I say…” He started to say, “I’m a barman. I followed my dreams.”
“And I’m a writer,” I rebutted. “Guess we’re riding these fantasies right to the top.”
He thrust out his hand and tapped it twice on the black sticky surface of the bar. “Good man. This one’s on me…now get the hell back out there!”
Aye aye, aye aye.
Finally, Alex and Roy arrived on stage. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I was filled with a warmth familiar to a youthful Christmas morning or seeing an old, bad friend. Alex, lanky per usual dressed up in his 80’s mechanic/veteran bowl club member and his blonde bleached brows, side by side with Roy, a Hagrid from the Harry Potter movie’s son impersonator with a stoicism that would make King Arthur shudder. The two of them together instantly beamed a comradery that is so rare to see, let alone feel on stage. They were platonic partners: in business, in their art, and even more importantly, in life.
As they went through the hits of Forced Witness, I stepped back and watched from the press box as friends down in the audience cheered their beers, slung their drunken shoulders over each other, and swayed as Alex swayed. Roy blowing on his shiny, golden saxophone, his chocolate curly hair glimmering in the dark blue light, witnessing the transference that they, a true dyad, were able to accomplish.
As usual, music, friendship, and love, at the end of an Alex Cameron and Roy Molloy show, is what it was all about.