I had a very nice time at The Montague Arms last night. It was a cold night and dismal. How ever, inside the Arms it was business as usual. The pub is officially closed and I fear last nights benefit for ALDLIFE might be the last gig. The Arms has been a top venue for many years and has always had a sense of community and predisposition for alternative and eccentric offerings. I imagine the place will be demolished and a block of flats will arise out of the demolition dust.
I love the audience at these gigs and I love their stoic participation and support of good causes that are often other wise ignored.
To say that the other acts on the bill were a bit wonderfully strange would be an understatement. They made me the accessible, pop act of the evening. What a glorious collection of anarchic of artists! Some one has to think and perform outside of the box and they all do it so well and with glorious conviction.
Jason Why did his usual music hall styled Mc job with great aplomb. He gets better all of the time. Out of what seems to be a kind of gentle chaos comes a really unusual and alternative head fest.
At some gigs I often begin the evening in a slightly uncomfortable place. I am so organised on the road that I find unnecessary delay or non pro service a bit tiresome these days if I am being totally honest. Last night was a tiny bit like that but I do realise that sometimes it is me that has to adapt and to banish the anxiety that arises out of a lack of control over what happens next. All of these great gigs are delivered on a shoe string budget and with love and little else.
There was a point early on when I wondered if things would ever get sorted but eventually I had my sound check and I settled into the evening.
I decided to go on before the last band instead of ending the evening and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The audience was very attentive and very giving. I always feel like we are communing together when I play for these folks.
For a change, I hardly said a word and it was nice just to change things up and jam. I am really enjoying joining bits and pieces together in a spontaneous way. I’m going to miss bits of that in a band context though I shall retain some of it.
As some of you will know I am still fascinated by the electric or acoustic debate though I fully intend to do both. In this respect I am a greedy man.
A guy came up after my set last night to tell me he hadn’t heard of me until a day or so before the gig when a friend invited him along and played him some EBB you tube clips and the Rock Palast DVD. He told me he preferred the acoustic stuff on the grounds it was “deeper and more emotionally accessible”. It is all a matter of personal preference and of course I respect all points of view. Any way after the gig for Mad pride I will be concentrating on the electrification of my new material.
I look forward to long months of rehearsals with the new guys with a mixture of excited anticipation and dread. For me it is the putting it together that is the hardest work but if it works it will be special and unique. This I know. Then the gigs will be relatively easy.
So now it is back to the pre production for the new live show and lots of playing with my new toys. There is so much to do and I have to get a move on. Looking back over the year there are a few things I would have done slightly differently but more on that at the end of the year. There are also a couple of things that didn’t get done such as the new T-Shirts and other goodies but it is a work in progress and this will be addressed early in 2013.
I have a lot to do before the gigs in Athens in January. I’m looking forward to that and to seeing what is going on in Greece for myself. I don’t fancy being “kettled ” in Athens but you never know. If it’s kicking off I’d have to have a good look though, wouldn’t I?
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