Saturday night was my first gig with Elaine Samuels’ Kindred Spirit outfit. And first up to gig happened to be the duo incarnation, meaning it was just me and Elaine’s vocals and guitar tackling a fairly blue collar outer West London pub.
Well, most importantly the little black dog loved us almost as much as my girlfriend loved him. I really should have taken some pictures. Duke, here’s to you mate.
But all in all this was what I would call a successful bar gig. They’re not easy – the crowd haven’t often chosen to be there because there’s live music, and the brief is basically to keep them there longer than they would otherwise stay (so they spend more at the bar – basic economics here). They can be really good, crowded, good-naturedly uninhibited events, but not everyone responds to any given treatment. It’s more frequent with open mike nights, for more objectively good reasons, but there has been the odd bloke most past evenings who pops his head round the door, sees live music going on, pauses and retreats back out into the night.
Flexibility can often be the key, and that’s certainly where some of my originals bands have fallen down in the past. Here, we played progressively looser with the setlist towards the end of the evening, emphasising the dancealong folky numbers as that’s what the loudest drunks were enjoying the most … also the only gig I’ve been requested ‘Happy Birthday’ twice, once without details and once ‘in a country & western style’ (that was fun!), I think for the same guy each time!
Our calendar is pretty full, so if you want to see this lineup again we’re at the Hope in Richmond on 1 April (no joke!), and the full prog-folk five-piece headline FourPlay mini-festival on 9 April in Bracknell (book now to avoid disappointment). Come and check us out!