original. acoustic. music.

Best of times... worst of times

We had a great set at the Adelaide!

The rest of the night was somewhat less exciting, but there were a few stand-out performances.


Mr. Terry Shore, fresh from the San Francisco Bathhouse (the old Indigo Bar)'s Acoustic Lounge played a high-energy set in his own inimitable fashion that even got some of the punters dancing!

Tyree Robertson played a few of her new songs, kinda country influenced by her own admission, in preparation for her upcoming South Island tour. If you're out and about (take that how you will) around the South Island and you see her name on a poster, go and see her play.

We played Falling, Angelina, and God Knows which blew away a few cobwebs for us, but felt and sounded really good on the recording. We may edit and upload a track for your listening pleasure in the next post.

Darrel is in the process of compiling a collection of live recordings, so we are going to play a different set each week at the Adelaide if we can make it and try to get all 14 songs recorded. Or 15, depending on the outcome of tomorrow night's jam.

There were a couple of stand-out performances as I said, but the term stand-out should not in this context necessarily denote... er... good. There were two performance poets, one good and funny, and the other one. Let's leave it there... No, no I can't. We got a fairly dubious Spike Milligan impression and then an epic poem (epic in length rather than style) that began as a simple poetic response to a fairly forgettable news story about a couple of women who bared their breasts at Prince Charles during a recent visit and turned into a one man masturbatory mammalian musing that landed on the audience like the proverbial pungent caky log of excrement taking a somewhat graceful yet inherently repulsive swan-dive into the communal fruit-juice based festive alcoholic beverage.

That night the audience was also treated to a set consisting of four performances of essentially the same song in slightly different-- aw hell, it was the Blair Witch Project: {hysterical breathing} "I-it's the same descending chord progression! It's the same descending chord progression!". But that is the nature of an Open Mic Night, and it is important (and not that difficult, really) as an audience member and fellow performer, to support everyone who comes onto the stage.

The step up to the stage is often a much greater psychological journey than a mere physical one for many performers - especially if they have never performed on that stage before. And besides, if you don't get a good reception before you start your set (we stepped up to the sound of three people clapping half-heartedly) you feel a bit shit really. So do unto others...

There is a good reason these things are held in bars - alcohol is a key ingredient in the experience of performer and audience alike. Darrel and I spent a great deal of time together in karaoke bars before we started The Gracious Deviants. Karaoke and Open Mic Nights are similar in some ways but do differ in one very important way: a good performance by an Open Mic Night artist can be extraordinary, original, and a musical tour-de-force; a good performance by a karaoke singer can be pleasant but is ultimately meaningless.

Attending a bad Open Mic Night performance can be dulled with beer, enduring a bad karaoke performance will shorten life-expectancy. And please understand that this is coming from someone who up until fairly recently used to look forward to each Friday night eagerly awaiting his chance to try his hand at a new song from the beer-stained catalogue, a song that would inevitably be written in a key two tones above his vocal range and cause physical discomfort if not actual damage to the vocal cords, in a smoky, overly-loud, rotten old karaoke bar.

And we tell ourselves we're not show-offs.