Happy New Year to everyone. And may you be well received (or gifted) this Valentine’s Day.
I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but ironically, I’ve been too busy. As many of you know, I’ve been having quite a time getting my strength back after the last illness. But I now think I have the stamina to take the show back on the road. Or at least, a different kind of show, which I hope you will find equally entertaining.
To get to the point: Please click here if this is of interest so I can get an idea of how to schedule about a dozen shows starting in June 2013. (If you’re unfamiliar with the program—and since it’s been almost five years since I’ve done serious touring that wouldn’t surprise me, let me summarise. Traditionally, I poll interested parties before scheduling a tour and use the responses to plan an itinerary. This is more important now than ever since this is a test of my current energy.)
As many of you know, when I first started back in 2000, I had a gig before I had a show. I had never played a solo show in me life. I intentionally played bass throughout university just to get out of being so exposed. So I spent six months that year just learning how to sing and play at the same time. And then how to sing and play at the same time for two hours. Honestly, I’ve never worked that physically hard before. Flash forward to last summer. In quite a chickenshit manner, I began doing ‘anonymous’ shows at a few local clubs which have been gracious enough to give me the time to try, fail and try again. Gradually, I’ve been adding material and seeing what I can manage energy-wise. This is sort of how comedians ‘build an act’ except for the odd (and freeing) fact that I just don’t care what the audience thinks at these little test drives. And that’s a good thing because they’re expecting ‘light jazz’ or ‘singer-songwriter Americana’ and all of a sudden a Mellotron roars to life. 😀 If I had tried out in front of people I care about, dear readers, I would’ve been far too fraught what with all the technical issues.
Can An Irish Boy Learn To Play With Himself
The new show is my first acceptance of automation. But frankly, I still don’t have the vim to sing and flail away for two hours. (I used to lose a couple of pounds of sweat during every show. Perhaps that’s why I never got too many aftershow invites.)
So I thought I could do a show around a keyboard. Sit down. Take it easy. And the portable way to do so was to bring a laptop to the club. And then I set up little buttons to change sounds between songs. And then during songs. And then… well, that started me down the slippery slope towards ‘sequencing.’
It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to arrange the material so that I can ‘play’ the songs and not just ‘hit play.’ So as with my earlier solo guitar shows, the songs you hear will be almost new.
I can only tell you the level of rationalisation and hypocrisy that I have decided I can live with. I’ve re-arranged the songs I will be doing in the following way: No backing audio or solos. I can’t stomach hearing backing voices or screaming guitars coming from nowhere. And no intros or outros from nowhere either. I have this recurring nightmare of watching a hapless keyboardist at the Ramada Airport Inn. As each song begins and ends, the start/stop foot pedal for the drum machine malfunctions. Hilarity ensues. So whatever backing sounds are there begin and end with me playing and singing. One hopes the net effect of all this will be somewhat like that world famous Shiny Penny Trick.
Looking forward to seeing you again, friends both old and new.