Saturday, 21 July 2012

Thank Goodstock

Four weeks ago tomorrow, I played my first-ever proper UK gig, at my younger daughter's school fundraiser, branded "Goodstock" (the school is called Goodrich, so the pun was really screaming to be used, though interestingly no one had landed upon this idea until recently).

I opened the evening with a 30-minute set on electric guitar and vocals, accompanied by the astonishingly talented Steve Watts on upright bass. He didn't know any of my songs, and we only had a half-hour sound check to get to know each other musically. We played a tastefully-selected set of eight covers, and he was an absolute trooper, a real joy to play with. The audience, probably somewhat baffled by the opening number, listened attentively, and smiled on occasion. After all was said and done, there was a genuine warmth and appreciation from them, and a number of people have since given me some very kind appraisals of the set.


Photo by Julia Hamilton

Photo by Julia Hamilton

In the next set, I played drums with The Graduates, featuring my friend and neighbour Paul Betts, who recorded my guitar parts for the Linda Heck album at his place, and the lovely Jim McAllister of The Popes. It was great fun, and people liked it a lot. 




The third band, Dad Company, were great enough to let me use their drum kit, and I have since gotten to know a few in their ranks as well. Great guys, and I'm a at a complete loss to understand why I've never encountered them before.

Which all begs the uncomfortable question, "Why have I had my head up my musical ass for the past 17 years?" My beloved East Dulwich is chock-full of talented people looking for interesting things to do, and I have quite a few in mind. A couple of them have indicated an interest in getting something together on the back of this event, with the aim of having fun and kicking ass - both noble pursuits. If there is a lesson from all of this, it's that interesting people have a much easier time finding you if you make yourself visible, and remain open to new possibilities. 

And so tomorrow, I jet with my girls to Memphis, where I will, in a couple of weeks' time, play this awesome gig - a gig which almost wasn't. Maybe it's just the looming arrival of a certain key birthday, but I feel more appreciative of my friends (old and new), my family, and of life itself, than ever.


No comments: