Played a gig last night, a “Songwriters in the Round” gig as put on the by legends who are Melting Pot.
It was a lovely evening, although as usual I only managed to bring all of three people to come see me. Bit depressing really, especially after all the buzz during the week in print and (more so) online, but the wicked thing about the gig is that I get to perform (seal that I am) to the other performer’s audience. That’s why I love the SITR gigs so much. I get to borrow other people’s audiences.
I was thinking last night as I made the long, thirsty drive back home at about 1am, that what I am doing is searching for my audience. They are out there, and eventually I am again going to see some kind of tipping point, like I did years and years ago in my old band reckoning.
Back then, in the early 90s, we worked hard for 2 years to find our audience, and eventually we found them. Turns out they were schoolkids and uni students mainly. So once a few key Influencers decided to start coming to our gigs, things started snowballing. These key Influencers (or Sneezers as Seth Godin calls them) started to tell all their mates about us. They were social leaders, so their mates, and their younger siblings and their mates, started coming to see us too. Then they got us a gig at their school, then that got us a gig at another school. And suddenly, whammo! We had found our audience, and they started to rock up to our gigs in droves.
Of course many, many things have changed now. For starters I am not expecting high school kids to get into my work necessarily. Well, you know, it’s cool if they do, but I doubt I’ll be lining up any lunchtime gigs at the local High! That would be a bit creepy!
But somewhere out there are some key Sneezers, and when they get into my stuff, they are going to influence other people to get into it, and then all my hard work will start to pay off again.
That’s the plan anyway!
I also have a theory that over the years a heck of a lot of people have seen me play and apparently really appreciated it. So if I can get myself in the right places, get my ugly mug on Spicks n Specks or whatever, then a lot of these people will go – “oh yeah – that guy – I saw him play once. Y’know, he was alright!”
Not that fame is the thing I want. Not really, just success, and they are not necessarily the same thing. If I ask myself the following question:
“If just 10 patrons offered to pay me enough money to prosper making music, would I accept that and be stoked with that?”