Monthly Archives: July 2023

Damp Expectations

A rather soggy and almost freezing conclusion to the month. I unexpectedly found myself doing a solo gig in Enfield, and miraculously, it turned out better than I had ever imagined. Although, I must confess, I had a rather sleepless night leading up to it. It’s funny how I discovered that I actually had more than enough material for the gig. It got me thinking that maybe I should consider being a bit more organized if I plan to do this kind of thing in the future. Well, the sheer excitement from yesterday’s adventure has faded away, and now my lower back is throwing a tantrum because I’ve spent far too much time glued to the computer. Yesterday was an absolute marathon, but oddly satisfying. Admittedly, I could have given a technically superior performance, but hey, it went down okay. Perhaps going solo is something I should seriously ponder for the long run. I did quite a bit of singing, and I must say, my voice held up okay. Of course, having decent microphones and gear certainly makes a world of difference. Keep in mind that performing puts you in full-on aerobic mode: After playing for about 2 hours, my pulse was around 110-ish. The only downside was being rudely awakened by the noisy commercial waste truck at 4:00 am, but luckily I managed to drift back into a blissful sleep. Lessons learned: If you happen to live above a parade of shops, either become an early bird or a true night owl. Later, I caught up with some old pals and had a good old chinwag before finally heading home. A rather damp and almost chilly ending to the month. I did an unplanned solo gig in Enfield which went rather better than I had hoped thank goodness. I did have rather sleepless night before it though. I did as it turns out have more than enough material for the gig but it leads me to think about getting rather more organised if I do this kind of thing in future. Well the endorphins from yesterdays outing have worn off and my lower back is now complaining as I have been on the compute a lot. Yesterday was exhausting but quite satisfying. I could have put on a better performance technically but it went over OK. Maybe solo is a thing I should seriously think about now? As a longer term prospect.

As ever my mood continues to confound me, as it follows the up and down switchback trajectory that is very hard for others to deal with or accommodate. At the time of writing this I feet rather weepy for no discernible reason.

I am happy singing on my recordings, but live not quite so much to be honest. I am not sure that there is so much of a market fronting an act for someone that looks like one third Tina Turner Drag Tribute/ one third Miriam Margolyes and sounds like a south london gangster, though I could be wrong of course?

I think that what I lack really is the massive ego and self confidence that many people I knew have had. I am not a born leader.

Today added bonus has been a gas supplied fault so no hot water for day or so its seems.
Grumpiness abounds. And it’s raining again.

Here’s a tune from last year.

Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.
Will Rogers

A Small Disturbance In the Force

I am feeling a few wobbles this week. Its funny how one can feel confidant on Monday and a quivering wreck by Wednesday.

I always have ongoing music writing and recording projects. So even on the worst days I do something. I practice/play more or less every day. I am now in contact with more people which helps push me along a bit and apart from that I use every possible technique to keep going mental health wise, but some days are just weird and scary. Days when you can feel your body working and it’s a sensory overload.

my latest tune:

I feel at the moment I am perhaps not actually stalled but rather temporarily parked and taking to time to study the map before going full bore towards the next destination. I know where I want to get to but the best route is not obvious to me right now. I still cannot grasp at a fundamental level that my material needs at least are met. Oddly that may be part of the problem physiologically, as one feels much more risk averse having reached a relatively comfortable space?

Its strange. I feel almost like I need to reboot everything in my life. I am depressed, there’s no doubt about that. I am sure this will make no sense what so ever, but although I have been banging on about gigs and stuff I have got so frustrated with it that another side of me is whispering in my ear to give it up again. My heads a bit messed up. I must just try to not subconsciously sabotage myself. I could do that very easily I think. That’s the hidden thing that people that dont have mental health issues don’t see. Alison try’s to be supportive when I am low, but she can’t really help much with it. My life is not bad in most respects. A bit like being a lazy teenager with no responsibility in some regards. I dont have the confidence to launch myself upon the world that many do. I am not a hammer down the door shouting let me in type. 50% of me wants to be out strutting my stuff and the other 50% wants to lock myself away and hide at present and it sort of hurts.

I expect I will be Ok enough psychologically long term. I get these times and they usually pass. Curious thing but as I mentioned Ralph suggested I should stop striving as it were. He was wrong on one level but right on another. A more Mr McCaburesque attitude to life would be better. Something does seem to turn up more often than expected.

I also have a song lyric from Steve the drummer in Gypsy that I will try and work up into a song. I have a tune and chords for it but I need to find a suitable style/setting for it. It needs to be a folkie/hippy vibe with perhaps a sprinkling of early Bolan as in Tyrannosaurus Rex when it was a duo with loads of bongos, dejembies vibe mixed in.

I also recently looked at a couple of pictures of my dad when he was in his late 50s. His face was really gaunt. I guess that is what a lifetime of smoking does. He did reduce his smoking from 60 a day to about 20 in the end. I seem to take after my grandmas side of the family more. Just a little bit plumper. My dad never had a belly. But although I am slim I have done for years. Weird init.

I am mildly depressed. I do have projects of course. I have been stressed due to pretty much running out of money last year. Ok that is correcting itself now of course. Everything used to be a challenge, finding ways to get by. Getting a few bob extra in here and there. Now in a sense it doesn’t matter if I get out of bed or not. It’s a maybe a phase I am going through. Maybe I still have a few more connections I need to make. It’s more a matter of not giving in and plodding on? only ever really brought things I needed. Perhaps due to circumstances in the main. I have never been obsessed with stuff. I do need to sell a few things though really that I don’t use. Studio gear mostly thats duplicated or outmoded. But inertia takes over and it doesn’t happen.
Its not impossible that stuff might get used in future though of course?

I had a dream that I had a “real” baby grand piano in the lounge. But also in the same dream I had been sacked from a band for being past it. It’s all my insecurities come home to roost. I feel like all the really good stuff is just turning in “fireside memories” I remember when you could play 3 paid gigs every week. “Yes, Granny. Drink your tea and take your anti psychosis pills” My insecurity is that the boat really has left without me now.

For the last few months I have been in the main quite productive and less anxious and its all been goodish on the music side. I do feel a lot less motivated generally though in other ways, If I don’t have a specific place to go or people to do the day can easily get wasted I find. I feel like I have a psychological hangover for want of a better word. And the less I do the tired I feel too?
I can see how older folk than me who perhaps don’t have any abiding interests start getting crazy now.

I think in creative terms its likely that I could not really do more than I have done at the end of the day. But as is often the case the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow even if you can find it may not be such a bit deal. its always about the journey not the destination. At what point through does one get off the train. Should one just wait until thrown off by the ticket inspector at Crumbly halt?

Abnormal Service Will Not Be Resumed Shortly

I feel a little bit out of sorts at present. On wednesday I went to the George 3rd pub in Hoddesdon. A really nice venue with a proper stage and sound system with lights to play with Orchard in a battle of the bands heat. A friendly landlord and a nice bunch of punters too. All good clean fun apart from the drummer Trevor who had auditioned with us a week or so back having a cardiac event whilst playing the opening number with his band “the Trevor Experience”. it all went very quiet. Fortunately Clare our vocalist was a first aider and able to help out. Paramedics were called out and managed to stabilize Trevor who later on went to hospital in an ambulance about 2 hours later. He is OK but won’t be drumming in the near future I guess. The evening went on after a break of about 40 minutes or so and we did our set and it was fairly well received. We got going and managed to play a fun set which was well received. We watched the last band playing who were a young Radiohead inspired guitar band and pretty good actually, though a tad loud for my geriatric lugholes’.

So just a brief note for now.