in the Country open-mic hosted by Rob
Nights of Rich Artistry"
Another very pleasant night at The Greyhound last night. If I'm honest I probably wasn't really up for performing but it's maybe an indicator of my improved confidence that I went and "just did it" without any of the anxieties (and indeed the preparation) that I'd have, say, six moths ago. Although I didn't think my performance was exceptional, in fact I just felt I was going through the motions a little, apparently our host, Rob Sowden, thought I did the best performance ever of The Things She Said (and he's seen that a few times now). It's a strange paradox this performance thing, the "zone" seems to be in an almost Zen-like twilight state of mind between caring and not-caring.
One of the revelations to me though last night was again Luke Paulo. It struck me how this unique performer is now carving out his own niche. As I watched him, it occurred to me that perhaps he's been wavering a little, sitting on the fence with respect to who he is as a performer and with doubts whether people would like him. Last night I felt he'd got off the fence and just did "his thing" and as a result his performance and "character" were sharper than perhaps I'd seen before. I also thought there was a softer tone to his deep baritone, it seemed less harsh somehow, less forced which betrayed a vulnerability. This perhaps also comes from a greater confidence that means he feels he has to try less hard. Of course I could be completely wrong about all of this but I find it a fascinating (and indeed perhaps an instructive) evolution to observe.
Finally, I just want to mention Jonesy, who plays his original songs every once in a while at The Greyhound. Last night he played an impromptu set to finish the evening off. I think before he reminded me of Lucinda Williams but last night there were also elements of Nick Lowe.
I've only mentioned Luke and Jonesy but the non-mention of the rest of the acts doesn't imply anything other than some acts are more to my taste. I think everyone was great last night without exception (apart from the mobile lyric non-reading incident). It's very difficult to beat these relatively cheap nights of rich artistry.