original. acoustic. music.

Three Gigs

Three gigs: Acoustic Lounge, Howltearoa, and The Savage Club.

Good Lord. Such a long time between drinks and now a surfeit of gigs!

The one that broke the drought was Wednesday 30th at the Acoustic Lounge - once again graciously hosted by Pete Baillie, who also played first. Pete has been a busy bee, he's currently in two bands and when we saw him was deep in rehearsal to unleash the awesomeness unto the world. Pete rounded off his set that night with a re-worded version of John Cale's whiny/long/dull/but made most famous by Jeff Buckley song "Hallelujah". A veteran of probably too many Open Mic nights, and thus having heard too many Buckley-wannabes sing that song, Pete got his own back, bemoaning the plight of the Open Mic host and mercifully cutting the song a lot shorter than the original.

Next up was a couple from the US, playing guitar and melodica - yes, I'd forgotten what one of those was as well until she bought it out and started playing. A melodica is a cross between an accordion and a harmonica that you blow into and play like a piano on your lap. It brought back memories of school for Darrel and I, as it seems every primary school music department has one of these tucked away among the recorders - at my school though the whole thing was handheld and played like a clarinet. The couple didn't have a band name so I'm afraid I can't put it down here. Their music was sweet and simple, Americana Folk, and the sound of the melodica blended nicely with the guitar.

Darrel and I played last and whipped out all our new ones: I See, Thought of You, Some Day, All These Things, All About You, and If The Stars (I may have missed one, Darrel, help me out). I was suffering from the fact I'd never actually played any of these songs standing up - Darrel and I practice and record sitting most of the time - so there were a few tense moments as the fretboard disappeared from view occasionally in the dim light. We listened back to the recording Darrel made and despite adding about 5-10bpm to each tune, we did all right.

You can always tell when you've made an impression (or that you're possibly too loud) when the audience starts off talking and then is silent at the end of the set. Yeah, wicked. It struck me that night the fact that I do all the talking on stage and Darrel does all the talking off stage. When I get off stage I kind of need to decompress before I can start talking to people - it's a kind of embarrassment, I head off stage and through the crowd to my seat looking at people and thinking "Yeah, I'm the guy that was just up there, thanks for listening, really appreciate it, hope you liked it, sorry, not much of a glory-basker me, can I get past to get a beer please?" Odd sort of behaviour for a show-off, eh? Darrel's great at that point (I mean the dude is so relaxed on stage anyway) as he can chat to the punters or performers alike until I get my crap together.

Most of the gigs we get are the product of Darrel's sterling efforts in this area. I guess we complement each other well.

Howtearoa was our next gig, at the Southern Cross Bar on the 4th August. This is a monthly Open Mic night hosted by the Word Collective.

We turned up to find ourselves (initially) the only ones with guitars. The format was the same but there were just more spoken words than sung which, for us, was a bit of a novelty. The audience were attentive, respectful, and appreciative, and that's all the really matters to any performer. As the performers before us had only been on about five minutes a slot, we cut down our repertoire to just two songs, feeling a little self-conscious.

We performed entirely acoustically, which I've come to find most liberating. If I don't have to worry about making sure the mic is picking up my voice I feel a lot more relaxed and can move around a bit. Maybe I need one of those awful head mounted mics... The downside is always the balance between voices and guitars - you have to belt out the singing if you want to be heard. I think we did well though, so much so we were invited back as special guests for the next session on Monday 1st September. We'll keep you posted about that one.

The special guest that night was Glen Miers, a poet with an impressive command of te reo in both language and performance, and a collection of thought-provoking (and a little dark) poems and stories. What a blessed relief from what might have been on any other Open Mic yet another rendition of "Hallelujah"! The most recent gig we played was a family affair.

Once again we played at the Savage Club in support of the Manawatu Overtones' celebration of Chartership (Chartering? Charterdom? Encharterfication?). We played a short set in between choral/a capella sets from the Overtones and their small group Fine Blend.

Our mate Tim brought along a video camera and filmed us, so stay tuned for some actual footage of the Deevs carving up the toons...

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable night and a great end to a great couple of weeks gigging. We've got a couple more to look forward to in September and will be back in touch with more details soon.

Gee it's great being on holiday....