At the start of each year, I promise myself that I’ll play more gigs than the previous year. In recent years, I’ve managed to keep that promise – but only coz to start off with I was only gigging once every couple of months. This year, it felt like I had a gig every week: in actual fact, I reached a grand total of 21. Considering I don’t have any gigs lined up this year, that might be a hard tally to top.
2014 was the year I finally felt comfortable playing my own songs: I’ve played Gary Stewart Smith originals at all of that year’s gigs. I played some at a wedding (when I realised that no-one was really listening); I jammed some with one of the locals in a bar in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; I even had people dancing and singing along to one of mine that they’d never ever heard before, which was a bit of an achievement.
2014 was also the year that I finally put some of my own stuff out there on iTunes and Spotify. Two “singles” where from the Electronic Dance Music collaboration I had with my old friend Mark Adams, in a band called beatifiq, and a third was a solo effort under the name Joe Elephant. It was my England 2014 World Cup song. Unfortunately, by the time it was available to buy on iTunes, England had already been knocked out.
To date, those three singles have racked up a mammoth 14 – yes! 14!! – sales and 101 streams on Spotify. Which leads me to think that even my best friends haven’t bought a track of mine. Hell, I don’t think even Mark Adams has listened to his own music on Spotify…
If you fancy giving any of these tracks a listen, here’s some links to iTunes:-
2014 was also the year I gave up being in a band called beatifiq, continued to play in a band called Liquorice Allstars (albeit only twice a year for the charity Claire House), tried and failed to form another band playing late 70s and early 80s New Wave covers, and went for my first ever audition as singer and rhythm guitarist for a band who claimed to be influenced by The Waterboys, The Pogues and The Saw Doctors (it didn’t work out – they were kinda lying about those influences).
So here’s to 2015, the year I start to take myself and my music seriously.