Stage Door

September 26th 2010, 21:40-ish

The Stage Door

28-30 Webber Street
London, SE1 8QA

Open mic at the Stage Door – I’d not originally intended to go, instead thinking I might watch it on the Interwebs, but change my mind on a whim. Consequently not sure what I’m going to do. Usual folk, some of whom I’ve only seen on the web so interesting to see them in real life.

I play Crazy Baby, Lazy Charlie first – I do like that song a lot, but worry whether it’s not overlong for solo performance. Perhaps if there was a band, I’m not sure. Seems to go OK, but the audience’s attention feels fragile. Then do River Rise, with the whole first verse a cappella, which feels good and gratifying when the guitar comes back in and I’ve not drifted too far off-key. I attempt the guitar solo and baulk, having to try (not entirely convincingly) to noodle my way out of it. Back to the practising, then.

Tonight is short on acts, so we go round again. This time I do Iodine – some powerful moments, I thought, though again the guitar was a bit ropey. Strange and dispiriting how quickly one slips out of practice.

Crazy Baby, Lazy Charlie
River Rise

Gwent Twenty Year Reunion

January 1st 1970,

Gwent Twenty Year Reunion

I took a bit of convincing from my college mates to do this – playing in a cellar, singing into a microphone fixed to the ceiling, such that I affected the lemmy Style of Upwards Vocalisation. Can’t remember what I played very clearly – the list is a fairly hazy one. I changed my original setlist on the fly on the grounds that the quieter, gappier ones would be swallowed up.

Kids running around my feet, which is fine, though less of a distraction outside in a festivally context than in a cellar. Good feeling though, and I’m very glad I did it. The setlist isn’t complete, and probably not in the right order.

The Ship

September 3rd 2010, 21:00

The Ship

171 Kennington Road
SE11 6SF

I went to the open mic at the Ship in Kennington. After all, it’s local and I like the idea of an open mic I can walk home from (yes, obviously, I can walk home from all of them eventually). Nice evening, everybody was very good and I got a free slice of pizza, which is something that’s never happened before, at least not at an open-mic, and not without just grabbing the pizza and running.

There were a lot of cameras. Not all going at the same time, but that was quite an instructive thing. In fact there’s now a video of me on YouTube, singing Care, which is where most of the bummers I made are. I’ve linked it, anyway. Instructive, in a horrific way. Shoulders look terrible – all hunched. Perhaps not the most flattering look, but I’m not sure what that would be short of total darkness.

If you do watch the video, there’s a bit of banter at the beginning – a bit NSFW, by the way, I didn’t know at the time it was going to be put on YouTube – and what I’m talking about is an area of ceiling plaster that had fallen off, which I was standing under. Everywhere else there was still plaster on the ceiling, so it could, theoretically, fall off.

As usual, it was a very informative way of discovering new mistakes and things that escape my attention – a couple of “where on earth am I?” moments, and I have a clearer idea of the sorts of songs I need to have, though whether I can write them to order is another issue entirely.

Still, free pizza.

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