Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gig Times

Last Saturday I set off on the train to play with my Irish band at a small festival in the Valleys as the first band in their evening of folk music. We played for 45 minutes which is a pretty short set for us but it was great to run through some stuff together before our sets at the beer festival in Pontypridd next weekend. I haven't played much lately and it showed if I'm honest. I am trying to think of how long is a reasonable goal for weekly solo practicing and when I can actually fit that in.

The festival was raising money for Music in Hospitals, a charity I support wholeheartedly, who organise live concerts in hospitals across the UK. Live music has a profound positive impact to both mental and physical wellbeing and when you're in a hospital, hospice, secure or residential unit it's almost impossible to get that experience without outside help.

The venue was at the bottom of a valley next to a river, a strange cross between a wooden ski lodge and a church. A man told me that the bar was made from an old local church pulpit and the panels across the wall were from the same church.

 The stage was literally held together with gaffer tape.

 My public waiting for me (jokes).

I have no video of photos of us playing because there was no one there to take them and I was busy...! I need an official band photographer to follow us round, any takers?

We also need a new band name - please help! It's quite stupid to not have a decent band name after playing together for 4 years. Our current one is terrible, we chose it very rashly after arguing about it for months.  After yet another practice with no name agreement,I stuck my finger in a book and said whatever it landed on had to be our name. Unfortunately it was a pretentious Latin phrase that nobody can spell or remember so we need a better one. I don't want a 'comedy' Irish band name but some downright offensive suggestions have been The Reel IRA, Stringfellows, Lords of the Dense... no. no. We can't have any those.

Irish bands usually call themselves after tunes so I like these sort of ones better: The Hairpin Bend, The Wick in the Lamp, The Cap on the Stand. I quite like Zozimus but it's not very Irish sounding.

Here's a videos to remind me I need to listen to and learn some tunes by heart better. I was very rusty but it was still a fun gig.

To practice: Lafferty's Reel (above)
The Banshee
The Templehouse Jig


  1. might as well just call ourselves Top o' the Morning or The Leprechauns.

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