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Author Topic: would you do it?  (Read 4097 times)

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Chris Ryall

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2011, 12:36:35 PM »

Yes, I think so. Not an uncommon happening in my days running folk clubs, although we'd share out the lead in spots.  Were it eg Andy Cutting - I'd sing!

Had a lot of this in 2009 in New Zealand where Tim v Eiken seemed to be doing the same tour of S Island at the same speed. Of course the clubs didn't put us (me as floor spot) on in any sort of proximity, but the b'stard borrowed my Oakwood repeatedly and immediately taught it tricks I might only dream of  :-\
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Alan Morley

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2011, 03:43:35 PM »

My experience with John Kirkpatrick was made worse by Rob Watson, the host at Peasmouldier Folk Club.

As he introduced me, it went along the lines of

' Next up before the break and JK is on, we have all the way from Ilkeston - Alan Morley, who's been known to play a few John Kirkpatrick tunes............'

Well what could I do - play the tunes...

As I started to play, the man himself was in the front row and looking at me.........aggghhhhh, so I played a couple of his tunes..
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Chris Ryall

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2011, 05:12:39 PM »

Cutting and Wood agonised a bit when they were booked at Fête Embraud .. then performed Canal en Octobre - differently enough to go down 'trés bien'   :|glug
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siamsa

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2011, 07:42:43 PM »

I never cease to be amazed at the neck or courage (whatever takes your fancy) of some musicians. If I am listening to a musician who is way better than me I'd be very reluctant to get up and play.  Yet on numerous occasions I've seen people with very little talent get up on stage to have a go. I remember on one occasion  I was at a concert giving by Fintan Stanely.  Stanley who now lives in America was one of Irelands top Continental Accordion players.   His concert consisted of Traditional, Jazz and Contemporary music.  He had just finished a wonderful version of Malaguena and was having a break when a guy went up and asked him if he could play a tune on his box. The guy strapped on the box and made a very childish attempt at playing The Black Velvet Band....if only I had half his neck >:(
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GbH

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2011, 08:00:57 PM »

I've previously found myself in a similar position when performing juggling routines, supporting either top international jugglers or 'name' acts from other branches of showbiz.  Although it's easier said than done, the trick seems to be to concentrate your thoughts on what it is that YOU do well and don't worry so much about what might follow.  You never know, the 'bigger' act might have a bad gig (which I've seen happen)!

As for the specific example with melodeon playing - for me, that seems so unlikely that it's not even worth contemplating, one way or another.
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Marje

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2011, 11:00:19 AM »

There's a big difference between doing a floor spot at a club before (and thus in front of) one of the great players and being asked to do a paid support slot as a billed act in a concert.

I've often done the former, although I'd generally try to keep to something utterly different from the Big Name's speciality - e.g. if it was John Kirkpartick, I'd sing unaccompanied. I might play the melodeon if the performer was a singer but not a melodeon player.

But if I were asked to play the box at a concert, supporting a Big Name box-player .... I think I'd tell the organiser that they must be confusing me with somebody else, and that this was all a horrible mistake. Anyway, why would they want another, lesser performer of the same instrument in the one concert?

Anyway, what are you trying to tell us, Gypsy Lad? Has your big break come up?
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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2011, 05:27:00 PM »

thanks for the replys!
havent asked yet but the gig isnt for ages, its going to be at the local hotel, they have a play around type session once a month that i normaly go to and i kind of know the owners, i need to get a few more good performances under my belt first! - staying off the beer will make a major improvement! id like to do it just for the experience of it
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Gary

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2011, 06:33:15 PM »

For the fun, have a go.
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Simon W

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2011, 05:39:37 PM »

if you had a chance playing as a support performance to someone like andy cutting or jk or squeezy, would you do it? even if your not a great player?

Go for it. Decide what you are going to play - don't make your set too long and practice practice practice. Have a couple of tunes as backup and vary your set ( and practice practice practice ). Its better to play something simple well rather than going for the flash stuff where you might make a mistake. My experience is that the most artists will be incredibly supportive and helpful.
I once played in a trio as support to the Old Rope String Band. It was fine because by the time they'd finished no-one even remembered there'd been a support.
My most nerve wracking experience was at Melodeons at Witney many years ago. Dave Townsend asked if I would assist him in teaching a Melodeon band workshop and then suggested I do a concert spot. I consider myself to be an averagely competent player so the thought of playing in front of 80+ melodeon players and the proper tutors was terrifying to say the least. But not only were the audience fantastically encouraging so were the tutors particularly Tim Edey who came on after me. And if it's any consolation,most players get nervous before a gig. Just ensure that your material is all rehearsed so that its almost automatic and think about your introductions.
Look forward to the Youtube video!

Simon
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Pat.

