A Very Short Survivor’s Guide to Doing 22 Gigs in 30 Days

So yes, I got through it. I enjoyed it. I felt a great sense of achievement. And I learnt a few things:

1. If you have a day job…

…be prepared to get really busy. Giving up sleep is an option I considered but didn’t go with. Well, not all the time.

2. There’s loads of great music about.

Lots of people did a cover or two but I found myself surprised at how much great original music is out there that no one gets to hear. I may have to attempt to remedy this!

3. Get up and play and good things happen.

Really, if you’re thinking about getting out there, do it! I found a lot of things happened that I wasn’t expecting or anticipating and they wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been there playing live. Meeting people, getting more gigs, hearing great performers, networking (I hate that word, let’s call it umbrellaring for evermore).

4. You get better.

An obvious thing but again it didn’t occur to me. I started the month feeling all kinds of excitement and anticipation about the noise I was making and a month later noticed and was told by others how much I’d improved.

I had wanted to do a number of gigs for a while, I wanted to do something that felt like an achievement. I wanted to get out there among other musicians. I had many nights when I felt that fear just before walking out the door. The unknown, the panic of having to stand in front of others. But there were people who always welcomed me: Tim, Ant, Leighton, Annie, Cardigan Joe, Big Daddy G, Lauren, Si and Sarge, and amazing musicians all over the place, Ant, Clyde, Chris, Mark, Nick, Tim,¬†Palooka (I think that’s their name), Jones’s Blues Trio, Dave, Plug-In Dave, Leo, Leo, Tom, Kimari Raven, Nicky, Alice, Helen, who I found out is at quite an admirable age and still singing her heart out, and people who I remember but have no idea what their names were, the guy who looked like Dave Grohl at Secret Musican’s, the beatboxer and friend at last week’s Camden who did a spectacular version of Milkshake by Kelis, the guy who did a smiley Kinks cover, the young trio whose lady singer sounded very Fairport Convention at The Thomas Tripp, Ben and Ben, also at the Tripp and just loads more. They all made my ‘quest’ (¬© Leighton and Annie) twice as memorable and I thank them all heartily.


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