Tuesday 3rd April 2012

The Rowbarge, Guildford, GU1 1LW

Vic's Buskers open-mic hosted by Vic Cracknell


It's almost a year to the day when I first started doing open-mics and memorably (understatement!) completely froze (details here.) It was therefore with some satisfaction last night that I took to the stage at the request of one of the audience to do American Pie alongside our host, Vic Cracknell for the finale.

Vic showed great genorosity (and actually, if I'm honest, sheer horror in his eyes) towards my clunking musician ship and indeed let me lead most of the way. It won't be the first time someone has said that I play the song at quite a pace and though perhaps we were both a little out of breath at the end, no defibrillators were used in the making of that performance, which was 100% satisfying for me. Now I know it probably wasn't the greatest performance but it felt good; you cannot believe the smile I had on my face as I drove home. What had just happened? Someone had seen me play American Pie before and actually wanted me to do it again. (Thanks Nick!) Who'd have thought. And do know what? There was no hesitation from me. Unbelievable.

I hoping you're realising by now that these pages aren't all about self-congratualtion. (Actually I'm hoping they're not about self-congratulation at all but just tell the story of what I'm finding possible) and the above is no exception. An acquaintance recently mentioned she had read the book by Susan Jeffers: Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway. I haven't read the book but I suspect I would subscribe to its premise. Do you think I didn't have any fear after I completely stalled at my first open-mic? Do you think I'm still not haunted by those early days? (I am). And yet look what happened last night. Akiva Goldsman (the writer of the screenplay of Batman and Robin but hey don't hold that against him!) talks a little of this in his interview in the film Finding Joe.

As does famed skateboarder Tony Hawks

I read Nicola Morgan's How To Write To Be Published (along with her other excellent books: Write A Great Synopsis; Tweet Right (btw Kindle for the PC is free)) and in it she tells her own story. During part of her journey she suffered ill-health. At a particular crisis point, a physician had said to her that the key to health was finding your "heartsong". By that I think he meant that because she hadn't achieved what she would find most satisfying in her life i.e. being published as a novelist, there was a gnawing chasm inside her, even though she was successful elsewhere. (I'm hoping some of you might be reminded of the song Get Up!). She refers to it as Bruised Soul Syndrome. Suffice it to say, although last night wasn't the zenith of what I'd like to achieve (which I guess is making a living from what I write), my heart felt pretty well nourished as I drove home.

(Just as an aside, I think Nicola's story is the perfect example of what Joseph Campbell (Finding Joe) called "The Hero's Journey": she went after what she really wanted, suffered many trials and tribulations, was eventually successful (and continues to be) and brings the lessons learned back to the community.)

Even without what I've described above, last night was a busy, superb night of music with a great atmosphere. Finally, I just want to add my congratulations to Mark East on his pub winning a Camra award. No thanks however for pointing out the dust on my guitar! (:-)

For me, this year Christmas is coming early as Thursday night at The Railway Arms in Alton, three of my favourite acts from the past year are all playing: Vernon's Friends, Paula Curtis and White Russian. It's almost as if the planets are lining up! (:-).

My Set:

Cold Heart

Perfect Day (Lou Reed)

American Pie (Don McLean) (Duet finale with Vic Cracknall)

Don't forget I have a showcase at Deja Vu (RG1 2LG) on 13th April. The latest details can be found here.

And also don't forget the screening of Finding Joe hosted by Stand-Up Cinema at Reading's The Rising Sun Arts Centre on May 18th at 6:30pm. The start time is early so that the film will end by 8:00pm and not conflict with Bohemian Night Showcase. If you're an artist, writer, musician , or just someone wanting to break out and go their own way, or even actually dare I say, a Star Wars fan, then I think you might find the film interesting and indeed I hope encouraging. (Throughout this site there are references to the film, I hope to bring them all together in the very near future.)

Joanne Kelly / Strawberry Sundae Radio Show

Reading DJ Joanne wrote a very nice review of a gig I did in 2012 and has played Something Wild quite a few times on her Strawberry Sunday Radio show. Later in the year I had a great interview with her which can be found here, the success of which I think was largely due to the obvious background work she did in preparation for the interview.

Understandably I'm biased because Joanne has been so favourable but I do think she does a great show if you like indie rock, hearing about upcoming bands and a lot more more besides. Strawberry Sundae is on every Sunday at 7pm for two hours. More details can be found here.