Monday, 2 August 2010

Cold apple crumble

We are planning our next night of entertainment. After slogging through a bunch of gigs this summer which, I think it is fair to say, have not been well attended, we have decided to go back to where we started and hold an evening of fun and frolics in Next to Nowhere, under News from Nowhere on Bold Street in Liverpool.

We played our first gig there and it was a great night, good crowd and lots of enthusiasm. Since venturing into the outside world we’ve spent a lot of time hurriedly setting up our gear, wondering where to point the projector, sitting around waiting to go on and then, once we have played, trying to pack up as fast as we can before the next bunch get on stage. This does not make for memorable nights.

With all that in mind we have decided to do it for ourselves. We want to create a certain atmosphere, something that is equal part gentleman’s club, part discotheque. I’d like it be the sort of night where people come along, find themselves a cosy spot and just dissolve into what is going on. The sort of place you can sing along if you want to or dance if you want to but not worry whether anyone is listening or watching.

Previously these affairs have involved bringing your own liquid refreshments, and I think this has been a plus. You don’t have to queue up at the bar, you don’t have to be disappointed that they don’t serve your favorite tipple and you’ve only got yourself to blame if you pour too much down your neck and find yourself lost in a strange city bellowing at hotel staff and wondering where all your money has gone. So this is going to be just the same. Sort out your supplies, beetle on down to the venue, sit down, tune in and melt into the ether.

I wouldn’t advise anyone to bring any ether though.

We have a gig coming up this week in The Herald in Southport. I have only played in Southport once before, and that was a very different style of music. I am hoping it will be a good night. We are making our music very well at the moment, everything is falling into the right place. When it is going well I tend not to think very much, just do. It is a very liberating state of mind. The outside world does not really penetrate into your awareness; you’re just making music, pushing air out of your face and waggling your fingers. If I can find my way into that state in at least one song then I’m a happy camper.

What makes it difficult is all the faffing around you have to do before you are ready to play. At most gigs everything is hurried, you have to plug all your stuff together using leads that are impossibly tangled, even though you put them away in neat coils the last time. Sometimes things do not work and there doesn’t seem to be any reason why. Sometimes the guitar strap won’t stay attached to the guitar and you run the risk of being belted in the face by a flying headstock. Then, once you’ve gone through all this you have to reverse the process whilst the other band trample around, jumping through similar hoops.

So we are taking control of the night. I want music made by musicians who are relaxed and at ease, who don’t have to endure the pre-performance frenzy and the post-performance muddle and I want to be a musician who does not have to worry about these things as well. So that leads onto the process of finding the right musicians for the night. Pop your suggestions in a bottle. Or somewhere I can read them.

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