I met my friend at Dalston Kingsland station in the heart of East London. Waiting in the cold for him for twenty minutes, I had an excited anticipation. Watching the community support writing out tickets for people riding their bikes on the pavements, I did hope my night would be more worthwhile!

We wound our way down the back streets and across to the Shacklewell Arms. A typical shit hole of a pub, with an air of buzz, cool and excitement. After ordering a water down beer, we made our way into the back of the pub, winding around some badly lit corridors and into the gig room. The stage was lit, the instruments laid on the stage. As support acts came and went, the room starting filling to capacity. Around 200 people crammed into this dirty old rock club. You could smell the tension in the air. People were excited for what we were about to see, and they wouldn’t be disappointed.

Smokey Angle Shades were about to take the stage. They came onto the stage, and it felt that we were in a venue watching a secret gig of Rock Stars. It turns out that Smokey Angle Shades have been performing together for many years. But, they all have their own projects most notably Freddie Stitz who is in Platinum selling act Razorlight.

Every song they played has hooks, tight 4 part harmonies and gentle, but strong, groove. I felt like I was in a time machine being catapulted back to ‘Swinging London’ in the ’60′s. This was an awesome show from beginning to end. What it made me realise is that these people have all perfected their instruments an their art and then joined forces. They were a super group. They had plied their trade as individuals in other groups or alone and then joined forces to form a full Jetliner! To prove it Jonny Borrell was nodding his head to the groove, in the front row in stark approval

Two lessons I take from this. These guys formed 4 or 5 years ago, split up, got back together, split up etc. BUT, they all continued in other projects and carried on working as individuals. That meant even if they were not to continue ever with their SAS brethren, they would find a path themselves. The more abstract or spiritual lesson. You never know how things are going to pan out. I got the feeling that these guys love being on stage together and thought it may never happen again. Don’t give up, work on YOU, then bring what you have to the table and we’ll see if we can do something together.

 

 

 


I went to the hairdresser today. I like the hairdresser that I have been going to for a while. She is smart, down to earth. Studying an Open University degree as well. She listens an is just generally quite pleasant.

However, the girl that washed my hair today. Well, I could think of some expletives to vent. She was robotic, impersonal but kept asking me annoying questions. I knew she had no interest in anything I had to say. In fact she was showing another girl the ropes and I could see he smirking after many of the questions she asked.

After asking me ‘are you working today’ followed by ‘do you live around here’
After saying as little as possible, she actually asked me the question ‘do you come here often!’ Bloody hell, that is like the joke chat up line I use on mates of mine when we have run out of banter! But she said it for real!

Anyway, now you think I am an unfriendly asshole don’t you? Well, let me explain. It’s not what she was asking me. Though her content was shite. It was the way she asked me. She sounded so robotic and disingenuous that I couldn’t even be bothered to partake.

It all just sounded like she was going through the motions. She was not enthusiastic about talking to me, AND her content was crap.

Do you think I would have been a bit more up for it if she asked the same questions but with dynamism is her voice and a big smile on her face?

TO be honest NO!

The whole thing made me feel so uncomfortable, the thought crossed my mind, can I actually leg it out of here right now? How long is this going to go on for?

So, remember bands and artists when your audience come to see you. Are you spilling out a load of cliches that everyone has heard before. What is making me actually stay in your gig. Is your performance heartfelt, or are you just going through the motions?
It’s all obvious stuff, but if you don’t get it right your audience won’t just walk out on you, they’ll tell everyone they see for the next few days what an awfully embarrassing band they watched.

If you are not giving it 100% with preparation and at the show. Your audience will lose confidence and interest.

Do you actually mean any of what you’re doing or are you just trying to climb up the ladder to be a Rock star? If you are DISINGENUOUS, not only will your audience see through you, but so will the entire music business.

That girl doesn’t want to be washing hair, but she has to in order to one day end up cutting people’s hair. She dreams of being a ‘hair artist’ one day. In the meantime, she doesn’t give a damn about me or any other customer.

If you play your club shows and you have a small audience are you going to smash it and give 100% or are you going to not give a damn, treat the show and audience with disdain and just go through the motions?

You need to give it your all. Any time you are in the public arena, you have the opportunity of winning fans and building foundations of support.