The home of the haikulator

 

Links

My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman
BurberryAndBroccoli
MarkInventions

The Musical!
Incredible Productions

apostrophell
backlash
incredible
haiku


Previous Posts

I Quite Like Wednesdays
Seven Flavours of Humour
Antagonism
Waking up
Personal Touch
The Day After
Yesterday
In the crap
More Content
A Weekend of Letters

Blog Archives

January 1970
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017

Global Domination

Locations of visitors to this page

Thursday, June 8

What a Condition

I scooted out of work into the borrowed red Mazda 323F (M-reg and quite nippy) and sat-navigated my way back to the garage. They'd called me at 3.30 to tell me that the car was ready except for the brakes, which they'd not investigated because they couldn't get the wheels off due to the locking wheel nuts. I told them where the locking wheel nut removal kit could be found and they were charged with sorting out the jammed front brake - which had been giving me some bother, jamming on and causing vibration when I applied the brakes.

As I arrived at the garage, my car was coming out of the workshop and heading for its road test. I hung around, paid for the work (expensive at plenty-of-pounds - about 1% of my gross annual salary) and then scooted off to my gig. I sat-navigated the country-roads route to the M40, rather than go on roads which I'd been hearing about on the radio traffic news on the way to the garage.

The first thing I noticed about the car was that it ran a bit smoother, but there's still a vibration - I believe that that can be attributed to the fact that all four tyres are knackered. Oh dear. More expense.

However, the big thing I discovered is the pleasures of air conditioning. I've had air-con (not to be confused with crap Nicholas Cage movie - Con Air) in the car since I bought it, obviously, but there's a difference between having the controls and having an air conditioner with fresh gas in its system. I was chilly, straight away (indeed on the way to work this morning in a car which was baking hot when I got into it, it was only a minute before I was really cooled down!). This is a great development and well worth the 100 pounds it cost.

So, the drive to the gig last night was pretty reasonable fun. I listened to the radio, including David Baddiel's "Heresy" on Radio 4. I drove on some slightly congested, but non-threatening, country roads. I zoomed along the motorway at barely legal speeds... and some desperately illegal speeds.

Wolves
I arrived in Wolverhampton at about 7.30pm, which was 45 minutes before I'd been asked to. I parked outside the pub where the gig was to be held. I used my gig radar to decide whether it would be a busy night. Few people on the streets, few people already in the pub, our survey said it was unlikely. I then checked out the room of the gig - presently empty and dark - a nice music venue with a high stage. I changed my trousers, got a drink, played on the pub's electronic quiz machine thing, and eventually collected my guitar and went back upstairs.

I found the organisers miraculously present in the room and I helped set up the sound. In fact, I more set up my own sound, then helped them with theirs. For some reason, my guitar came out of the main loud speakers on first attempt, despite the fact that there were several connections and settings involved, but I was only able to get the microphone to come out of the monitor speaker, despite trying several different permutations.

However, I got to play with a big 24 track sound desk, despite clearly not knowing enough about it to get around this odd limitation, which was nice.

There was a good cast of people to play the gig, with two comperes and the organiser doing a set himself - he usually comperes. I couldn't remember agreeing a fee for the gig. In fact, I distinctly remember agreeing to do it for free... and for 10 minutes only. My expectations were slightly exceeded when my time slot was upgraded to longer and I was put on last. This turned out to be a mixed blessing. My gig radar hadn't really let me down. The room wasn't throbbingly busy, but a pleasant crowd of 20 or so turned up (including the 8 acts). It had a really nice atmosphere and some of the acts were good and some were developing nicely. It was fun.

Going on last had problems for me on this occasion. When it was working, it was great. However, I took to the stage at 10.50, and the audience had seen 7 other people performing before me. They'd also witnessed a long-winded joke competition, a hard-to-follow compere (the wonderful Johnny Sorrow) and... well, from the moment I stood in front of them, I felt that they weren't going to be easy. I had to work for it. If I was being loud and brash, they went for it. At some moments, it was magic. However, if I dropped my energy levels, they dropped with me.

I've said it before, the walk up is deceptively important. You'd think that an audience wouldn't form an opinion until you did something, but the way you appear on the stage is one of the things that they see you do. It's very important. I didn't do it well enough and had to compensate. However, what feels like a lifetime on stage actually last about 9 seconds on the recording, so it didn't seem like I was really struggling when I played it all back.

I tried a few new lines, which was nice, some were spoken, some were sung. I think I need to write a new national anthem, which overlaps something Bill Bailey has already done, but since his was "Portishead sings Zippedy Doo Dah" and mine would be something very different, I think I can safely assume that I'm not copying him... and that maybe his "national anthem" thing was just a convenient way of setting up the Portishead parody.

Stand-up
I really like some of my songs and I enjoy them.

But I really want to be able to make the amusement without the guitar. It feels like it's holding me back. Perhaps if I write some jokes - I've got ideas for them - maybe I'll be able to do them and make people laugh that way. Without a regular gig to use as a place to experiment, it's going to be hard. D'oh.

Maybe the nail in the coffin came last night when a comedian told me that they liked my musical stuff and then named the only other musical act they liked... an act that I simply cannot stand! I don't even consider this person a musical act, which is a shame, because they play guitar very well, but just includes one (terrible) song in their set.

I think we all know that I'm going to remain a musical act for the foreseeable future. Still, I can dream.

Instructive
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. This isn't universally true, but when I've seen someone fail miserably at something in front of me and then later found out that they teach that thing... well, perhaps it's made me chuckle. Perhaps there is a big difference between practical knowledge and academic appreciation. Still, the best teachers CAN.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2012 Ashley Frieze