Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Whoop De Fucking Do....

"Hi Everyone
Thanks to all the people who turned up for the open auditions onSaturday – over a thousand of you attended and we're glad wemanaged to see everybody who came.
The quality on the day was very high and you made it tough for usto decide who to put through. Unfortunately, if you haven't heard from us yet then you didn't get through to the next stage, but wereally appreciate all the effort you made to come along.
We've plenty more things to entertain you coming up on the site –so make sure you stick with us. There'll be a gig zone to promoteyour music and increase your exposure, competitions to win mobilephones and other prizes, exclusive previews of the show and behindthe scenes content, Alex Zane's blog and Alex James' photo diary.
Check out the website later today for photos and a full report ofthe day.
Orange unsignedAct"

I think I'll leave it now eh?

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Lighting up Winchester!

Yes, Lighting up Winchester. That's what I have been doing this week and it's been quite jolly!

On Thursday I played at The Slug and Lettuce. It's one of those big airy bar chains. I needed to bring my own amps and stuff so it was a little tricky as I only have my Bass rig. Nevertheless I managed to cobble something together. Last night I played La Place and Froggies Bar, a very small French bar with an eatery upstairs.

These gigs are a bit different as they are not music venues, they're restaurants.

Now when I play music venues and I'm pouring out my soul I want the audience to shut the fuck up and listen, if/when they don't i tend to get a little techy. I have developed a few tricks to quieten them, generally I tend to play quieter and sing a little lower, that normally does the trick. But these restaurants are a different kettle of fish. Folk are there to eat not to have some bod spill his soul over their sole (geddit?) So I have approached these gig with a different attitude. It's been interesting, very interesting.

At the Slug, people were eating, occasionally glancing over at me in the corner and clapping every now and then. I played ok, not fantastic but that was because I was deliberately holding back. I played about an hour, all quietly, not too intrusive but you'd know I was there.

Last night however, I tried something new.
It's a small bar with about 20 people, many of them your actual French, very animated and loud. Very loud. I put myself into the mindset of a struggling tortured artist playing in a bar in the 30s and sang my soul out. Plenty of singing off the mic, using my highest vocal register a' la Monsieur Buckley (I'll speak more of that at a later date). I blocked out everyone and just concentrated on playing, straight from the soul, not competing against the Gallic hubbub but adding to it. I hadn't thought that people had actually heard me , but they had. They applauded enthusiastically after every tune. Some even recognised my cover of Mojo Pin. I may be playing there again on a regular basis but we shall see? Vivre La France!
Next Friday I am going to experiment further. I'm playing in a tiny pub The Eclipse. I'v decided to dispense with any amplification. No amps, no mics just me and guitar.
I like taking a few risks. I'll let you know how I get on eh?

I haven't told you about the Edge of the Wedge gig I did yet have I?
Another time....

By the by I have developed a widget for this blog. It's just a little bit of code. You can paste it into many little places so feel free to share (please?) I have also made it into a Facebook application but I'm not a geek right?

Monday, 15 September 2008

I did a bad bad thing UPDATE

I, perhaps recklessly, pasted my blog about the Orangeunsigned competition into my blog on the Orangeunsigned website.

This morning I recieved this email


Your recent blog post titled "I did a bad bad thing" had to be taken down.

It was either inappropriate or offensive

Thank you
The unsignedAct moderation team"

Guess I won't get to meet Jo Whiley now.

I did receive ANOTHER email later informing me that they will be holding open auditions for
folk in the singer/songwriter category...

So what was the point of all this voting bollocks?

Needless to say, I will not be attending.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Candle Club!

At last I can say that I have played The Candle Club !

This is a great club based at the Back of The Talking Heads pub in Portswood Southampton.
I have been checking it out for a few months but, for reasons I will tell you later, had not played.
the idea is that you turn up and book a 10 minute slot, hang around until that time, then play. There are a set of traffic lights to the left of the stage. They stay on green for 7 minutes, then 2 on amber. When they switch to red you stop playing. The stage is huge, the place is a bit of a barn, the p.a. is top class as is the lighting. The audience is great and will get bigger when the uni students return. The atmosphere is very very friendly and professional. There are a few regulars that come along every week, I think. One of which is Kim Tecno who I missed last week but have seen before. A performance poet of the stoned, pissed off, reflective kind. His ranty observational funny verses are complemented by what I can only describe as "kick ass techno" which he plays himself on a small silver keyboard. His shambling disorganised persona is original and very funny. I highly suspect that this is not an "act" and he is like this. I bloody hope so!

"So why haven't you played before?" I hear you ask.

You'd forgotten that bit hadn't you? Do try and pay a little attention!

I think it was a mixture of confidence (lack thereof) actually it was just confidence. 
The act of turning up asking "Please sir, can I play?" was just a bit scary.
It's just ridiculous I know, I've done so many gigs played to hundreds but this "please" was just stopping me. I had been putting of playing for months but had finally ditched that weedy little wanky voice in my head and just thought "Fuck it!" and did it.

I now swagger, yes swagger, now that I've done it. It may sound like a small thing to you and it wasn't a huge thing for me but big enough for me to think of it as a fear faced and defeated. 

I did play well, if you give a tinker's cuss, and I sang like a dirty angel. Just two tunes; How Do You Sleep (with the new very high notes!) and All I Think About Is You (which I am in the process of recording and will be releasing as a single....kind of)

I will be there tomorrow, oh yes.....