Been live

Many thanks to the audience who gave the Wright Brothers such a warm response last night at the Listening Room. Perhaps because of, rather than despite, the loud monthly meeting of the Edinburgh Rum Club (yes, it exists) in the other part of the bar, we had a combination of an audience having to deliberately pay attention and musicians having to up their game to be heard and to communicate. This combination seemed to produce better performances and an encouraging response to every song. Afterwards, Nelson gave me a frank critique of the tracks for the next CD as they are at the moment, the second such critique I’ve had from friends; I’ve made one revision based on the last critique, picking up a song from the cutting room floor, reinstating it and, I think, improving till it deserves its place.  You don’t create an album by committee or democracy, but it can be good to have sympathetic but honest comments from people who want you to do your best.

On Friday, Ms Fi and I played the Dalriada again; the audience response there was minimal. If they notice you’ve finished a song they may give you a smattering of applause. But this isn’t a concert, it’s a pub where people go to chat with their friends in nice surroundings; the music is part of that. What it gives the musician is a chance to practise performance skills, experiment with songs and instruments and – maybe – win some people over. And from time to time people do come up and tell us they like what we do. Given that and the pleasant people who work there, it’s a nice gig: a different type of nice gig but nice all the same.

On Saturday evening Andy MacFarlane of Etrangere walked about Queensferry with me taking endless photos of your correspondent in a variety of situations, poses and hats, for the CD booklet and new publicity stuff. What a hoot.

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