The Pit

2 Conversations

Danger! strange people at work!

You could barge through the door with a couple of determined shoulders, but it's the kind of building you'd overlook - little more than two metres high, hidden in trees to the south of the atomic weapons research centre.

So you find the front door and knock. There's no echo because it's hanging open and the whole place is made of damp wood. "Thok, thok" goes your knuckle. But we're friendly, and we'll take up any excuse to drop the appointed task, so come on in. I won't shake your hand because mine's covered with two hours' worth of sweaty dust.

It's a big space - about fifteen metres square - on two levels with the door and "stage" a couple of steps above the two-thirds of the place which has seats and a kitchen area that isn't used very often. Let's get a friend or seven to make the lower levels habitable and even profitable - sell a few beers.

One winter we came in and found the place under water - the lower level was wet, wet, wet, with a burst, recently frozen pipe spraying the backs of the seats by the toilets. My mate Lee knows about that, and he's putting in a couple of circuit breakers to ensure that the band will live on even if the small audience of hangers-on might not.

Go and get a coffee - the power's safe over there - while I plug in the AC30 and strum a little rhythm pattern... A couple of tins of paint and a lot of self-delusion, and this will become a stage.

Note... we'll have to change the locks. People from across the world and beyond will be calling in.

Looking around the place, I see plastic-covered benches, formica-substitute tables - scrub off a layer or two of grime and you might get friends of the band sitting there with a drink. They might even pay for them.

The lighting's inadequate - old fluorescent tubes, the one over the toilet door flickering fitfully - it's sometimes better not to see what's on the end of that broom.

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