Green Note Open Mic
15 October 2023, 3:00 pm
The Green Note
106 Parkway
London
NW1 7AN

Back again for the Green Note Open Mic, Rob’s having returned from his travels. As he does everything my status as stand-in (or even stand-in’s stand-in) is slightly false, but never mind. Loads of terrific acts. When I play, I go into an extended bit regarding my nagging internal voice and the small camera I’ve set up at the front of the stage. I think the nagging voice may be making a comeback at some point. As I learned from the Book and Record Bar gig video, the camera provides lots of useful information about things I can improve (or things I’m not doing as well as I’d like, depending on taste and state of mind), but I think I might upload them anyway as an act of self-immolation.

Setlist:

The Rest of Our Lives
Iodine
The Book and Record Bar
29 September 2023, 7:30 pm
The Book and Record Bar
20 Norwood High Street
London SE27 9NR

This was lovely – intimate venue that has a bookshop as a secret identity (or maybe a bookshop that’s secretly a venue at weekends when it lets its hair down). There was some hoo-ha involving my HX FX, which I was using for reverbs and echoes and so forth, but when I plugged it in it decided not to do anything (the lights were on. They were even blinking sarcastically at my. But no sound. Or even noise). In a moment of decisiveness and triage I decided to plug straight in. It turns out I didn’t need the effects box at all. So a bit like Dumbo, but with fewer clowns and racist stereotypes. Superb company (the flier is below, for reference) and a warm, enthusiastic audience – the night runs every month on the last Friday and is highly recommended.

B&RB 29 Sept gig flyer

Setlist:

All Fall Down
Down Below
The Things I Threw Away
The King of Anhedonia
...And the Tigers
River Rise
100 Horses

Green Note Open Mic
26 September 2023, 10:00 pm
Green Note
106 Parkway
London
NW1 7AN

Tom’s last in charge before Rob gets back.

Actually, I’m writing this a few weeks later, and I don’t really remember anything about it. Is that terrible of me? Trying River Rise confirmed that I should include it in the setlist for Friday, and I had Gravity in the pocket for the same gig (though I only played it at the sound check as it turns out). I’m sure it was nice. It usually is.

Setlist:

Gravity
River Rise
Glad Open Mic
20 September 2023, 8:30 pm
Gladstone Arms
64 Lant Street
London SE1 1QN

Monthly open mic – the most local one to me. Maybe I drank more beer than is a good idea on a Wednesday. Did All Fall Down again, because I’m stress testing it for the Book and Record Bar gig. The test certainly showed up some stress. Introduced River Rise by referring to Sunak’s speech essentially saying the Government’s response to climate stage is sticking the country’s head up the country’s arse and ignoring it. Which is possibly unfair, and means I’ve lurched into politics late in life. But then, we all have these days.

Setlist:

All Fall Down
River Rise
17 September 2023, 3:30 pm
Green Note
106 Parkway
London
NW1 7AN

This was the bi-monthly Green Note Open Mic (there’s one on a the third Sunday afternoon another on the last Tuesday evening), where I was assisting Tom Poslett. Not sure exactly how I was assisting, though I did wrap some cables at the end. Tom did the actual work.

It was a fun afternoon, but I felt a kind of cusp-of-the-season unease, and there were occasional outbreaks of strange energy, which manifested as dropped glasses, overturned chairs and a period of inexplicable feedback. When it came to my turn I found myself talking interminable nonsense, which is my won’t, and I’m going to blame that on the strange energy too, because it’s an excuse. I was also aware of one person who seemed deeply unappreciative, and needed to remind myself that I also appear deeply unappreciative, no matter how appreciative I actually am, it’s just a genetic trait.

Setlist:

All Fall Down
All the Things I Don't Know

Like a dog returns to his own website…

I’m fairly sure I’ve missed the peak moment in history at which it was useful to Have a Website. I mean, that moment is without doubt long passed now. I actually had a website before that moment – my first one had a URL so long it might have been easier to dictate the contents of the page. It was a few months after that that I managed to steal this URL out from under the nose of a publishing executive of the same name – he let it lapse and I pounced – and I had a URL under my own name. That seemed like quite a cool thing twenty-something years ago, but now I realise that all it means is that you’re old enough that you could buy it while it was still available, which means pretty darn old.

Originally it was hand carved in HTML, then I built my own CMS in PHP (which is two acronyms right next to each other and I can feel your eyes glazing over from here), before there was such a thing as a CMS, which meant that it was hugely straightforward to hack, even by not-very-good hackers, and eventually it collapsed under the weight of the indifferent-to-bad coding and malicious exploits.

I resurrected it again using WordPress (before it became easy to use, though I notice that for some reason it’s become difficult to use again, all bells and whistles and whistles that make a tinkling noise when you shake them), and eventually it died again, possibly thanks to slightly more sophisticated hackers, and I replaced it with a flat index.html file that said “I used to have a website, but it died”.

But I have a gig coming up, and I thought I should put it on the website, and then I realised that if I was going to do that I was going to need a website and here it is. At the time of writing it’s very, very basic both in design and content.

And since I Have a Website again, I thought “Why not push the irrelevance boat out and put a blog in it”. That traditional, old-fashioned kind of blog – One post talking about how you have a new blog and you’re either quizzical about it or excited, depending on mood; three posts about random events in current affairs; another post six months later apologising for not posting very much and then eternal silence.

So this is the first post. The next post I’ll write in a minute, so it lands above this one, and it will have the flier for the gig in it and who knows after that. It’s not as if we’re short on current affairs at the moment, and I think I could manage eternal silence.