2021 Lockdown – Day 19

I have a gig today (unpaid of course). In fact I’m paying with songs and a monetary contribution. I’m not complaining. Quite the contrary and ‘contrary’ ought to be my middle name. If I were more consistent, maybe my life wouldn’t be such a mess. Would that I were a proper musician, artist, writer or businessman. It’s a fund raiser and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

I’ve decided on doing all my own songs.

There are good reasons why open mic performers do mostly covers. When you hear a song you know, you tend to hear your favourite singer of it, like a backing track to the person the other side of the mic. It’s a great leveller but it can be a little disconcerting when some shitty rendition gets the same reception as my much worked on (and well performed) version.

Also folks just like hearing stuff they know and some of the most popular performers do all the favourites. You don’t have to be clever and some of the cleverer performers are the least memorable because, while they’re dazzling you with their technique, you’re not engaging with them emotionally. You might not remember the detail but you remember how you felt. That being said, a talented musician can make it look so easy you are bedazzled without even realising it.

I guess another reason is because it’s a little like karaoke. You are identifiying with that brave soul who is bravely getting up to sing your favourite song even if they’re not being brave at all. Again there’s the emotional tie and if they perform well you get a proxy pat on the back. Your soul is being nourished while your giggle centre is being tickled.

Self written material can be a bit samey. Writers can have a style they struggle to deviate from. I know if I try to write when not particularly inspired I can fall into that rut. What sounds good can get old very, very quickly. Hearing self written songs in a set can be refreshing. It’s when they play another self penned piece you get to know whether they are churning out true originals or replicas.

I’ve got 10 songs lined up that are quite varied in style and tempo and each one has had a good reception in the past so I’m confident it’ll work. It will also give me satisfaction and that’s not unimportant. 40 minutes will zip past. I would like them to be significant.

I’m anxious though. I have to stream from Facebook and I’m not the least bit confident in doing that. And if it goes wonky at the beginning it’ll spook me and that means 40 minutes of getting back on an even keel. I hope you’re enjoying reading this because it’s sending me to sleep. See you on the other side (page 2).

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