Sunday, November 6

All That Jazz...Funked Up!

I haven't written for a little while because i was ill. I went home for reading week prepared to practice every day for the All That Jazz gig on friday and caught the world's meanest sore throat and cold. Horrible.

Anyway I somehow found a bit of voice by thursday, was kind of practising the set without singing, a bit weird! And yesterday I came back to warwick hoping for the best.. I had a rehearsal and hour before the show with James, a new pianist, and we worked out some arrangements for two covers I wanted to end with. I dont know why I wasn't nervous. My throat was so dry, i was drugged up on paracetamol, everything was so last minute..
But there is no point in panicking.

And as I hoped, the magic of adrenaline somehow loaned me a voice for the half-hour set.. It went surprisingly well.
The set up of the room was really designed for the second band which was a big funk group - they had a dance floor in front of the stage and table at the sides. So I decided to place myself with my piano on ground level, in the dance floor, to be nearer to the people - i learnt from last time that its no good being far away on a stage. It was kind of theatrical. Dark lighting and a bright spot, a lonely piano waiting for me in a big space. But once i sat down it seemed to work - I could see people, play to them. It was very comforting having familar faces near me - not like last time [see Arts Festival entry]. Maybe because it was an intimate setting (there were about 200 people, but it was meant to have that jazz club feel) rather than a festival stage where you are supposed to do a 'big show' and thats harder to do in front of your friends. Anyway, I did five of my songs and then we did the two covers, which were a nice surprise even for me and were really fun. I'd say I took a lot more risks artistically than I have done before.. not avoiding the weirder songs, the less palatable lyrics or music - more quirky - more of whatever I felt like doing, rather than crowd pleasing - and it went down well. Im really happy about that. I think this project is partly responsible for that, making me clearer about what I believe in, what I want to do.. and also of course the fact that within this warwick bubble or at least amongst the audience that came, they already knew me a little, and are on my side.. i've had a good response a few times round, that makes it easier to try new things, have more freedom. And the feedback was very positive. Some people mentioned just those bits that I was worried hadn't gone down well and picked them as their favourites. And more people that usual commented on the lyrics, which is very important to me. So. Good.

Decatone the funk band were absolutely brilliant and got everyone dancing with their energy and rhythm - they were very very tight as a band. No vocals, just good-time music... talking to the body not the mind..

This morning I had no voice. It was very angry at me. So I'm giving it two days rest to say thank you and sorry. Not talking until monday. Its a strange exercise, hard. I just cannot afford to fall into the problems I had last year... got to take good care.

So yeah, lots to learn as always, but a really good gig.