It’s completely free and the doors are at 4pm – I’m on at 4:30pm, so hopefully that’ll give everyone time to recover from the night before!
It’s possibly my last gig for a while – I’m hoping to start playing my telecaster at future gigs (I’ll be getting out my trusty acoustic for this one) and I’m desperately seeking a band to play with.
I’ve been jamming with my friend Reece (formerly of the July Days), but we definitely need a rhythm section before we start gigging. Playing with a band is one of my favourite things and it definitely makes me more confident on stage.
You can hear rough demos on my two Soundcloud pages (stupid, boring story to how I have two accounts):
Basically I found the pressure of playing with people not necessarily similar to my style, in a large venue with the demand of bringing in a big crowd, too much at this stage in my ‘gigging career’ – I use ‘career’ loosely as a term, as it’s not necessarily an aim for me right now.
I also felt that perhaps the promoter wasn’t doing as much as possible to promote the gig – there was nothing about acts on his website, no official Facebook event (which is pretty standard these days) or mailing list. When I sent him a regretful email cancelling, explaining that I felt I couldn’t bring in the audience he needed and that I had been offered a gig on the same night in a smaller venue (and also offering what I considered to be a fairer payscale) he was clearly pissed off – and that’s ok. I feel bad for cancelling, however I previously felt bad that, despite my own promotion, it didn’t look like I could pull a crowd – but neither could he.
Let’s look at the figures briefly, by way of example:
At the gig, if you brought 15 people or more, you would get £15 and a £1 per person thereafter. The price on the door was £4. Therefore, you would take £15 and the promoter would take £45. I know that there’s a soundman to pay for etc… (venues rarely charge as they get bar takings etc…) but there’s also money from people in on the door who hadn’t come to see anyone in particular – and there’s no door split between the acts for that.
I am currently happy to play for free if there’s no charge on the door. But if I’m having to promote a gig and play a 30 minute set (with little or no promotion from the actual promoter), I think I have a right to earn more. At the same time, I really don’t want promoters to fail, and I’m very ‘green’, but I’m no longer 19 and so up for the exploitation these days.
Here’s a very recent song:
I’m going to invest in a better microphone and start recording and making more effort with my songs – if you want to help me with them, give me a shout…
I’m starting to play ‘bonafide gigs’ in London now and all on my lonesome.
It’s a bit harder than I anticipated – first you have to get the gigs, then shamelessly self-promote, go about your day job (mine often involves evenings for recordings or going to comedy gigs) and try and fit in some practice.
At my last gig I was feeling confident after the soundcheck, but then a ten-strong group sat in the front and continued their boisterous conversation as I played – people did ask them to be quiet but they kept talking. Sadly I’m still inexperienced in singing and playing guitar together so it put me off somewhat – I need some mates to come and chuck stuff at me (like in The Runaways movie) while I practice. When you can hear people’s words more clearer than your own, it’s hard to carry on.
The noisy audience members are something I should be used to – every time I do a gig I think ‘if it happens again, I’ll give ’em hell’. Predictably, I never do, not wanting to alienate the more attentive audience members. However, if it’s spoiling the show for them, I owe it to them and myself to sort the situation out – ultimately, however, I think the responsibility is with the promoter to gain control. This is something singer Kal Lavele is the queen of – check out her W.E Love Sundays gigs at World’s End in Finsbury Park. She’s a master curator (and a bloomin’ brilliant songwriter too).
I’m playing a four song set this Easter Sunday (31st March) at All Star Lanes in Holborn.
It’s for the 15 Minute Club and it’s free! So, despite being only a short set, it’s in a cool place where you can eat, drink cocktails and bowl. Plus there’s no work for most the next day so what more excuse do you need?Facebook public event here.
My favourite EP of last year was, without a doubt, Cut(s) by London trio Ex Libras.
I’ve played this to all and sundry, taken the CD on road trips, linked to it on Spotify and popped it on in my room for guests. The reaction is unanimous: people love them.
Cut(s), a five track EP (six if you include a cello interlude), reworks tracks from Ex Libras’s debut LP, Suite(s).
The album, more guitar heavy and loaded with angst and experimental affectations, has been broken down into menacing loops and ambient riffs for the EP. It’s haunting and beautiful – the vocals soar and the tense-sounding bass wraps you up, while choral vocals and sprinkling of piano seem to follow you around even after you’ve finished listening. It’s an addictive record – so obviously I can’t help returning to it. Live, it’s just as I’d hoped.
