Monday evening was a busman’s holiday, working on a website for the Queensferry Arts Festival. Tuesday had an Innocents rehearsal, not a particularly satisfactory one but we are ready for the upcoming BeanScene gigs. I also had a long phone chat with the man who is organising music for the BeanScene chain. He has ambitious plans and claims to have the interests of musicians at heart, although some recent decisions forced on him by cafe managers act against musicians’ interests. He urged us to give him a couple of months to get things set up and to expect an improvement and a growth in opportunity and support. As I’m interested in getting back to live performance and not dependent on gigs for an income I’m willing to do so, and see what transpires. Were I semi-pro I might feel differently.
On Wednesday night I went to a gig in Queensferry by Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, part of the aim being to spread some Arts Festival publicity. Phil and Aly must be among the finest musicians in the traditional music scene, with jaw-dropping skill disguised by a seemingly effortless flair and some of the best comedy and performer-audience communication I’ve ever seen. In fact I found myself sometimes looking forward to the tune finishing to hear the next anecdote from Phil. Not the kind of gig I’d normally go to, and my normal restlessness was in full play, but an education in honest, ego-free rapport nonetheless.
Today, a flight to Birmingham which allowed me an hour in an airport cafe to ponder possible music futures.