|Posted by SimonWaldram on December 6, 2014 at 1:45 AM|
At The Cookie, Leicester 16/11/14. Photo by Trevor Cobbe
Up until the last couple of months I'd never played live on any kind of regular basis. Living in Mansfield I'd make the occasional trip to Nottingham or Leicester, but that was about it. Sometimes it was 6 months+ between playing and it's impossible to create any momentum that way. Each performance felt like starting again and I never managed to build up an audience at all.
However since moving to Leicester in September I've tried to get involved with the local scene and play quite a bit more. For the most part it's been great. I've played at Hansom Hall, The Cookie, The Musician, Manhattan 34 and The Walkabout. I've met lots of really nice people and seen some very talented artists, including (but certainly not limited to) Anna Purver, Les Hayden, Meri Everitt, Prash Gor, my good mate and touring buddy Kevin Hewick and lovely folks in my university's Music Society. I have to say I already feel more welcome here than I ever did in the often quite elitist Nottingham music scene (although I'm aware you can get self-aggrandising arseholes anywhere and some people in Nottingham I love to bits).
Being someone who never sold many records it's felt at times that I've been making music for an almost non-existant audience for the past few years. However being up there in front of me more has made me want to push myself more as a songwriter and a performer. Not that I have any intention of being more professional though. I have seen a few people recently who go over very well because their songs are catchy, have instantly recognisible themes you can cling on to and are presented in an easy to digest style. That isn't me, nor will it ever be. I might appeal to a smaller percentage of people in the room, but I hope that when I do it's on a deeper level - just because it's all about sharing sometimes quite difficult feelings, rather than presenting a carefully cultivated image for the purposes of entertainment.
I want to take this further too. I have been massively impressed by some of the songwriting and musicianship I've seen I want to develop my own guitar playing so I can share new and different kinds of songs - ones that are challenging, but hopefully rewarding. I've known what path I've wanted to take my music down for a while - one that really pushes the psychedelic folk route - but I saw this as a thing that would happen some time in the future. However recent experiences have given me the impetus to step it up and make it happen sooner. Of course I am also an university studying Audiology and that has to come first, but I have a driving artistic need to do this as well. I feel like I'm at the start of a new musicial journey, one that will probably last for years, but I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me.