Saturday, July 23, 2011

Acoustic Goodness - Meow Cafe - July 13 2011

Meow Cafe - July 13 2011 - Martin Andrews, Roman Birch & The Others

Foolish Man
I Remember
Poison Tree
Together, Forever
Let me count the ways (I love you)
I told you brother
Never look Back
You & Me*
Jimmy Jones

*Written by Carly


Another first - my first time putting a gig on. I was as nervous about this show as I've ever been & it was as significant to me as the Tugboat gig back in 2009. I'd planned that 2011 would be the year I'd put together my first show & I'm pretty stoked to have gotten it over & done with. I'm hoping to get another one in this year around late Oct/early Nov but for now I'm happy just having a few weeks off. I got pretty stressed there the closer it got so a break is much needed. The first thing was finding a suitable venue & Meow was suggested to me by an old friend & it turned out to be perfect. They were very accommodating, basically allowing us the run of the joint for the whole evening & being completely stress free in the lead up. The manager there, Damian, put his faith in me that I would put a night together that would benefit the bar and that's where the majority of the stress came from, justifying his faith. To help in that respect I advertised in the Capital Times, Under the radar, Eventfinder and Grooveguide. I also put a Facebook invite out, which I'm not really comfortable doing cause I always thought it was a bit needy, but sometimes needs must, as they say.

The Others

Next up was finding performers and my own set. I had originally planned on myself, Roman Birch, and a poet I met a few years back called Saradha Koirala. I thought an evening of singer-songwriter & poetry had potential to be an interesting evening - still do, but in this case I think Meow may be a little too large for that type of evening. A mojo cafe might be a more intimate setting for that type of show. Anyway, Roman confirmed his interest but I didn't hear back from Saradha until well into the planning stage by which time Alan had expressed his interest in playing. That ended up being a blessing as he was able to provide a lot of the gear we ended up using, monitors & mics. He & his drummer, Paul, also ended up helping me out for a couple of tracks. Once I'd confirmed the players for the evening I needed to figure out my own set. I felt I needed to step up again and accept the responsibility of being the main act for the evening and in that sense I wanted to justify people's efforts to come out on a Wed evening to support the show, which I had dubbed 'Acoustic Goodness'. The setlist came fairly quickly with some obvious choices, the uke tracks, a slide track, Poison Tree, opening with a percussion backed 'Trouble' which ended up being the highlight of the set for me. I'd wanted to start my performance without people realising I had started so it was cool to be at the mic introducing myself and conversing and then starting the acapella verses of Trouble. Hopefully it was only when Paul came in with his kick that people realised the set had actually started. we'd practiced the tune about a dozen times all up & it totally came off. The cabasa on the choruses, the snare crack for gunshot & cabasa rolls to imitate the sound of a chaingang all worked & I was stoked to kick the set off with it. Once I finished the song there was complete silence in the bar which is always a good sign for a performer. The only real issue I had with the set was the 2nd & 3rd tracks. I wasn't sure how to get from the opening track through to the uke section without losing the audience. With a stroke of luck a song came to me on the weekend before, which I named 'I remember'. It ended up being heavily influenced lyrically by the situation of another friend who was having trouble with the man in her life:

"I can remember/When you were good to me
But all that's left now/Is a memory
It used to mean something/when you'd look at me
It used to be different/Now you're just a victim to me

You've taken/What you/What you really want
& left me/With nothing/Nothing that I need
I can't/Believe/What you've done to me
So baby just leave me be"

Roman Birch

Carly came up for the final four tracks, starting with 'Never look back' which is the very first tune we started playing together when we first started jamming about a decade ago. We then played two of Carly's own tunes, 'You & Me' & 'Fucked', before finishing with a full band version of Jimmy Jones. For this Paul came back for drums, Alan sat in with a harmonica solo & Graeme did bass. It was a fun way to finish the set & evening, & I give the whole evening a pass mark . I think we ticked all the boxes with what I had hoped to achieve, we got support through the door, we patronised the bar so they were happy, everyone played well & my set came together well. Gotta admit, I was pretty stoked at the end of the evening to feel like I'd pulled the night off.

Finally, I'd originally tossed around the idea of calling the evening 'With a little help from my friends' because so much was riding on their support both through the door and helping out on the night, from Alan & his gear to Matt on the door, Dylan putting a playlist together & doing photography for the night (both his shots above), Andre MC'ing. So it's appropriate that the final word belongs to them because as always, without whom...

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