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GIGS 2011

Thursday 16th June 2011

The Cellar Bar, South Hill Park, Bracknell

This is Open Mike!

"The Tommy Cooper of Rock"

A bit of a quieter week this week due to some kind of chest infection / heavy cold which wiped me out Sunday and Monday. I was in two minds whether to cancel my slot at South Hill Park but I was reluctant as it had been booked for a couple of months. As it happens, by Thursday, although I didn't feel on top form, I was much better than I was.

Although my performance seemed to be well received I didn't feel I connected with the songs or the audience that well. My previous life as a trainer provides a little support in this regard as I would often feel that the training I had given was only adequate or satisfactory but the customers would give very positive evaluations (nothing to do with my bribes). I think the problem is that you know how you feel when things go really well and you're always comparing to that.

I didn't have a curry but once I got on stage the sweat seemed to start pouring out of me. (Yes, I was as "cool" as ever.) Maybe it was nerves but I think it might also be something to do this infection thing I've had. I think it also caused my mouth to feel so dry it felt as if it had been glued closed. Thanks to the member of the audience who contributed a little of their cider and Candice Botha who managed to get me a glass of water.

In addition to the sweating and dry mouth, as I introduced the third song, I realised that my left contact lens was sticking to the inside of my eyelid. I rubbed it a bit but was conscious of moving it behind the eyeball: bad enough when I'm in the shower, not really something I wanted to do in front of an audience. Anyway the cautious rub seemed to improve matters and I started the third song. Then the lens got stuck again. So, there I was, trying to play "You've Got The Magic Back", sweating so much that I imagined I looked like I was leaking, having had a thousand needles stuck in me. Every time I opened my mouth it felt like I was undoing Velcro. Finally, to cap this extraordinary example of coolness, I was continuously blinking my left eye to the extent that I feared the front row thought I was winking at each one of them in turn. Cool, indeed. Perhaps it's understandable that I didn't feel I really connected with the songs. However, it does seem that my training as the "Tommy Cooper of Rock" continues unabated.

As expected, the evening had many great performances. It was good to see my old RISC friends Cat Brooks and Holly Chapman perform as Jimmy Corrigan and the ever excellent Ben Cox-Smith. And finally there was Candice Botha whom I've often see play at Vic's Buskers but I think last night she turned in the best performance that I've seen her do.

My set: