Everyone comes to a gig via their own route. You might have just broken up with someone, maybe you had a great day at work, maybe you miss someone, maybe you want to party, maybe you want to talk to no one and be miserable.
As well as that everyone has their own relationship with the music. Is this song uplifting or depressing? Is that song about relationships with others or our relationship with ourselves? What does it all mean? Your favourite song may be someone else’s least favourite.
Our differences are to be celebrated, but they may give us a different agenda to the person next to us. Do I sit or stand? Sing along or not? Front or back? Beer or wine…? Why should an audience always be on the same page as each other? We’re not always in real life.
Support acts can help – they become a shared experience for the whole crowd to enjoy, putting everyone in the same headspace.
The scene was set perfectly in Sheffield. The room was almost full, some of my biggest fans had travelled in from far and wide, one had even made me peanut butter flapjacks (which were so yummy), everyone was up for it in their own way. I really wanted it to be epicly brilliant.
As it turned out it was a storming night, everyone loved it, two encores, and the guy from the venue said it was the best gig he’s ever seen there. We played really well.
But deep down I was kicking myself, because I know I could have done better. I felt frustrated, and after a lot of thinking I know why.
It’s not enough to simply play the songs and really mean them. You have to unite everyone’s different agendas and bring everyone to the same party. And that’s what I could have done better.
Which direction the gig goes in – whether it’s thoughtful, reflective, uplifting or whatever – almost doesn’t matter. The point is we have to get there together. That’s what makes a good gig – wherever we go we all go there together. I let everyone down a little bit on that front, and I want to try really hard to get better at it.
So next time we all decide to spend an evening sharing the same space Sheffield, (and there will be a next time) let’s make each other a promise. Whatever we’re feeling when we show up, and wherever the gig goes, let’s go there together. That way it’ll be truly memorable, not just flippin fantastic.
Postcard Sent to: Rea (but not quite yet Rea – I’m on it)
Next Postcard to: a whole bunch of people!
Free T-shirt to: Jamie Lingwood
Thanks to: wow I felt like I knew almost everyone at this gig. Abi and her friends, Niki and her brother, all the crew from Y-Not, Dave Hunt and friends, and many more. Thanks to Mark Nichols for supporting – best wishes for the future I’m sure I’ll see you around again. Thanks to all the staff at Greystones – loved the venue.
Sorry where did Paul come from I meant John!! Incidentally went to 3 gigs in a week. This one which was amazing, Yes who were tired and dreary and long and Steve Earle who was also superb! The common thread between the two amazing gigs is 2 amazing songwriters! Thanks again!
We absolutely loved this gig. As Sheffield is our ‘home town’ we were hoping it would be kind to you! We needn’t have worried you and Paul were fantastic and you went down a storm even with the chap who had a firework on his head! It was great to see we weren’t the only ones that knew all the words! Look forward to catching up in 2012. Come back soon!
This gig was incredible from start to finish and for about an hour afterwards at the venue and all the way home! Every single song from the album (Jake doesn’t have a favourite, “all songs are created equal, but some songs are more equal than others”) and the three new ones, (something about Jake being Weird, another thing about Jake Needing To Be Alone and then the haunting Ghostess whoever she is) was performed exceptionally. Thank you Jake and John for this brilliant evening.
See you again in 2012, Peanut Butter Flap Jacks all round!!