Oxjam, Zombies & Rock & Roll!
It has been an eventful 10 days or so…..
17th October was a busy day indeed. I started by playing at the Oxjam event in Hinckley, Leicestershire. The event was held at Praha in the town centre and was organized by Steve & Sonny from the band Same Size Feet (spot the Stereophonics influence there) It was a fun event and had a healthy turnout which is not only nice for a performer but excellent for the charity! The set before mine was performed by Kyle Boswell – a local artist with a great future judging from what I saw and heard.
After playing at Oxjam I had about 50 minutes to get to Derby to play at The Greyhound on Ashbourne Road. I have been playing regular shows at The Greyhound for around 5 years now and always enjoy it. I like the atmosphere at the Derby Brewing Company pubs, it’s nice and relaxed which allows me to play songs I like personally. I especially enjoyed playing on this occasion as the audience were asking for songs by Soundgarden, Jeff Buckley, and Tenacious D! All of whom are some of my favourite bands and artists.
The next afternoon was my regular open mic evening which I run at The Red Lion in Repton from 6pm until 9pm. The turn-out is always great here with 5 or 6 performers regularly attending. This was the first time I had met Ollie Holroyd who is a great blues player and singer with tonnes of experience, and then a chap called Rex turned up - nicely oiled as he’d been in the other pub in the village for a few hours. We were between acts when I could hear Rex cursing his luck that he was too late to sign up to play. I explained that he could play and so after much cajoling he sat at the piano……….and played some of the best Rock & Roll I have ever heard live! After he’d played a couple of songs Ollie and I joined him on the Guitar and Cajon respectively! You can see a short video of the ensuing noise here. Lots of fun was had!
I had a couple of days break from performing and then went to see The Herron Brothers at The Venue in Derby. Now that The Sons are no more it is great to see Steven & Paul Herron carrying on with their own brand of folk/pop/rock (I hate pigeon-holing bands). They sounded great - -check them out here!
Friday 23rd I was back at The Bell & Castle in Derby – the audience were particularly lively on this particular evening, shouting multiple requests at me between songs. These requests tended to veer on the upbeat side including songs I usually perform near the end of a show such as Without Me by Eminem or Boom Shake the Room by Will Smith. Luckily they believed me when I said I did plan to play those songs but they’d enjoy them more if I was allowed to build up to them with other songs first!
I was really looking forward to the Bell & Castle show as I was able to bring the first pressings of my album Jigsaw Man as well as a live CD with some of my cover versions on. I am really proud of both CD’s.
Saturday was my last free Saturday for a while as I am booked through the rest of 2015!
Sunday represented my second wedding fayre with Bridefayre held at Littleover Lodge Hotel in Derby – Itself a fantastic wedding venue. These events are not only fun but serve as an eye-opener as to how much work goes into some of the services and products available at weddings. Anyway….I played for about 3 hours of the 5 hours I was there and enjoyed talking to all the happy couples doing the rounds. Hopefully I will see them again when I’m playing at their weddings! I am an optimist.
So there is my “dear diary”. 6 Performances, 100 CDs pressed of 2 albums. Many miles driven, many songs sung.
Over the next week or so I am really starting to get busy. Tonight I’m at The Maze in Nottingham, Wednesday I’m at Barnacles Restaurant in Hinckley, Friday at The Cuckoo Oak in Telford, Saturday at The Black Horse in Hulland Ward, before retiring to host open mic at The Red Lion.
(On the Thursday I will be at Alton Towers for Scarefest with David Sattar who plays the drums & percussion when I play any original material. All the scaremazes as well as something called the Sub-Species Lockdown which was described to me as Saw crossed with The Crystal Maze….oo er! Help!?)
Liverpool still haven’t won