Hi, Tides!

REM and me

“Hey Bucky… Stipey… Millsy… can you just budge over a bit so’s I can get in the photo?” Gary Stewart Smith’s short-lived time with R.E.M. as stand-in for drummer Bill Berry.

I’m playing at the Hoylake Oxjam event this Saturday (8:30, Tides Café Bar, if you must know). This is my first gig since my infamous playing to one man and his dog gig (and look, for the record, there were no dogs involved. Oh, and in the end, there was a fair sized audience of at least several men and women: it’s just a saying, you know?)

This is a bit of a last minute thing – I’d missed the original Facebook call-out, didn’t get to hear about the event until the posters were going up. Then I heard from a friend (thank you, Craig Mac of The Clan) that there were still a few slots needed filling, so offered my services. I expected to get a graveyard shift (I think I was on around 1:30pm last year), so was quite pleased when I was offered 8:30 to 9:30. Prime time! Practically the headline act! Good evening Hoylake!!

Last year, I played 30 minutes of original material to a small but appreciative crowd. This year, I’ll be playing 50% originals, 50% covers to a hopeful larger though possibly less appreciative gathering. It’ll be an opportunity to try out my new policy of “play what you know”. Though to be honest, it’s more like “play more of what you kinda know most of”, otherwise it’d be a pretty short set.

I’m going back to the stuff I originally set out playing when I first went solo: that is, after my time with the stellar duo known as The Shags (aka Steve Hall and Gary Smith) and prior to the equally stellar though slightly less hirsuit The Snags (aka Sofi Nieto and Gary Smith). Did you see what I did there? Acronyms. Clever eh?

So yes, I’m zipping up my boots, going back to my roots: Aztec Camera, The Beatles, Crowded House, Del Amitri, R.E.M., The Waterboys and the like. I figure if you like songs by R.E.M. for example, you’ll like songs by Crowded House. And if you like songs by any or all of these lot, I’m hoping you’ll like songs by yours truly. Bit of a bold statement, I hear you say. “Great song writers? Well, there’s Paul McCartney yeah. Michael Stipe. Neil Finn maybe. Gary Stewart Smith obviously…”

Well, if you’re local, you can come down to Tides at 8:30 this Saturday and judge for yourself…

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