The above video is for Teenage Eyes from Cuts(s). I’m rather hoping they’ll be playing this when they return to London’s Cargo on the 15th March. On a past visit they were recorded performing tracks from the original release. Here’s Underachiever, a track that was reworked as renamed as ‘I Am Home’ for the EP.
This video from Cargo looks so flipping’ epic I can’t wait for March now!
I remember once when I worked for Amazing Radio we did a prerecorded interview for Amazing Afternoons and both the presenter and I didn’t hit the record button… whoops. I think it was Amit from the band who we spoke to and he was ever so nice when I called back and asked if we could do it all over again! They’re such nice, thoughtful people! (And clearly very patient). Plus they record in a converted shed. Kudos.
I don’t really get many parcels so I was rather excited… particularly when I opened it and found a note handwritten on luxury paper just for me!
I was sent the mystery package by Stone Bridge, a Kent based luxury hair accessories company that had spotted my curly tresses and thought that they could do them justice!
I lived in Kent for about eleven years so hearing that an international company was successfully flourishing not far from where I grew up was something to feel proud of. Kent isn’t really known for much other than hops and livestock, so it’s nice to see something slightly more… well… fashionable!
The company was set up by entrepreneur Melissa Hill. In 2006 she spotted a gap in the market for couture hair accessories and set about commissioning wearable works of art from around the world as well as ordering pieces from highly skilled designers from America, France and Italy (and further afield.) Due to the handcrafting processes that go into each piece, each design is of limited quantity which means I’m rather unlikely to turn up wearing the same head gear as someone else!
Now I have to apologise for the following pics… I have finally spent some pennies on a nice compact camera, but I’m awaiting the delivery of a tripod so I can finally start posing proper. What I’ll be doing in the near future is assembling potential outfits to match one certain item, such as this alice band or other hair bands and barrettes.
My approach to fancy headgear is a bit like shoes – why own something if you can’t wear it more than once? The white colour of this headband makes many think of formal occasions such as weddings and christenings but I think it’s got potential for far more outings. I’ve often worn dramatic feathery headbands and fascinators to Get Frank gigs in the past so I’m definitely looking forward to having fun with this white beauty.
I also like to post outfits for occasions so my next challenge is to compile something to wear for my first gig with The Union Choir on Friday. It’s at Plugged Inn in Sunderland (yup, no idea where it is exactly) and I’m going to have to head straight to the venue after work at Amazing Radio. I’m thinking that this head band is absolutely perfect for the gig because even if I’m stuck wearing my casual work clothes, this head band will provide a slice of instant glam to proceedings!
Another lovely thing about this head band is that it’s ultra comfy – some alice bands I’ve owned in the past have been too tight or snagged my hair upon removal – causing headaches in both senses of the word! Also I don’t face the problems I had with my headband in this post, where the head band kept slipping so much I’ll probably never wear it out of the house again.
My super talented friend Ruth Kilpatrick took a couple of photos of me wearing the head band at an Amazing Radio session interview I did with Charly Coombes and the New Breed for this Wednesday’s Afternoon Show so hopefully I’ll post those soon with a potential Friday gig outfit and a bit more about Stone Bridge themselves – let’s get supporting independents eh?
Where do you think I should wear the Rose Silk Alice Band? Comments and suggestions much appreciated!
Tonight myself and Nick play the Victoria. Here’s a video of Nature Boy that we recorded the other day during practice
I’m playing glock and Nick is on guitar tonight. I might play a little precussion, however I’m a rubbish multitasker.
Its £3 NUS or £4 without.
Last night I played an impromptue set for visiting London based act The Rileys. According to my friend and Burn’s head of music, Fuzz, two of the guys from the band came into the Burn studio to mention the gig and asked if she knew a potential support act. Fuzz called me. I had to go it alone without Nick but It was great fun. I’ve played the Bar Academy with Pyschonaut before (on bass) but playng on a stool to people not there to see you is a different but rewarding experience….and slightly alienating when you have two of the headlining act cheering directly in front of you. As singer Joe said, “It’s like a private gig!”
Don’t forget you can download some of my demos for freeness here.