Start me up

keith richards and me

“‘Ere, Keef! When do I get MY turn in the spotlight?”

Well, the new recording gear is all plumbed in and up and running. The old gear is winging its way around the country courtesy of eBay, Paypal and UPS. The b******* dance tracks are locked and loaded and ready to roll. And here I am, standing behind the counter of Island Electrical (arguably best little independent electrical goods shop on this scepter’d isle) twiddling my thumbs. Well, it’s all about attaining a work/life balance, innit?

I received a fair few supportive comments about my issues with my recorded singing voice (read about my raging self-doubt in my last post), which is nice coz it means a) I have friends who care and b) some of them actually read this blog! I know it’s just a psychological burden that I have to divest myself of – I’m pretty sure I sing in time and in tune (within certain parameters), and that’s more than enough these days, isn’t it? I should point out, I’m also pretty critical about so many other artists’ singing voices, not just my own. So I’m in good company.

Funnily enough, though my recorded singing voice perturbs me, I’m normally quite happy with my live singing voice. I played a gig last Friday morning at my old haunt, Slinky’s CafĂ© Bar in West Kirby, in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and The Captain’s Trust, and in memory of my friend Neil’s wife Lisa. I thought I sounded, in the main, quite listenable, in a Paul Simon/James Taylor style. Mr Easy Listening, that’s me.


Fish. Kettle not shown.

You know, it really is a different kettle of Fish, playing a gig in the daylight hours. And sober. To a sober audience. I didn’t ramble inanely (in fact, I hardly said a word between songs), I didn’t mess up too many chord changes, I managed to use my harmony pedal without hitting the wrong switch and turning myself off, I got to finger-pick a lot more and, as an added bonus, I actually got to hear what I sound like. In return, the audience didn’t particularly applaud or even seem to pay much notice, but hopefully they appreciated the delicate background noise.

In the end, I played for nigh on two hours and got through about 30 songs, including a handful of my own. And in the final analysis, I wasn’t too bad. In fact I was okay. I’d possibly stretch as far as quite good even. But let’s not get carried away by the hyperbole, hey?

5 thoughts on “Start me up

  1. So, what you’re saying is, you had a better executed performance without the aid of alcohol?

    I’ve been doing that since 1981 (and I was under-age then!)

    Work/Life balance is a must if you want to keep some time for your own creative pursuits otherwise you will be consumed by more of what you don’t want to do.

  2. Think I’m only in a position to play stone cold sober coz I’ve finally got enough confidence in my ability. Obviously, come a Saturday night gig, I’m still gonna have a few beers. But not so many that I can’t hear the bum notes.

    Yeah, trying to keep that work/life/play balance going. Either need more gigs, or less going out in the week still, but getting there. Wonder if we’ll ever see the other two again for Curry n Jam??

  3. I thoroughly enjoy the stone cold sober playing experience meself – I don’t have the confidence to drink & drum!

    I remain, optomistic about the curry’n’jam scenario. Need more veggie/fish dishes though to encourage the share of sauces…

  4. It’s been a fair few months since a C&J – last time was well before our last gig. June? Well before summer, I’m sure. But now with the run up to Xmas, gonna be hard to find a spare weekend.

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