Sunday, 19 February 2012


back at the brown lion
two weeks on
and how times have changed
last time around there were four inches of snow on the ground
and a half-empty pub
this evening as the house band's set gets underway
a steady flow of punters stream through the doors
and the atmosphere steadily builds
thirsty work play bluesy covers of pop standards
solidly buttressed on a three-pronged attack
elegant eighties synth
rhythm guitar that cuts through the mix
and bluesy electric lead
the two vocalists are strong too
the rhythm guitarist pulls off an impressive stevie winwood vocal
to do justice to the intensity of 'keep on running'
i feel a bit outraged on their behalf
on account of the luke-warm applause
from a half-attentive audience
as the band conclude their opening set
a group of party-goers dressed as wizards wander in
could this be a positive omen for the night?
i plug in my fender and step up to the mike
i begin with a slow-burning version of 'obsession'
the timing is just right
the pub has reached a critical mass
and people are actually paying the paisley-shirted troubador some attention
my second gig has become my first 'proper' gig
i am receiving generous applause
people are even taking photos!
'birdman' gets its first ever live airing
dedicated to its co-writer brother jw
'as wide as the sky' has me in the zone
for the first time
i am not frantically trying to remember its lyrics
before i know it it is all over
'fucking good!' is e's feedback
perhaps stoked by too much two towers beer
a couple of girls who have been listening in the corner also enthuse:
'your music is beautiful'
the kind of comment that makes it all worthwhile
my brother's contribution:
'less grimacing when you're really going for it'
my harshest critic
the person i listen to most
when i want someone to tell me how it really is

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