I’m feeling quite hazy, the sunshine warming the window of the train, coach A, from Manchester to London and my mind is at ease, knowing that all it needs to think about is home, at least for a couple of hours. Yesterday’s gig was awful. Truly. I mean, really horrible, but in a funny kind of way rather than a sole destroying one, so don’t worry, I’m fine (and feeling much better)! I know I should probably be tactful and nice as this is going up online and, as I found out over the last couple of days, is actually being read by quite a few of you, but there’s no point in telling porky pies, so here goes!
I really like Manchester, too bad my gig was in Heaton Chapel. Things started off fine as I arrived at Manchester Piccadilly to meet Louis from Shock Radio for an interview. That was great fun (thanks again Louis!) chatting about my debut album and the tour thus far in the basement of a bizarre 50s style hotel over coffee.
After the interview I caught a local trains to that beacon of rock n roll, Heaton Chapel. I found the venue and was pleasantly surprised – it looked really lovely, the promoter was friendly and the sound was great. One other act, a Singer / Songwriter from Manchester was on before me. She played to about five people (including me). I was hoping that the place would fill up a bit before my stage time; little did I know that playing to five people would have been the more desirable option. The Blue Cat Café actually did fill up incredibly quickly as I started to play. Right, I’m going to be a snob now, the audience largely consisted of very orange people with sweat-wear, fake hair and mini plastic dresses. Don’t get me wrong, you can wear whatever you like to my gig, wear nothing for all I care, but if you’re not there to see the music, why sit right in front of the stage instead of at the back of the room? I was booked on the premises that I’d play original material (I was told: strictly no covers), but as the place filled up, requests (although that’s too polite a term for how I was being spoken too) were bouncing off the walls such as “Can you play faster? Do you know any Ed Sheeran? And, hold it, by far my favourite: Can you play some drum and bass? …They were not joking… There once was a day where I would have happily accommodated and tried very hard to please any audience, no matter how unappreciative and rude they are. I no longer feel the need to. Ironically, the show actually went well, considering, with the whole venue joining in on “Buckle Up” and a couple of CD sales. There also were a few very friendly people there who actually were there to hear me play and took the time to speak to me afterwards: Thank you very much and I am very sorry it was so hard to hear… Hopefully you’ll come join me when I play …somewhere else next time.
So, I have learnt that Google cannot be trusted (Blue Cat Café was a first page search result to ‘music venues in Central Manchester’) and that suburbs are probably the scariest places (it is after all in the suburbs where most zombie attacks take place, right?).
What’s next? I’m back in London for a couple of days to recover from Heaton Chapel and then it’s off to Deutschland for shows in Hamburg and Berlin, which I’m really looking forward to.