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2011, 07:45:47 PM »

Yes.
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Alison Scott

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2011, 10:01:50 PM »

if you had a chance playing as a support performance to someone like andy cutting or jk or squeezy, would you do it? even if your not a great player?

This is sort of the folk club experience though, isn't it? Walthamstow has floor spots in the middle as well as at the start, so you can find yourself surrounded by people who are very much better than you.

My second-ever-time MCing was for Andy Cutting earlier this year, and I did sing and play the box (with my normal lack of polish on these occasions).

Andrew Wigglesworth

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2011, 11:53:32 PM »

Heck, if someones asking you to do it, then why not go for it if you want to? After all, they must have some idea what they are doing?   ;)

Have confidence in your own material. Too many bands and players try to tart up what they do to make it "cool" or "clever" and fail, because they've tied themselves in knots by not simply having the confidence to do what they do well or by letting good music speak for itself.

Fortunately, the folk world seems to have far fewer of the pumped-up egos that seem to exist in other areas.

One "for instance". About 10 years ago three of us were asked to finish off the night after a Patrick Street gig (in the bar outside the hall). The band came out into the bar and chatted with us and Jackie Daly had a go on my box. It felt the most natural thing in the world. After all, in the end, they were just folkies interested in what other musicians were up to.

Playing in sessions and busking are both great ways to build up confidence and get you more used to playing in front of people. It also should help you in thinking about repertoire, variety etc ... and which tunes/sets you're most confident with in "live" situations.

Funnily, at bookings I don't ever seem to precede or follow many (any?!) bands that have melodeon players in them ... they're often even more disturbing than that   :|bl     ;D

nfldbox

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2011, 02:32:41 PM »

Categories. They are completely different. In the folk club venue anything goes and most support that: Three Blind Mice on the kazoo gets support even if it comes after Jackie Daly.
In most other venues, humility vs talent. If you have a lot of talent you need not be too humble but if you have limited expertise you need a lot of humility to make up for it. This is especially true in a session but it works in more formal gigs as well. Thus pushing your way into a concert gig requires your ability to perform well enough to justify it.
And then there is busking. In my experience most love it no matter how it goes, especially if you have a large enough ego to make up for any inadequacies in playing. Last night I was at my usual session and a new accordion player turned up. He was a major pain in a session but would have made a great busker.
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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2011, 03:16:29 PM »

I agree with Andrew; if the people running the gig have invited you to play then presumably they think you're up to it. I've  played support to Whippersnapper and John Kirkpatrick among others; true, Whippersnapper don't have a box player but they were very supportive of myself and the guitarist I was working with. JK was his usual friendly self and we had quite a chat about box-related topics backstage.  I played, as suggested above, what I knew well and what I could be fairly sure of making a decent job of.
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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2011, 03:21:40 PM »

Have confidence in your own material.

Hear, hear. My advice would be to play something that is well within your abilities. Something simple played well will do you much more credit that something complex, or clever, played not so well. If possible choose material that you have a personal connection with - something you have discovered, adapted or composed for example - and explain the connection. Audiences are generally on your side. I would avoid like the plague playing material associated with the main act.

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Pat.

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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2011, 01:44:58 PM »

Gypsy lad ,staying off the beer is a good move,as the more i drank the better I thought I could play,[wich was not always so],however the clientel of the places I played in were also on the beer and they tended to appreciate the music all the more for it, so one cancelled the other out and as a result every body had a great time .However it all depends on the cliental and where you are playing ,if they are there for the craic ,drinking is ok but if it is a serious  music scene it would be best to leave it alone,[ but a couple of pints before you play will do you no harm ;).
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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2011, 11:35:36 PM »

I asked myself this question when I got a few slots at folk clubs this year, supporting various people. I was petrified that I would be asked to support someone like JK, Andy Cutting, squeezy and the like. Most organisers wouldn't be that cruel or stupid, but I decided that I would take it if I was offered it.

The reason really came after I listened back to the recordings that were made of my performance at the New Roots final (now on YouTube). I decided then, for really the first time, that I wasn't bad at box and moreover I didn't sound particularly like anyone. For someone who has always envied the playing of more or less everyone, great and small, this was a bit of a revelation and decided that if I was to perform I was going to do tunes that I liked in the style that I liked and wasn't going to try to sound like anyone else but sound like me instead. It's a liberating feeling.

It also means that a lot of the pressure of getting club gigs is off. For instance, if I don't get any more after these, despite nagging, then it isn't because people think that I'm a bad melodeon player, it's because they don't like my material. I like my material and I want to perform it and I'm not so desperate to perform that I'm going to pander to popular opinion. Which in my mind at least takes off a lot of the pressure.
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Re: would you do it?
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2011, 10:13:26 AM »

..... The guy strapped on the box and made a very childish attempt at playing The Black Velvet Band....if only I had half his neck >:(

This guy almost certainly didn't have a neck.
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