Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ceilidh Culture Clubbing: the gig report

When I walked through the door at the Lot at about 11:30pm on Saturday, the stage was thrang with singers including The Linties and members of The Bothy Tams. Their set was drawing to a close when I arrived, but I was in time to hear the strong sound of The Linties close it beautifully.

Looking round, it struck me that, despite the cafe-type set-up, the audience was listening attentively, not chattering. I reckoned at least two people would be up for listening to my set, as I know Tracy from The Linties (we share a day job) and had spotted Gerry Cambridge shouldering the bar.

Gerry was there to play his harmonica along with Neil Thomson, who was on bouzouki and vocals. They turned in a fine set of traditional tunes, blues and original stuff, with some lovely playing, just ahead of me in the programme.

It was a tricky gig being the sole poet in the midst of a rich spread of music. The audience in general obviously wasn't used to poetry readings but was with me and seemed to enjoy it. Partly because they clapped after each poem, I found it harder to judge just how much they were into the work, but the set went well over all. I felt I was winging it a bit, not having known what kind of audience to expect and not being able to read them as well as usual. Nonetheless, several enthusiastic compliments followed, with comments on how much individual poems had been appreciated. Always gratifying.


Rob Mackenzie said...


I tried to email you a couple of weeks ago, but I may not have the right address. Did you get it?
If not, could you email me (from the link at my profile) and give me an email address for you?

Good to hear your gig went well, especially to an audience who weren't primarily there for poetry. I wish there were more opportunities like that.


Andrew Philip said...

Hi Rob,

I've sent you a message in reply to this, so you should have my address now.

I agree it would be good if there were more opportunities to expose the non-poetry audience to live poetry. I reckon a lot more people would find that they actually quite like it.


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