I hope you are all keeping well and are getting through Tuesday OK. This weekend I got to play with EFF OFF and Deferred Sucess at Thingamagig in Stock, just outside Billericay/Chelmsford, This is a festival is very close to my heart, it is put on by the lovely people at Big Stinky Dog promotions.
This Charity festival is in its 9th year, it used to be at the White Heart in Billericay but last year it moved to the Ship in Stock. Last year was the 1st one I had missed since they started doing this festival. This year it was in the beer garden of the pub, and so nice to watch loads of the Essex music with grass under my feet.
Big Stinky Dog have a lot to answer for with regards to what I do now. It was the 1st place out of my home town that I got to play my acoustic songs, where I met Troop who plays bass for Deferred Sucess, and so many other lovely people that if I didn’t meet them I would not have gone down the path of singing my songs for a living.
We headed down there early so Fraggle and I, together we are EFF OFF, that’s the Essex Folk Federation Of Fraggle Fletcher, could play at around 1:30pm. EFF OFF is so much fun, if you haven’t heard what we do you can listen to our first ever gig at cosmic puffin over here https://effoff.bandcamp.com/releases.
After us was Whoremoan, these guys have been playing together with the same line up for over 20 years, they play proper stoner rock, and are one of my all time fave bands.
Next up was Chris Troop Davison and we were treated to a rare performance of his acoustic tunes. After this point I’m not sure who played and when. Von Jergo blew my mind with their Balls Out Rock N Roll with one of the best front men I have seen in a long time. The Victories were new to me. Rock N Roll, bluesy Riff tastic band they were.
I got to play with Deferred Sucess, for those who don’t know this is what started as a home for my acoustic songs and grew into a band.
Deferred Sucess is mainly having a laugh with my friends. The rest of Deferred Sucess have proper career jobs, they are the best musicians I ever get to play with.
This gig it felt like I was let loose off the lead. Playing on my own I am stuck to one spot to use my stomp box, so no box I let loose and danced like a proper dickhead.
Was really nice to bump into Mr Ed Rome, front man of the Big and a solo musician in he’s own right. A few ciders and a few chats, and nice to catch up with Stuart O’Conner, a fellow troubadour who has toured the world for ten years with his own brand of psychedelic loop based tunes, with a bunch of toys that would make Funke and the Two Tone Baby Jealous.
One chat I did have a lot of is about how musicians who write their own music struggle to find paid gigs, and it really made me release how lucky I have got, I rarely play these days for free, but one thing I noticed is that its a mentality. People are not going to pay you for your craft if you do not expect to get paid for it. I read a lot about musicians who moan about not getting paid, but they still play those gigs. Its a real tough one. I also do feel like it is a mind set. After 3 years on the road, I see myself as a musician/entertainer, that’s what I do for a living, and it is a lot of work. Its a job, but I job I want to do.
Coming back to an event like this seeing so many of the musicians I grew up with playing music, to most of them it will always be a hobby. That’s fine, there is nothing wrong with that. For me it is my life. Being on the road changes you, makes you harder, makes you expect more, and you learn there is more. The time I have put into music I could have become a Doctor twice over.
Well this brings me round to my latest friend who has taken the plunge. Chuck SJ Hay. She really does play a mean guitar and is currently driving around the country screaming for people to pay attention. It is a brave thing to do, and its not easy to make work, but the only way to know through having the will is to give it a go. You can always get another crappy job.
This is her playing my album launch (wow that feels like forever ago, and yesterday at the same time). This song is called Animal Farm.
If you like what she does (or any musician you see and like), buy a CD, buy a tshirt trust me can make the deference between being them comfortable and struggling.
So they get to do more stuff that you can really enjoy. oh and you can do that here. http://www.chucksjhay.com/
Ohhh keep your eyes posted this week for how you can get tickets for my tour in November… That’s exciting!!!