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Blog: Looking For A Horse To Get Back On

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As those who received the latest issue of the newsletter will know, there's not an awful lot of ROCK going on around here at the moment. For instance, we have precisely ONE gig booked, for Tim's birthday, with nothing much else on the horizon.

The reasons for this are manifold and CLEAR. It's a Universal Truth that most gig promoters, like most bands, have a well-defined life cycle, starting full of enthusiasm, getting into it for a few years, and then eventually getting fed up and jacking it in. In much the same way that The Validators have passed through several cycles of Which Bands Are The Cool Bands over our DOUBLE DECADE history, we have also seen Gig Circuits rise and fall in the same way. It's always sad when a Promoters pack it in, but as they have tended to become CHUMS over time it's always nice to know they'll be getting a lot of their TIME, also CA$H, back!

However, this does mean that you have to keep an eye out for new mugs... sorry, promoters, coming through who might be willing to BOOK you, and for the past few years I must admit that I have rather taken my eye off the ball there. This is partly due to the fact that the various SHOWS we've done have an almost entirely seperate list of venues and promoters to GIGS, and partly because doing Totally Acoustic has been such a DELIGHTFUL way of getting to show off that I haven't felt much need to look elsewhere.

This was all lovely for a good long while, but now that the shows AND Totally Acoustic are on hiatus while I do my PhD there are YAWNING GAPS in my diary where any kind of GIG should be. So far I have dealt with this mostly by MOPING AROUND and SIGHING a lot, occasionally clicking "Refresh" on my email to see if there's any chance somebody who hasn't put a gig on for five years has suddenly decided to a) get back into it and b) do so by booking an act that is almost guaranteed to bring in an audience of up to 3 people. Last week though I had A Bit Of A Word With Myself and agreed that if I really DID want to do some gigs (I checked: I DO) then I should do probably do something a bit more pro-active about it!

My first idea was to go and do some Open Mic nights, but as soon as I started looking into it I remembered one very crucial thing about Open Mic nights, and that is that I don't really like them. They always start really early, you never know when it's going to be your turn, you only get two songs (and mine are dead short!) and then, if you are like me, you feel duty bound to sit through the rest of it, which tends to feature a LOT of Serious Men doing very long, very twiddly, largely tune free dirges.

THUS I decided that maybe I should try ASKING for some ACTUAL gigs instead. I have very little idea what's going on in the world of INDIE at the moment, but I have a vague idea that maybe a bloke in his late late LATE Thirties (SHUT UP) playing an acoustic guitar may NOT be what they're crying out for. HOWEVER, I then realised that there ARE "Acoustic Gigs" which are set up specifically FOR people playing acoustic guitars and, living in London, I probably had access to several such nights every WEEK.

A quick Google showed that my suspicions were correct, so I have spent several jolly evenings looking for likely places and then EMAILING them my DETAILS, asking politely if I could come and play. I am very aware that none of them will care about my MIGHTY ROCK HISTORY, but that doesn't matter as it's a Whole New Area what I am trying to get into. I don't even really mind if most of them don't want me to play, it's just quite nice to feel like something is actually POSSIBLE again!

So far I have had one Definite No and one Possibly Yes, with about EIGHT unanswered and a similar amount still to contact. It's really rather good fun - hopefully the NEXT newsletter will have a bit more in it!

posted 6/8/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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