Latrobe Rhythm and Blues - June
Made the trip to Newborough for the monthly Rhythm and Blues Club open-mic.
As last month I took the bass along.
Peter Grey asked me to play bass in the second act and I did. The guitarist and I are of different generations and finding common ground was a little difficult. He also struggled with the quietness of the house amplifier he was using, so I tried to keep the volume even lower so he could be heard. The drummer had rhythm issues, the second song threw him for the length of the first verse, but he worked something out that fitted after that. That's half the fun of jams, trying to make it work. Chris Bishoff played keyboard.
Our set list was:
As chance would have it Tony Martin was there again. Tony quickly organised another stellar line up of muso's:
Peter had told us that we were the third act, so Chris and I stayed on stage. Peter soon informed us to 'move along' as we had been moved to the fourth set. Sure no problems.
As usual finding a vocalist is hard and I do struggle with lyrics, but I had a go. Tony had wanted to sing but there weren't enough microphones to go around. Liam harmonised every now and then. Haven't seen Dave for years. Chris struggled to get a good tone out of his house amp, just couldn't get it bright enough.
Our set list was:
I sang the first and last song and half of the second song, with Liam starting it off. When I started off Mustang Sally I still had Lucille going through my head and the first verse turned out 'strange', I recovered by the second verse. A few of the players confirmed the strangeness after the set. :)
With so many soloist, our set took a bit longer than usual, but I don't think that caused a problem.
I had mixed feelings about the afternoon and may give it a rest for awhile.
I was talking with Chris Bishoff before the set and we were discussing loud playing and hearing damage. Chris told me that he had played a gig recently where his ears were ringing at the end of the night. Usually the ringing is gone by the next morning, but not this time. I said "Welcome to the club", I've had tinnitus for a long time and it's not pleasant.
I've had issues with volume at the club in the past, particularly at their previous venue, the Newborough Football Club, as the sound used to bounce around the brick walls making it really loud, so I just stayed away.
Some players just play loud and that's all there is to it. I've observed over the years that young-gun (and some old-gun players who haven't grown up) are pretty useless until they 'burn out' and then they really start playing co-operatively and start listening to the other performers in the band. Good for everyone! Patience, patience, it will happen.
In the 'old days' the audience was part of the entertainment. They would either dance, sing along or clap along with you. The audience today was just not in the mood to join in and basically sat there passively. There was a pretty good turnout which was encouraging. When I tried to encourage the patrons to clap and sing along to the end of Mustang Sally only two, maybe three people joined in. What is that? It certainly doesn't encourage the band. We've lost something here and we are poorer for it.
It's a jam/open-mic right? That should mean that the performers pick material that they can play and support each other to play the set. There are some performers who just want to make as much noise as possible and basically just hog the stage. Rather unpleasant and anti-social behaviour.
In our set we had four soloists and it would be reasonable to share the time between them. This is an unusual situation, but I handed out solos as seemed appropriate. This did not please everyone. Come on guys, is this for fun or what?