Going on stage after a giant novelty cheque for £30,000 has been handed to someone always presents its own unique set of challenges.
Rule one is to remember the time-honoured charity / wedding gig mantra which should always be tattooed in temporary reverse mirror writing on your forehead so you can read it whenever you catch a passing glance of yourself in the bathroom mirror…
“Tonight Is Not About You You Muppet” (despite who’s name is biggest on the poster…)
Tonight was all about the people of Hartlepool smashing their fundraising targets and placing an order for a brand new bowel cancer screening unit. Much of the credit goes to Visionary-In-Chief Tony Larkin who has persuaded serious artists like Jon Allen, Foy Vance and Scott Matthews to play at serious music events, combining music and charity and doing justice to both. He’s another of those rare gems that we’ve met on our travels and if you’re bored of me saying that then tough titties.
The sell-out hotel ballroom crowd seemed to have a great night, and it was a real success. Sam Brookes was particularly excellent I thought, and I can’t wait to watch him support us at our London gig on 25th October.
After the gig we found ourselves jamming out tunes in the hotel bar with some of the staff. “Do you know any Ed Sheeran?” Haha from the tips of the highlands to the belly of the lowlands it’s always just a matter of time before his name crops up. “Woooow you know him?!?”
OK let’s talk about Ed. I’d call him a friend for sure, we’ve done loads of gigs together, and I’ve got his back from afar, but we were never particularly close. When people I know get big my instinct is to back off – some friend I am huh? I get scared they’ll think I’m just leeching off them, piggybacking, sucking up, so I do nothing instead. I did tell him that once and he understood.
It’s complicated when an artist goes big. Some mates look out for them, others want to take take take. Ed’s trying hard to accommodate people to prove that success hasn’t changed him. He’s a good guy, trying his best to make people happy, and hopefully himself happy too. He’s worked hard, done it his way and earned it. I wish him love and all the best.
I feel for him when the girls scream through his more personal songs, he’d love people to shut the hell up. However in fairness he has… whoops!…. gone and made a massive pop record. He knew what he was getting into.
For what it’s worth I think his album is good but not a classic. ***NOT SAYING MINE IS***, just saying what I think. Listening to it has all the pros and cons of swallowing a tub of honey, mmm yummy but also wow… quite sugary. I like his songwriting tho – the guy has talent and a big heart. And yes I’d say this to his face, and he wouldn’t mind a bit, cos that’s how friends should talk to each other.
Postcard sent to: Georgia
Next postcard to: Laura
Thanks to: Tony Larkin for creating something special out of nothing and looking after us so well, The Great Western Hotel for putting us up and buying us drinks!!, Lisa and John for holding the whole show together, Sam Brookes, Phil Campbell and Martha Cook, Ian the soundman.