Sunday, February 22, 2009


The 'Life After Bingo' gig at the Gregson was very enjoyable.
The evening kicked off with a couple of squares (rounds? frames?) of bingo, which was highly entertaining, and then names were pulled out of an envelope to determine the running order. I was drawn last, or 'top of the bill' as we say in the music industry.

First up was Jess Thomas, with her big voice and nice guitar technique. Really good.
Second was Jo Gillot with her tiny hands. Different guitar style – very fast and intricate, ditto her voice – and again, she was really good. And get this for an update from the future... she'll be interviewed and will play on Steve Lamcq's Radio Two programme in a couple of weeks. Excitement ahoy.
Third was a young lad called Kish, and – darn, wouldn't you know it? - he's a terrific guitar player too. He put on a wonderfully woozy, atmospheric set, although I hope he loses the John Martyn 'too drunk to care' vocal stylings sooner rather than later, and finds his own voice. But it was a great, solid performance. He's about fifteen or sixteen or something, the talented little freak.
And finally there was me, Idiot Johnson. Oh come on, it's show business - you've got to make a bit of an effort, no?

I played and sang a few bum notes, of course, but on the whole I was quite pleased with my little set.
I was especially relieved that a horrible cough (mine) called a truce for the thirty minutes I was on stage. It must have been the adrenaline taking effect, because it certainly wasn't the one-bottle-a-day-Buttercup-Original-Syrup habit I've recently acquired.
I sang some of my own stuff, and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For on kalimba, and finished with a low key piano version of Born To Run, which raised a few eyebrows, hopefully in a good way.

I believe somebody recorded the whole shebang, although I've not heard it yet if they did.
Everyone tends to be hyper-critical on hearing themselves played back – or at least, it's to be hoped they are – so I'm ready to concede that I was actually shit. At the time, though, I was buzzing and happy.

Girlfriend's new yoga friend S came along to watch, never having heard me sing before, and she didn't fall off her chair in hysterics or anything. I call that encouraging.
And of course, all I want now is to do it again.

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