Thursday, 10 December 2009

Why it's all worth it...

Reading back over the whingeing I've done here and I'd imagine anyone who reads this is wondering why I bother at all, given how rotten a time of it I seem to have. I guess generally it's just easier to put the downside into words, but I'll try and explain here why we carry on regardless.

We had a gig at an Estate pub on Saturday & walking in I figured it might be a tough crowd. We'd picked up the cancellation from a heavy rock covers band (Whitesnake, Deep Purple, that kind of stuff) but the first couple of numbers went down well and we found our swing. It never seemed like we had the crowd 100% - the applause was thin on the ground for at least a few songs each set and I felt like I was working hard to keep them, but then when we finished there were at least 6 or 7 people who came to tell us how much we'd enjoyed it and ask when we were next playing. The next day after about three hours sleep, I wander around Birmingham with a spring in my step and an optimistic view of the world.

Alternatively on Tuesday we did a support slot at the students union. Now it is hand in week & the headline band were a zombie-techno-metal combo that didn't seem the most natural fit with our stuff, and we largely played to an empty room while the crowd watched the football in the bar next door. However when we hit a groove it can almost not matter what the crowd are doing as long as we can feel the vibe off each other and we played solidly and had fun in spite of all that.

So I suppose it really just comes down to loving every second...even on the rubbish gigs...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Guitar Troubles

So my dirt cheap, but generally pretty trusty chinese resonator (seen on the left in the picture) started to stutter and crackle on Saturday. I went in to my local guitar shop Monday and there was no sign of the crackle so was told there was nothing wrong, but I noticed at rehearsal last night that the neck pickup isn't picking up the top two strings.

Just phoned a better regarded guitar tech and he suggested a rewind or a new pickup and probably not a rewind on a guitar so cheap. Which means £100 on a pickup that's probably worth more than the guitar. Alternatively i could start shopping for another guitar...or I'm considering getting a pickup put on my better quality steel resonator.

Meanwhile in all the listening extra carefully to try and diagnose the problem I've noticed my amp has a new faintly metallic rattle (re-tube time?) sad.gif

Also have a gig Saturday, so will be sliding on the Yamaha Pacifica, for all it's thin tone.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Getting Bookings

So I currently have hardly any time to practice or write because I'm spending every spare moment trying to fill the 2010 diary for .44 Pistol to avoid the issue we seem to have this year of having no further gigs after October. It's a strange business really with me sending emails and demos with cover letter off to various establishments and getting by and large no replies, but with the odd weird answer thrown in.

Now don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against a polite "no thank you" - at least they bothered to reply - but in this last week I've had a couple of really odd responses. Firstly there was the blues club who would consider booking us if we had a different vocalist. Now I'm not prissy about my singing. I sing like a white man, but you know what? I AM a white man and I'm cool with that. As I read in a review of the last-but-one White Stripes record 'white men can't play the blues, but it doesn't matter because great things still happen when they try'. What got me was the forwardness of this unsolicited advice. A bit like telling a plumber: 'I'd hire you, but only if you get a better tool kit'. It may be what you're thinking but it seems odd to be sharing it uninvited with someone you don't know but are supposed to be communicating with as a fellow professional.

The second one came from a promoter whose day job is as the organiser of a major arts festival (via their email system - which is how I know). It came without a single full-stop, comma or capital letter. Now, I was somewhat taken aback that someone, who I imagine is probably university educated and has communication as a major part of their job, would send out something so unprofessional looking. I had to read it three times to get the gist (which was that he did like our stuff but didn't want to book us at the moment).

Still I continue firing away trying to get gigs...I had this great idea of trying to book a short tour around a gig we're doing in Portsmouth in March in order to save on the petrol, but that currently doesn't seem to be going too well.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


So here i am with my own blog, only five years after the rest of the world. I suppose I should start by telling you a little about who I am: I'm 28, I have a good degree from a good University but I ended up working in a coffee shop because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I've since realised that what I always wanted to do was play music, but I never thought it was realistic. Now I don't really care if it's realistic.

So now I'm trying to be a musician in my spare time while making coffee during the day. I play in the band .44 Pistol, I host an open mic and a jam.