I’ve been making the critical error of ‘waiting till I have time for a proper session’.
This is one of the many ways procrastination Gets us, because I do not currently have the life where gentle moments of repose present themselves and therefore must just run the risk of insufficient self editing and post regardless.
I’ve got renewed motivation for booking gigs, firstly because Candythief (me and Jason line up) played a really fun gig to an appreciative crowd supporting a band called the Smoke Fairies, 2 girls from the south with a great sound-reverb-drenched bluesy guitar settings and high, clear, quite medieval choral tinged vocal harmonies. They are getting some attention (deservedly) at the moment and it was really interesting hearing their stories. It reminded me that even when you’re doing well, as they are, it’s still really difficult making anything stick; so finding that it’s difficult getting people’s attention isn’t a reason to stop, it’s just the default setting and entirely normal. I also felt really like I wished we were doing as many gigs, and seeing how good something is when you rehearse it properly and give it your full attention made me realise that for years with Candythief I’ve been doing loads of other things at the same time, half hoping someone would come along and give us a leg up, and thus spare me the rigours of having to push it all myself. I don’t think it was the legwork that I was attempting to sidestep-it was more the believing wholeheartedly in the point of pursuing it. And doing lots of other things always gives you a handy get out clause ‘Oh well, maybe it would’ve gone further if I hadn’t been doing xy and z…’
But I realised I felt kinda thwarted, and like I haven’t been and done enough with it all to be prepared to let go of wanting to put it out there.
I also benefited immensely from the kindness of a friend, Lach, who invented Antifolk in New York, who gave me a gig-booking coaching session in return for a carrot cake which I cycle-couriered to his house. Again, having someone who’s got a great track record, and is very able at what he does demonstrate that it might take 10 attempts at communicating before arranging a gig with a venue helped me shed the last vestiges of ‘maybe people don’t answer emails because they HATE what we do’. He’s also perfected the art of separating the mindset he has for working on the material and performance, and the mindset of doing the admin/finding the best way to communicate with people/selling his show.
So, inspired by seeing some great bands in the last weeks, finally seeing the end of the classical composition degree at the end of the tunnel and realising after that I’ll be freeeee for a bit, I feel much more fired up than in last couple of years to create a gigging circuit and really spend some time adventuring out there. Otherwise, what on earth was the point of not getting a normally paid job/mortgage/stability? In a convenient fashion, various perfectly timed helping hands have emerged-Lach, as mentioned, this http://freshonthenet.co.uk/ which has a brilliant article by Tom Robinson on performing solo, other bits and bobs of info. Confirming Llama, Clovelly and Eppy Gibbon’s nights all in the SW are also suitable motivators.
A friend who knows my fondness for tea gave me one of those amazing tea pots for one that sits on a tea cup, which has given me the idea of taking it on any tour I did and making a teapot tour blog. This would amuse me. I even want to write a tea song for my favourite tea company, the tea shed, from whom I mail order earl grey in bulk.
Lest I should suddenly feel slick and clever with my new found determination and maps of the uk with gig pins in them and spreadsheets and Jedi instruction, I succeeded in some good malco moments: sitting in melted chocolate on the train and looking like I’d had an unfortunate accident; taking THREE attempts to correctly interpret the instructions on a packet of hair dye. This middle youth business is a learning curve! Even when I’d mixed the right tubes together and turned the entire top of my head a bit orangey, there was still a wiry stubborn snowy white one crinkling cheekily out of the rest. Bah.
Delighted to be back in London for a couple of days; amused by the remarks of the Scottish family on the seat in front who pronounced themselves anti independence because they were concerned that all the telly would be in gaelic and they’d have to get sky.
I’ve also got an idea for some new material. I’ve been really intrigued by some latin style fast RH strumming on guitar, and with some of the bulgarian vocal choir harmonies where they raise the third slightly to create that wonderful tension. And I think with a loop pedal you could use all of that to create some quite rich textures if you were playing solo.
APRIL 7th – Easter Sat-venues emailed = 8 Replies = 0
And! Before the melted choc disaster I was reading about Manchester venues a couple of people had recommended, and cogs in my brain creakily whirred back to 2007 to a gig we did there with the Delicate Hammers. I LOVE the Delicate Hammers, they are just completely bonkersly brilliant and I’d forgotten about them for ages. So I was happy to remember them and sent text messages to probably now erroneous mobile phone numbers.