Friday, 24 July 2009

Last Night

Bohemian Juke Box was eclectic. I was first on, and performed the three songs on my new Ep, Twenty Two. I also tried a brand new track, which will be called either "Pessimistic Me" or "Come to Nothing" (it's jollier than the names suggest.) I also played the 1969 medley again which starts with Bowie's Space Oddity which was great because on one of the walls there is covered with a huge picture of the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the Moon. As well as this I did a few more of my own and the old blues tune "Love in Vain."

I was followed by Arc Vel who was an instrumental electronica artist whose performance featured a projection of wild life footage. I thought it was rather cool

Next up was Z+, a finger style acoustic guitar singer/songwriter. Some really lovely, understated guitar passages and tunes. And he did a fantastic recovery when his guitar string broke, and the guitar he borrowed from the next performer didn’t want to stay in tune. Moments like that make you want to cry when your performing, but he made a good bit of funny entertainment out of it.

Mitch and Murray, another solo singer/songwriter again had some nice acoustic finger style tunes, as well as an endearing persona in the “preamble” to the songs. As he noticed there was something of a running theme to the night, as he, Z+ and I were all performing at the venue for the first time, and trying out at least one song we’d written in the last 24 hours.

The Victoria is a fabulous pub, all original Victorian style (including some great urinals upstairs) and French Burlesque posters. I can’t help but think maybe the nights would be a bit cooler if they were free entry then perhaps people in the main bar downstairs might wonder upstairs for a few songs. As it is the audience, though very welcoming and pleasant, consisted of people the acts had brought with them rather than new listeners for everyone. I blogged about this a little while ago and this has been the first gig in a while I’ve done where the punters pay £4 or something similar to get in, and the performers are required to bring a certain amount of their regular supporters. In all honesty, I think I prefer nights like Acoustic Brew where it’s free in. True they might not always have big audiences, but at least an artists’ regular audience don’t have to pay. I have sometimes wondered if a few of us singer songwriters wouldn't be better off organising a gig in the back garden and inviting our regulars along for a pound a head or something, would that work?

I'm also thinking of doing some kind of "launch" for the EP. The idea would be that I'd play the songs from it, perhaps with a full band arrangement like on the CD rather than solo performances. I'd also invite some other performers to play, maybe comedy as well as music, and if possible I'd organise a few Jam's along the way with some of the blues players from the crossroads that I admire so much. What do you reckon?

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