Wednesday, 10 October 2012
boats trains and rain
I have recently returned from the north where I have been staying with my great friends John and Val near Wigan. John is my tour manager and fellow conspirator. Recently we discussed what seems to be the ever-growing tendency for people to chat through gigs. John has a theory that because folk have become accustomed to chatting on their phones about any thing, any where the habit has extended to conversation generally with out let or hindrance.
Of course this isn’t quite as significantly detrimental to a full blown electrical performance as it might be to an acoustic performance. I have been lucky or diverting enough to prevent people from chatting most of the time though there has been a couple of exceptions.
The last was at Burton where my good friend Peter Greening was promoting an event for the charity CRY. I should have known what was to come when Peter tried to get people to listen to his pre-amble about why we were there and what CRY means to him and his people. Twice he began and then there was a hush of sorts. How ever, as soon as Peter spoke many people carried on speaking at a volume that would prevent them having to listen. I began my set after the local rock band 5 days of November, which was an interesting dynamic. I battled on against a backdrop of babbling voices, which annoyed me, but it was even worse for genuine fans of good music (oh yes!) that had travelled some distance to support the cause and myself.
I had planned to play for at least an hour and a half but after an hour and ten and in the middle of a song I gave in to the noise and left the stage. I think some people including Peter and co were a bit disappointed that I finished early but not nearly as much as I was. I need the satisfaction of getting through the set and the simple courtesy that any performer might expect. They didn’t need me they needed some one who would provide the usual cheery nonsense that you might find at any small time corporate event. I know just the DJ.
For any one who thinks, or thought at the time, that I was being moody, I say this. Imagine you are having the best sex of your life and suddenly a voice in your ear is talking to you about the gap in your mortgage re-payments or that you might have left the gas on or ……. That is what it feels like when I can no longer concentrate on my job through the mindless babble. So there! I feel better now.
The Hi Fi Club at Leeds was better and I was better and every one loved me …. Ha ha! Swoon and I caught a cold. My special thanks to all of the staff and to Martin Dixon for a great sound and for the recording. Driving back to Wigan through the torrential rain that seemed to be a regular feature of the recent weeks, the satisfaction factor was back in abundance. I am always pleasantly surprised by the younger people who seem to connect with what I am doing as well as the women who seem to like what I do with an acoustic guitar more than what I did with the EBB. I know some of you guys prefer the full on electric stuff. I like it too but I am enjoying singing songs of the now that folk can relate to. Some times I only manage to do a couple of old songs and no one complains. It is very pleasing for me to have been able to construct and perform a new set of songs in less than a couple of years. This will feed into the full electric show planned for the end of 2013.
The gig was a delight. We finally met Katie who had put it all together for her dad. Katie was married a day before so this was a very special weekend for the family. We started off in a tent attached to the pub but after dining at nine we decided to move indoors as the temperature dropped to near freezing. Once ensconced I began a second part of the show. The acoustics were much better inside and I quickly warmed to the task. I really enjoyed meeting the family and their friends. They are lovely people and made us very welcome. The pub staff came into see the last part of the show and it was great to play for some younger people who had no idea who I was or what has gone before. It was very interesting to get their very positive feedback.
It was fascinating to listen to gig stories from Kevin and his brothers and mates who had followed my path down the years. This gig was special for me from all aspects.
Next day after an early breakfast ( for me) we set off back down in the valley with the sun shining. John checked a couple of old diesel engines but no steam trains were running. I caught a little perch on a lure under the canal bridge to the pub. I later cast the lure into a bush where unfortunately it stayed. A weak knot let me down. Ah well! It’s only stuff.
It was time to head back to London and then back to Wigan for John. We’d had a very interesting time. It is all part of a learning curve and the steepness of the curve lessens as time passes. There are so many possibilities I want to play with. This year is almost over from a gigging perspective though I might be going off to play in Athens in December if the guys there can arrange it. I want to see what is going on there for myself. Meanwhile it is time to continue band rehearsals with Bob Poole and Rick Medlock.
I have lots of enquiries re A Fair Days Pay For A Fair Days Work 2013 shows so if you want one book now for the best summer dates. I'm off to Norfolk for the weekend to play a FDPFAFDW on friday so see you then Jim.
I have just received copies of the EBB live at THE FABRIK Hamburg 1973. This features Vic Unitt on guitar. It is an historical piece that I am sure will be of interest to many of you. Thanks to Tom and all at Sireena records for digging it out and putting it all together. The cd will be released in Germany on Oct. 26, in UK on 12th November.
I have just taken delivery of the ZOOM A 2.1 acoustic guitar effects pedal so that should provide some fun when I can find the time to play around with it. I'm still teased with the possibility of acquiring the Roland synth guitar system and I should be getting my new Apple Mac music station this month. I have waited for the new model on Luke's advice. He is becoming quite expert with his Mac.
Last but not least on the 20th of October there is going to be a huge march against the cuts in London. Be there if you possibly can. Over the weekend and next week I will be setting out some of my thoughts on this and trying to make arrangements to meet up with some of you. We can see what damage the posh boys are inflicting. The recent proposals to further impoverish legitimate welfare claimants during the Tory Conference are unnecessary and despicable.
PS > Should the title of Lance Armstrong's book IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE be changed to It's not about the bike it was about the performance enhancing drugs?