The gig (which I did not book) was advertised as a fundraiser for a charity called "Treehouse," who I believe work with autistic kids. It was also run as a "band competition." More on that later.
Whenever I told anyone at work or whatever that I was playing at the Dublin Castle, they were all quick to tell me that it was a particularly iconic London venue, plenty of massive British bands had cut their teeth there etc etc. I'll be honest - it's a great venue. It's got a small-medium sized live room, a good sound system, nice staff, and plenty of amazing posters on the wall of ubiquitous English bands who had played there in the past (Madness, Amy Winehouse, The Specials etc etc).
However I do really doubt that these guys were playing "charity band competitions" in their hayday. Now I haven't played at a band competition since I was 21, but nothing has really changed: Mismatched lineups, weird vibes between the bands, and drunk judges. This particular competition's judge was the A&R man who signed Blur. Sounds impressive - it's not really. Basically this dude got on the mic after each band played, spouted off 2-3 minutes of rubbish which got progressively less comprehensible as the night wore on. By the end of the gig he was shitfaced, and I swear taking a piss for the majority of the last band's set (who in the end won).
I personally didn't give a shit about the whole competition thing, I was just stoked to be (finally) playing in London. It definately wasn't the ideal situation, but it's a start. Hopefully The Tweeks will be over shortly!
"Missing Andy" soundchecking. This self-described Urban/Indie/Punk group ended up taking out the competiton. They all had matching mohawks.