|Posted by SimonWaldram on November 23, 2014 at 3:20 PM|
At the Chameleon. Photo by Stephanie Webb
From Nov 14th to 16th I took part in a mini-tour around with Anda Volley, Kevin Hewick and Lisa De'Ville. Three gigs in 3 days might not sound like a lot (and I guess it isn't really), but given that before 2014 I'd never played live more than 3 times in a year it felt like quite a bit deal to me.
The gigs came around as part of Anda's first UK tour which also took in London, Belfast and Manchester. She asked if we could arrange some gigs in the midlands and with Kevin and Lisa joining the fold too things took off from there.
Friday 14th's gig was at the Chameleon in Nottingham, a place I've played a number of times before. It's quite small and hidden away and the music room upstairs and akin to a big, unkempt living room. As it's not the most known about place in Nottingham I tried to get the word out as best I though and I genuinely thought we'd get a decent turnout. I was wrong. Hardly anyone turned up. In fact I've never played a show with so few people. I was really disappointed - we all were, I guess, but we still all played out hearts out. There's a part in Henry Rollins' book Get In the Van where he talks about one of his early Black Flag gigs in which there were only a handful of people present. Henry reacted by messing around - jumping on tables and not taking it seriously. Afterwards Chuck Dukowski took him to one side and told him that even if just two people come to your show those people have taken the time and effort - and paid money - to see you, and you should put on the best show you possibly can for them. Those words have always stuck with me and I was proud that we all abided to that same kind of attitude.
We were of course very grateful to those who did come. Shout out to Stephanie Webb for taking some excellent photos too.
Lisa at the Chameleon
On the Saturday me, Kevin and Anda travelled to Northampton (...Lisa had a gig in Birmingham) to support Ed Tudor Pole at the Charles Bradlaugh pub. The pub itself is lovely and Alex, who was hosting the gig, is an absolute gent. They paid us and even gave us free beer all night! The crowd was much bigger this time and they listened and seem genuinely appreciative. Kevin and Anda were brilliant as always. The less said about Ed Tudor Pole the better, though, really - although I did get to see a diva fit up close for the first time in my life. Everything else about the night was great though. I look forward to hopefully playing there again sometime.
Kevin at the Charles Bradlaugh
I felt so much better after the Northampton gig and next we travelled to Leicester (where I'm currently living and studying) and hooked up with Lisa again to play at the Cookie. It was much better attended than the Chameleon, thank goodness, although a few more people there would have been nice. It's also a lovely place to play and Andy the soundman and absolutely fantastic. Notts finest new music DJ Steve Oliver also came and compered for us and it was great to see him again. It didn't feel like the end, more like we were just hitting our stride and someone had suddenly stopped the tour. Still, it's given me much more appreciation for playing live and I've already started working on getting some more gigs sorted.
Anda at The Cookie
A special note on my tour mates: Kevin, Lisa and Anda are three of the most genuine, decent and honest people I've ever know. They are also all incredibly talented and I watch them perform each night as a huge and grateful fan. I don't know if we'll ever get to do anything like this again, but I'm so glad we all got to do these few gigs together. Please check out their music if you're not already familiar with it:
Lisa De'Ville: https://soundcloud.com/lisadeville
Anda Volley: https://soundcloud.com/anda-volley
Kevin Hewick: https://soundcloud.com/kevinhewick
Also on my Soundcloud page I've put up some live tracks from the gigs:
Me, Kevin and Anda after the gig at the Cookie