Ok, so i wouldn't normally post a blog about a specific gig, but i just have to ramble about this one for a while. It's actually more of a blog for my sake than others as i'm really giving myself a talking to and telling myself to shut up, but feel free to listen well read in.
I'm quite a humble chap really. I don't take much for granted, and as i've mentioned in a lot of interviews etc i tend to worry a lot. I worry if i'm not worrying because SURELY there must be SOMETHING i should be worrying about.
I assume the worst in most situations. I tend to self-loathe somewhat. I don't think i'm the best at anything. I don't think i deserve anything. I want to be better at everything.
As you can tell i give myself a bit of a hard time. But i'm aware of the fact i do, and it's only by being brutally honest about it in situations like this now, sitting at my computer i feel i can keep on top of this whirlwind of a brain i was granted with.
I was in Carcassonne in the south of France with my lovely lady when i received a message saying the Richard Thompson had chosen Lone Wolf to play in support of Broken Bells at his Meltdown festival. It is very hard to really comprehend what an honour that is for little old me.
As you can tell from hearing me finger pick the guitar, i am a big Nick Drake fan and this man played alongside him back in the day as well as Fairport Convention etc. So to have him actually say he wanted me to perform is something magical.
Then 2 days prior i found out it was in the Royal Festival Hall. I'd already psyched myself for the fact it was in the Queen Elizabeth Hall which seats about 900, but to get to play in the RFH? nearly 3000? Lordy.
So when we rolled up to find about 10 crew waiting for us who at the attitude along the lines of 'you just sit back and relax while we sort out all of your problems' that was very nice indeed. Special props should go out to this crew who were the most professional, kind and CARING crew i have ever met in my life. The same thing goes out to the gig rep Lorna. If i even frowned slightly she was on top of the problem and it was solved before i had the time to blink. This really doesn't happen often.
So i walked out to see this view from the stage:
I got to use the Steinway Grand Piano and while that was being tuned especially for me (WTF?) i looked around me and just thought to myself, Jesus, in 2007 i was on the verge of giving up music entirely due to NOTHING happening, and here i am sitting at a Steinway in the Royal Festival Hall surrounded by 4 amazing friends who are playing in my band for next to nothing with Richard Thompson watching in from the side of the stage. How the hell did this happen? I'm certainly not complaining.
So the gig came along (after an hour of me practically hyperventilating in my dressing room, and my voice was a bit, well, shit at first to be honest. The nerves Paulie, THE NERVES! But when the band came out and joined me, the next 30 mins just went in the blink of an eye. This is one of the first gigs I have played where i simply just enjoyed it. The crowd were wonderfully responsive. I think they could tell what a big moment it was for me. One of them took this pic:
My friend Stacy took these:
So like the clicking of fingers the gig was over in a flash. I took a moment to really take in my surroundings and try to get through to the 'worrying' part of my brain and say "Just look where you are buddy, calm the fuck down".
So yeah, now all that is just a memory. Apologies if you have read this blog and you get any vibes of 'ooooOOoohhh look at me' about it. It's actually meant to convey the message that we really do sadly only have one life, and therefore, it's a cliche, but we really do have to just enjoy every minute and make sure that when something this good is happening, you have to take that moment and realise what you are doing/where you are. Everything is relative on so many levels. Just having a roof over my head, a nice family, a cat and a wonderful girlfriend provides the same feeling every day.
So, stop worrying about stuff Marshall and learn to enjoy your life! Same goes for anyone who deals with the same issues as me every day.
Now bring on Union Chapel and lets do it all over again! Can't wait!
Take care folks. Love you all!