Nov 06, 2019
Hey, thanks, Paul.
We played 8-10, Australian Eastern Summer Time, fwiw.
It was a small but appreciative audience. Not a very nice weather day, but I don’t expect too many more midweek at that venue in any weather.
It’s a decent size room which hosts national and international acts, has a very good system and they provided a full-time sound man. The pay was a bit slim at $300 for the band but only 2x45min sets.
I produced a fairly decent set list, debuted Tigerman, remembered almost all the words. Managed to get out all the words to I’m ready, although I mixed up the order of verses. Improvement on last time though when I sang the same verse 3 times! I’m so busy in that song, playing chromatic, fills and solos plus singing, there’s simply no break for me to gather thoughts, and the band move from one section to the other automatically. Anyway I like the song but the first verse just gives me grief.
But the gig was pretty fun. We are rehearsing less at the moment and when we do rehearse we are mainly working new songs or trying to improve older one that aren’t quite right. Consequently some of the stuff we think of as arranged can get a bit hazy; endings, structure etc. Guitarist I’ve noted is prone to inserting solos where I wasn’t necessarily expecting them. I’ve decided that instead of fighting or trying to change him, I’ll just roll with it. He telegraphs it by stepping on a pedal so if I’m positioned to see his foot I know he’s about to go for it. Does it really matter that I don’t get to play what I was working up to? Probably not usually so a bit of spontaneity is possibly just what’s needed.
I’ve probably been using rehearsed structure to calm my anxiety on stage. Maybe it’s time to let go of that. It has been fairly effective in a way but has meant I had a lot to remember and I think that creates a ‘distance’ from the audience and puts me in a bubble of sorts.
I did notice last night for the very first time I felt comfortable enough to introduce a song with a little story.
Later, I did a thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time but somehow could never manage. Now I think I know how so will do it again. This is, to take time out in the middle of a song, and speak to the audience while the band play on behind me.
It actually felt much easier than speaking between songs; don’t ask me why. I don’t know. But while the guitar was soloing over a mid -slow tempo shuffle I stepped over to the bass player and told him what I was about to do, then worded up the drummer. When the guitar stopped, instead of singing I just started introducing the band members, beginning with guitarist and acknowledging his solo. I feel good about this, and I think it’s something of a breakthrough for me. Just a small thing but made me feel much more at ease.
Maybe it felt easier because the fact we were playing meant people were already paying attention. It also gives the band members a chance to show off for a moment.
Anyway, whatever, I feel good about that. At some point you just have to own it, good bad or indifferent, this is my band and this is what we do.