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Blog: Totally Acoustic

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I'm always a bit worried before a Totally Acoustic - will the room be booked? will an audience come? will any ACTS come? - but this time I was especially worried about PEOPLE coming, as I'd had a STREAM of twitter apologies and sick notes. As it turned out i need not have worried - not many people DID come, but it didn't really seem to matter. It was to be an INTIMATE but rather lovely evening.

Usually me and COHORTS get the tables and chairs sorted out as soon as I arrive, or directly persuant of this milestone, but last night we never really got round to it, so by the time it got to 7.30pm and the hour of commencement it didn't feel quite RIGHT to do so. We'd all been sat around the room having a Large Group Chat and to suddenly enforce false BOUNDARIES and divisions felt INCORRECT so we left the layout as it was and did the whole thing sitting down. This, i feel, was rather a good idea.

I kicked things off, and this is what I played:

  • Totally Acoustic
  • I'll Never Drink Again
  • Red and White Sockets
  • Things'll Be Different When I'm In Charge
  • We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home)
  • The Girl Who...
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Why yes, yes indeed, that IS a rather unusual setlist, featuring a bunch of songs I haven't played for AGES and especially one I haven't played for about 15 years. My SECRET PLAN throughout this series of Totally Acoustic has been to try and play ENTIRELY different sets each and every week and, having used up most of my normal repertoire pretty early on, this has meant quite a bit of DIGGING through the back catalogue. It's also involved quite a lot of PRACTICING, not just because I'm learning "new" (or usually OLD) material, but also because, listening back to the first couple of podcasts, I've realised that me forgetting words to to most of is NOT, as I have always thought "charming" but actually "a bit annoying".

    So yes, I did that and RATHER enjoyed it. We had a little break and then it was time for Helen Arney. I saw Helen several times during the Edinburgh Fringe - Mr S Hewitt had said, as he occasionally does, "You will like her, she is GRATE" and, as he usually is, he was CORRECT. I thought she would be the ideal person to have at Totally Acoustic because she's not just funny, but also comes across as a Delightful Human Being, which is something i am KEEN on. This was very much the case last night, especially when she did a song called "Strong Woman" (i think), which is STILL in my BRANE, and a bunch of Christmas songs from her Christmas album, a copy of which I am rather pleased to now OWN, wrapped in Christmas wrapping with a HOMEMADE TREE ORNAMENT to boot! ACE!

    Another short break and then it was the turn of Mr Tim Eveleigh. Delightful Human Beings was sort of a THEME for the evening, as this is VERY much the case with Tim, who was GRATE as usual - he is an ADEPT at between song DISCOURSE, although his MODE of doing so is INTERACTION rather than explicit GAGS. This worked EXTRAORDINARILY well in the relaxed context of last night's gig - almost too well, in fact, as there was a tendency amongst CERTAIN ELEMENTS (hem hem) to become a little TOO ENGAGED with the subjects he was introducing, and just sit there and chat with him rather than letting him get on with his heartfelt, emotional songs. Luckily he DID manage to get these elements to SETTLE eventually, although the THORTS he ignited about John Cage's 4'33" getting to number one will stay with me for a long time. What if it DID get to Number One? What if they showed it on Top Of The Pops? Could there possible BE a better time to beam 4'33" into everyone's houses than on Christmas Day, with all the family gathered? Or would that be TOO DANGEROUS?

    Anyway, with such thoughts bubbling round our heads we sat for a spell afterwards in gentle conversation before going our seperate ways. It was a lovely evening all round, made even nicer by the knowledge that, even though there hadn't been that many people there in person, there's the opportunity for MANY more to hear it via the magic of the podcast. Sometimes living in The Future really works out!

    posted 8/12/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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    I was wondering about 4'33" and things like top of the pops, but there is no totp any more is there? Looking forward to seeing Jools Holland plinky-plonking all over it at hogmanay anyway...
    posted 13/12/2010 by Pauly

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