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Aussie Drummer Speaks Out After Allegedly Having Her Drink Spiked Before A Show

Written by Tom Williams on September 19, 2017

An Aussie drummer has spoken out after allegedly having her drink spiked before a recent concert, calling it an “incredibly cowardly” action.

Linda Dark of Brisbane rock outfit The Bear Hunt managed to perform a 40-minute set with the band at Brissie venue The Bearded Lady on Friday night, even after she fell ill after sipping from a drink which she believes was spiked.

“I am usually very wary of where my drinks are at all times,” Dark tells Music Feeds.

“However, it was our single launch, the show had sold out, and so it was mayhem. I was flying between running the door and checking on merch, so I was not paying as much attention to my drinks as I normally would.

“I went to the bar for my third and final drink for the night. I only got through about a quarter or a third of it before I started to realise things were not quite right. My head started pounding and I became overwhelming sleepy.

“I knew that I had to play drums very soon… so I tried very hard to stay awake. Fortunately, feeling this way turned me off the drink and I stopped drinking it immediately.”

Dark says she “barely remembers” getting on stage, but does remember that “panic had started to set in”.

“I had absolutely no idea how I was going to play drums when all I wanted to do was sleep. But, I set my mind to the task, and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she says.

“Every song we played, I kept telling myself that it was the last song. Telling myself this lie I think was the only way I got through the gig.”

Dark says it was only after the show that she had time to pull herself together.

“I was incredibly embarrassed,” she says.

“I know that is a stupid emotion to have because it was not my doing, but nonetheless, it’s what I felt. I am, I must admit, a bit of a control freak, and I do not like the feeling of not having control.

“I didn’t feel scared at all because I was surrounded by a huge group of friends who took care of me, put my gear away and put me to bed. Their concern was very touching.”

Dark says she’s surprised that drink spiking is still happening in 2017.

“This kind of action is incredibly cowardly and something only a sexual offender would do,” she says.

“I am pretty angry that this kind of thing still happens and want the perpetrator to know, that I think they are the worst example of a human.”

Dark has also thanked the other bands involved in the show, and has praised staff at The Bearded Lady for being “wonderful and very concerned”. Read her full statement, below.

The Bear Hunt’s new EP, Fallen On Deaf Ears, is due for release on 13th October, before the band play shows in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne, Bendigo and Adelaide.

Statement From Linda Dark (The Bear Hunt)

First of all, a very big thank you to everyone who helped me out in this horrible situation. The Bearded Lady staff were wonderful and very concerned, the other bands — in particular Kella & Jhindu of Elko Fields — and of course my own band members Bec, Lloyd & Murray. And anyone else who helped, because let’s face it, my memory was not particularly great during this event.

So, the events of Friday night. 
I was designated driver for the night, so I was counting drinks. I had about two ciders over the course of about four hours. I am usually very wary of where my drinks are at all times. However, it was our single launch, the show had sold out, and so it was mayhem. I was flying between running the door and checking on merch, so I was not paying as much attention to my drinks as I normally would.

I went to the bar for my third and final drink for the night. I only got through about a quarter or a third of it before I started to realise things were not quite right. My head started pounding and I became overwhelming sleepy. I knew that I had to play drums very soon — Elko Fields, the main support, had just begun — so I tried very hard to stay awake. Fortunately, feeling this way turned me off the drink and I stopped drinking it immediately.

I barely remember going on stage, but I do remember that panic had started to set in. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to play drums when all I wanted to do was sleep. But, I set my mind to the task, and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t really remember much of the show, but I do recall looking around the stage periodically to see if any of my fellow bandmates were noticing anything like me playing drums terribly. They did not have any strange reactions to me playing, so I assumed I must have been doing okay.

Every song we played, I kept telling myself that it was the last song. Telling myself this lie I think was the only way I got through the gig. I have been playing most of these songs for years, so I allowed my autopilot to take over and play the drums while I used all of my concentration to stay awake. To be honest, I think performing such a physical activity also contributed to helping me stay conscious.

The worst part of the whole thing was afterwards. I was incredibly embarrassed. I know that is a stupid emotion to have because it was not my doing, but nonetheless, it’s what I felt. I am, I must admit, a bit of a control freak, and I do not like the feeling of not having control. I didn’t feel scared at all because I was surrounded by a huge group of friends who took care of me, put my gear away and put me to bed. Their concern was very touching.

I vaguely remember asking if I played alright — apparently we played an excellent show which was to my immense relief. Once I had recovered the next day, I am glad that I did. Everyone told me that playing drums directly after having my drink spike was like raising a middle finger to the perpetrator.

Quite honestly, I didn’t really think drink spiking was something that still happens. Obviously I was wrong. This kind of action is incredibly cowardly and something only a sexual offender would do. I am pretty angry that this kind of thing still happens and want the perpetrator to know, that I think they are the worst example of a human. To everyone else, take care out there and look out for each other. I would not have got through the night if were not for my friends and also the wonderful staff of the venue.

The Bearded Lady is still my favourite live music venue and I will not let this experience stop me from going there. If anything, the concern of the staff who kept tabs on me, makes me love the place even more.

Linda Dark

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