WHOOPS! There goes another busy month!
Just got back from an ace gig and not at all sleepy, so – please – allow me to ramble on….
Saturday April 4th 4 – 6pm – Empress – with Dirtbird
I originally intended to make this gig a multi-act line up. More specifically I wanted it to be a half-half music and comedy gig. I was going to call it “Laughing Vs. Singing” with 5 minute comedy spots between 15 minute singer/songwriter spots.
Unfortunately this idea fell flat (mainly due to my failings) and I really had to confront myself and face the fact that it is in my best interests NOT to add the hat of “promoter” to my fashion range but just to focus on being a “performer” – which is all I truly care about anyway.
Turned out just fine. My mate T K Bollinger (who is one of the finest, most original – and challenging – acts I have witnessed of late) recommended his mates “Dirtbird” to me. Or vice versa – Dave from Dirtbird got in touch with me and asked about doing a gig with me in Melbourne.
Turns out Mr Dave lives in Castlemaine which is a goldfields town in rural Victoria. I said sure but I want to swap for a gig in Castlemaine. OK said Dave.
I wanted this odd time-slot (4 – 6pm) because, frankly, since I started gigging in earnest again I have become painfully aware that my mates have all gone soft (due to children in some cases but NO excuses afforded to the childless). Basically bugger all of them had been rocking up to support me so I figured that a nice easy Sunday arvo gig would entice them out (turns out I was only partially right).
OK, look – long story short – it was an ok gig, not a bad turn out – lots of children. Bit of a crèche really. And let me tell you nothing weirder ever than opening your mouth to deliver the next barrage of four letter words into the mic only to look down and see one’s 18 month old daughter staring up at one from the edge of the stage!
Turns out Dave, who I picked from the get-go as having been around the block once or twice, was in a band who were pretty darn popular (especially in Adelaide from whence one hails) once upon a time, called the Bedridden. I kinda missed them (too busy being lame out in the suburbs) but later ended up being pretty good mates with the late-Baterz who was also in the Bedridden. (We used to do gigs together at the Crown and Anchor Hotel in Adelaide back in the late ’90s.)
Dave, you still owe me a goldfields gig. (I resemble an elephant in more ways than just girth!)
Tuesday, April 14, Ruby’s Lounge
I live in Belgrave and I am really fucking grateful that, hick town that it proudly is (why I moved there), it actually has a music scene – and of course Ruby’s is pretty much the apex of said scene.
Whenever I do gigs in the city I always mention Ruby’s and it never fails to get a cheer, such is the fame and popularity of the joint as pretty much the only out of town joint (That I, in my ignorance, know of) that gets decent touring acts and also has some style.
Anyway, I am by no means (yet) a star of the Ruby’s thang but this year I have managed to get myself a regular gig there (ok, not actually that hard).
This night wasn’t my finest. At least not for the first set. BUT it was important for me because I was really learning some tough lessons about the idiosyncratic nature of my “comedy meets edgy-folk-poet” act.
Herein lies the lesson: If you have a nice fat crowd to perform too, and they are listening, you can ramble on and crack jokes and (if you have any talent) they will dig it
If you are just some schmo in the corner of a cavernous pub and there aren’t many people there and those that are in the venue fucking are NOT there to see you, better just sing your songs and leave it at that. Music seems to cut through and win people over (or at least *cough* mine) but comedy on the other hand needs an attentive audience. It is a very, very different dynamic.
Thank fuck I have the music is all I can say.
Three more points worth mentioning about this gig:
1. First is that I road tested my new song (mentioned in my last post) about The Scarab Bar (which is across the road from Ruby’s Bar in Belgrave). Not surprisingly this seemed to go across a treat with those blessed yokals who were paying attention. The song itself is called “An Interesting Life”.
2. A certain Mr Jeff Springfield, Belgrave’s music scene Godfather, the very man who produced my CD and is also the sound guy at Ruby’s of an evening, was in attendance which is in itself not unusual but the lovely thing is that he was just so totally positive about my music and attendant ambitions that it made my pathetic narcissistic heart truly sing. Look forward to catching up with you next time bro, upon which occasion I will be sure to pucker up and kiss thine holy and no doubt fragrant arse.
3. I did a terrible set to start with, and it was meant to be my only set so I was massively depressed that it just sucked so fiercely. But then while I was sitting with a dreadlocked guy who made guitars, watching his mate (extremely talented guy – I think he had dreadlocks – whose name MIGHT have been shane or shaun – oops!)- I found out that the band had failed to show so I got up and did a 2nd set. Ok no big deal BUT in the meantime I had eaten some humble pie and realised that you can’t force a scripted show on a pub crowd and the 2nd set went much better and since then I have truly embraced a loosely scripted framework (of between song banter) let go wild with improvisation and it is surely the way.
(Note to self: Round gigs up one by one … this is FAR TOO EPIC!)
Friday 24th April, Vibe On Smith, Songwriters in the Round 8pm with Shane Walters and Kerrin and the Nips
OK for the record SITR are fantastic wonderful beautiful gigs. I LOVE these gigs. They make me cum. It had nothing to do with Kerryn’s lesbo jokes or Shane’s crackling lead, although these were extra highlights for sure. I could go into massive detail but A) who’s going to read it all and B) I am fucked – it’s 2am! Suffice to say: wet dream of a gig.
Oh yeah – and “The Nips” are actually Kerryn’s tits, as it happens…
Saturday 25th April, 5:30 at the Brunswick Hotel
Meh. Frankly this is a great venue that needs a crowd (and I wasn’t the guy to attract one). Lovely sound though.
Sun 25th April, 4 – 6pm at the Empress with Brooke
Brooke (whose surname I am completely ignorant of) turned out to be a talented and sassy young thang fresh back from the ubiquitous European sojourn and thank God she brought her friends and I really loved the gig, although again having my little girl hanging her cute 18 month arse off the front of the stage frankly put me off my hard core shit. Great gig though, loved it. Nice crowd too.
(Just like to point out that I can barely type anymore … this is simply too much … )
Friday 5th May “Songwriters in the Round” with the insanely beautiful and talented Siobhan and Brad who is both talented and beautiful as well (to be fair).
I got called in last minute. Everyone there bar two were there to see the other two performers.
Lucky me 🙂
Personally, after 15 years gigging, I feel confident in saying that I was in top form. Truly you do all the shit or half-good gigs to prepare you for the night that the room is full.
I can’t write anymore tonight but I would like to close by thanking God and you, should you be weird enough to have read this far. (My advice to you now, faced with the vortex that the cessation of my dribble will surely leave is:
Are you kidding? Beer. Porn. Weed. Sport. The choices aren’t exactly endless but they’re pretty fucking good.
Sorry … no fucking idea…
P.S. Tonight I debuted “Gimmee A Frontal Lobotomy (and a Glass of Wine). It went ok but had trouble with subtley and the microphone tonight, just couldn’t get good responsiveness from the microphone, but I knowthe song is a winner…. and may I say, kudos to Aaron the sound guy cos this is the first time I have had any complaints at this gig and the room was chokkas which changes the acoustics and I am talking a pro level subtlety – and also there are actually no foldback monitors at this gig due to the “in round” format… … … Goodnight.