Following on the heels of Sunday’s Acoustic Idols gig, the Wright Brothers two-hour extravaganza at the Book Festival Spiegeltent was another fun outing. It didn’t begin as fun; at the time we should have been soundchecking I was running about trying to find change for parking meters, after a fifteen minute mobile phone call to a call centre in the Irish Republic failed to enable me to use the facility boasted by the ticket machine to allow you to pay by mobile phone. So instead of singing nothing through the rain I was running uphill through the rain ten minutes before we were due on. Being nothing if not professional, I displayed not a hair out of place (yes, that’s irony) and not an iota of frazzlement to our lunching audience, which included the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and beloved actor Bill Paterson. I enjoyed the expanded Wright Brothers, with Fi and Mary on vocals, percussion and violin; the highlights for me were Nelson’s songs The Wind That Blows the Seeds and Fi Now Is a Rock Star and Dylan and The Wolf, who were both delighted to be reacquainted with Mary’s violin. The reception was never worse than polite, and often enthusiastic, but at the end I felt a little deflated. Later I realised it was becoming aware of the extent to which I’d neglected the basics of promotion at both gigs. Sure I had plugged CDs, but on Sunday, where a number of people had spoken to me afterwards, I had nothing – not even a business card – to give them and no means of inviting them to join a mailing list. It’s the basic preparation for a gig, and when a gig goes so unexpectedly well you have to be ready to make the most of it. Other singers may have different priorities but some regard your recorded stuff as your main contribution, then a gig is a means to an end of trying to interest people in that contribution; for others the gig is the main thing and the recording merely a souvenir. I feel like I have good recordings and can now do a good live performance, but the link between the two isn’t there. Something to work on, I guess. I’m happy now to be taking a rest from gigs until the next Dalriada session on the 29th. Time to finish the CD (wipe that smirk off your face).
Later yesterday evening I flew to Birmingham for a meeting today and had a long wait in security queues for the flight home tonight. Fatigue was beginning to dominate, until I swapped my window seat with a six-year-old boy and his excitement and fascination made the flight a pleasure.