Monthly Archives: August 2016

Look mum thats me on the Tele

 
The Convent
 

A bit of a new experience this month gig wise. We did an 90 minute show live video broadcast. I am not sure how far far and wide it went but I do know that it went to the USA and Quite a bit of Europe, so hey that was pretty cool.  The recording goes in a library, and eventually its hoped that  the service will expand too something akin to a proper TV channel. I have never seen so much state of the art gear either, hopefully it was OK. We also played to a small live audience seated in front of us. A very different experience as we did a live trailer on the soundcheck and waiting for the count to go live was a bit weird. The Convent is an 18th century listed building set in 22 acres of gardens, woodlands and orchards (including a great firepit for evening drinks) and its stunning. I had a really good quality vegetarian dinner(they also cater for vegans) and the hospitality was superb all round.  The Place is a very classy hotel plus a the live concert venue and also a recording studio.  the show went well I am still trying to shake off an upper respiratory tract infection and the minute the broadcast stopped almost to the second a massive coughing fit ensued. Afterwards we went for a post gig drink and were presented with a lovely selection of tapas in the bar and a met a few of the audience. Immediately after the performance they play back the gig on screens in all the bars and restaurants. This means you’re confronted with yourself leaping about everywhere you look in HD and 5 channel sound which is a bit unnerving for shy folks like me. Also you analyze every note you play and because it was live there is nothing you can do about it !

You can find out about the place here http://theconvent.net/

On Saturday we played a new Folk festival at Harpenden Hall, that was also quite an experience. We were the first act on a very varied bill with Lindisfarne and July Felix headlining. It was nice to meet the only surviving original member Rod Clements who was a very nice chap. I brought “Fog on the Tyne” when it was first released so that was a cool moment for me. Our set went OK for an opening slot and some people came up to get albums and have them signed, which is always a nice affirming experience. One of the other acts “Said the Maiden ” who sing trad folk were also afflicted with some lurgy as towards the end of their set one of the girls fell ill and had to miss the last couple of numbers. Fortunately she was OK a little later. They were quite complimentary about our set too.
I would have liked to stay for the whole show, but was still feeling a bit rough.

Then finally Sunday down to Arundel to play at a pub called the Red Lion, which we do about 3 to 4 times a year. Its a nice place but gets very, very crowded. Its in the high st with Arundel castle towering above it. The gig was good but quite frantic, due to council noise restrictions whilst music is playing the windows must be shut, so by the time we had got to the end of the first set I was about ready to pass out. Fortunately as it was an 11.30 finish we get about 25 minutes between sets. But a few minutes outside and I gradually got back to the land of the living. I chatted to a very nice couple who had seen us before a couple of times about the music we play and the instruments and so forth.  The chap ihe turned out was a neophyte bass player who had started on electric but was now starting to develop his chops on double bass. Double bass in folk jazz and popular music is a very physical instrument to play  you can literally make your fingers bleed until you have the required strength so maximum respect to him. Also to his partner  who asked me how long I had been playing and when I said 45 years and that I had started around the age of 15 was genuinely surprised that I am just nudging 60. I said its all illusion and I look very scary in the morning.

One marvelous things about live music is that a bit like a hooker your mission is that you get paid to bring pleasure to people LOL

Time will tell

I suppose when you get to a certain age, its very easy to get into the mindset  that everything was really much better before and things were more reasonable.  Except of course that analysis tends to lead us to quite the opposite conclusion though our romantic notions of a soft focus past are comforting.  its human nature to remember the good bits and the other stuff tends to fade away. And often there are very good things to hold on to. What happens when we get the thing we wished for and our dreams become mundane? When there is a limit on how faster,better shinier we can be.

Well I think it’s hitting  that limit now for me personally.  My mood swings are mostly a thing of the past as are my deep depressions, but there is a lack of colour in everything or has been for the last few months.  Is it simply time for a change and if so of what nature?  Is it part of the aging process where novelty is hard to come by.  For some of us with mental health issues there can be an urge to take part in risky behaviour to feel a little bit more alive, to lift the blanket of stultifying merk that I find myself trying to move through.

Diana Stone arriving at the Motorcycle Hotel
Diana Stone arriving at the Motorcycle Hotel