I’d not played live at all since stopping drinking. It had become a slightly stupid thing in my head about whether I could do it sober.
- I’d never played an acoustic gig like that, i.e. me an acoustic guitar and my voice only.
- I have in a couple of bands been the second lead singer – i.e. taking the lead vocals on one or two tracks but never the guy singing for the whole thing.
- The set included a smattering of my own material all (expect one) had never heard the light of day outside of my practice room.
Here is a summary of my reactions.
Venue – the venue is a nice cozy little place with a small but adequate stage, it managed to host three piece Strange Behaviour at the end complete with drum set without any issue. The staff were friendly and helpful and the food (Sunday roast beef) was excellent!
Organisation – big thanks and vote of appreciate to Toby Burton of Rock-til-you-drop for promoting the whole event. He promotes several different gigs for more mature musicians this one being a regular monthly one. All was good, PA set up was pretty good for me all went well.
Crowd – thanks to all those who came along. I was somewhat knocked back by the level of support I got. I had my family there, including the surprise guest of my son, my brother and his other half came along. Then a whole list of current or ex bloggers. Deejay who is an old work friend travelled all the way up from Kent for the gig. Col of the late lamented AxeVictim blog was there to offer his usual "encouragement"... or should I say heckling from the bar! :-) Istvanski of A Load of Bollocks was there as well along with Kenski of Fillmore Five fame. So a whole bunch of other guitarists of a certain age... Finally the legend that is Four Dinners was also there when we arrived sat at the bar tucking into... yes a huge roast dinner. I can't think of a more apt way to meet him. He joined our family table and was a great companion for the day. another couple of friends who were planning to come along did turn up about 3 minutes after I'd finished my set! There were obviously a host of others and I was made to feel very welcome and got a good reception.
Other Acts - Toby Burton himself was on with a duet when we arrived having been stuck in the hell that is London traffic so only heard his last two numbers - I wish I'd heard more. Next up was John Rigby who played a driving stand up set with some thought provoking lyrics. Michael Woodacre (Woody) was up next with a diminutive guitar and harmonica to play a great blues/folky set slightly hampered by not getting the best sound out of the on board guitar electrics, capturing the crowd with a Bob Dylan classic. Strange Behaviour were a three piece playing their first ever acoustic set and very good and well received it was too.
My performance - wasn't bad I thought. A couple of moments that the vocals wobbled a bit and the odd fluffed chord but I got through. I had included a couple of more "delicate" instrumentals which did really suit that kind of a gig to be honest so I'll have to rethink the set list for next time. Oh yes looks like there might be a next time as I had a chat with Toby and February may work for me to make a return appearance.
I very glad I did it. It has laid some of the ghosts in the head to bed I've proved I can still get up and do something like that despite the gap in years since I last did this kind of thing and also that my own material (there were two of mine slotted in the list) didn't seem out of place and therefore worthy of an outing.
So what next? Firstly learn some other material, maybe take another couple of my own and try out for solo acoustic. See if I can move some ideas on paper to completed songs as well as I'd like to increase the quantity of my own material. Secondly get off my bum sort out the recorder I have at home and try to record some of my own stuff including the lighter instrumentals so that I may consider having some CDs to sell in future.
Overall in the cold light of the morning after I'm overall happy I did it and feeling good about it. We had to drop my son off at a hotel in Kings Cross - the rack rate was £250 a night! But he'd managed to get it for under £100 - result!! Anyway the traffic in London is a nightmare isn't it! But we drove up there and then back around the Shoreditch route to the Blackwall Tunnel and never got lost! I was just knackered after the driving.
My son being back was official photographer and got some nice stills so I'll post some of them once I get them, he is in transit back to Wales now also Mrs F has a video of one number on her phone so I'll have to try and load that up to YouTube or something.
Once again massive thanks to Toby for putting it on and giving me the opportunity and to all those who came along to support.