Nice little milestone of progress for me last night as I did my first solo acoustic gig outside of Birmingham. Not far outside of Birmingham admittedly, but its a start!
The venue was Katie Fitzgerald‘s – a lovely little pub in Stourbridge – really well worth a visit either if youre a musician looking for a gig or if youre just passing or nearby and fancy a drink in a cosy & friendly pub. We played in the back room and briefly poked our head in downstairs where they’ve got a great little room which had a comedy night on.
The acoustic night is run by Sam and Dale of Acoustic Brew who’ve been running these great nights at various venues around Birmingham for five years now. Sadly their gig in Atticus in Bearwood due to the closure of the venue, so the guy are on the look out for other potential venues in Bearwood and for that matter if you know of any other pubs that could benefit from a quality, friendly, acoustic night, do let them know.
Of the other acts, Ragtime Ewan was playing when I arrived, a slightly incongruous sight in a way, his dreadlocks tempting you to expect something laid back and mellow, but his music being quite brisk and skiffly. I found it quite entertaining and good natured, to my untutored ear occasionally recalling George Formby tho the American blues/folkers who inspire him are people like Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly.
Last before me was Andy Richards – himself a Stourbridge resident but as you’ll hear if you listen to his myspace, someone well capable of spreading his wings much further afield. A warm, gentle but gritty voice with gently affective songs and poetic lyrics – ably accompanied by a friend on percussion too.
As for my set, Im still struggling a little with some tuning – mostly when Im having to concentrate on one of the more difficult piano bits but by and large I think the set went well. I chatted with a member of the audience afterwards who is also a pianist who said that my playing reminded her of Peter Skellern, which is a new and interesting referece point. According to Skellern’s Wikipedia entry, the guy has had an interesting career and liked to mix classical and pop influences so that makes some sense.