A short while ago it was my 30th birthday, which came as a great surprise to most people who know me as i look about 12 years old. Now, i generally hate my birthdays because i tend to find that like New Year they're a MASSIVE anticlimax! As it was my 30th though the preceeding weeks were choc-full of demands to know what kind of shindig i was arranging for this landmark occasion, swiftly followed by surprise that i hadn't really considered doing anything, and nigh-on-digust that i wasn't really that bothered about doing anything for it
So, in the end i thought 'what the hell' and decided to arrange something because in all liklihood i was gonna regret it if i didn't. I don't drink though, so just your average paint-the-town-red night would be utterly pointless for me and, lets face it, a bit dull. I do however like music (and by like, i mean it rules my life with an iron fist!), so i decided to arrange a gig with some of my favourite bands ... and after a few days of ringing around, i had it all sorted (with the exception of one or two who sadly couldn't make it)
I designed a poster for it, mainly because i just like doing posters. I was thinking about what to do for a while and i realised that the whole 30th birthday thing had left me feeling rather nostalgic, so i thought an almost childish poster would kind of reflect this. It's a simple concept; the idea of trying to hold onto the last remnants of your childhood/student-life are somewhat akin to a child trying to catch a balloon they've let go of. The blue sky balloon is an extension of the 'grass is greener' principle because you generally try and remember the good points about the past. Anyhoo, i took a minimalist approach and i'm quite pleased with how it turned out
In the end my band couldn't play, so i was persuaded to do a last minute solo acoustic slot which went pretty well all things considered. Just in case you're interested my short-but-sweet setlist was:
- the art of learning - a song about learning from your mistakes, how apt!
- three-horns never play with long-necks - this is my childhood nostalgia song, which contains several references to my childhood (the title is a film reference!), i may blog about this in the future when i've recorded it
- the saturday boy (billy bragg cover) - my favourite billy bragg song, i don't think anyone there knew who billy bragg was though!
- bring it all back (s club 7 cover) - a timeless classic; a soaring anthem of optimism, and just a bit of fun really
- it's ok to cry if jerry lee dies - my newest song and another film reference; i think i'll blog about this one in the future too, mainly because there's a GLOCKENSPIEL involved! :D
As for the other bands that evening?...
- Hey Hachi make me smile ... they're just kids and only just starting out, but already they've got some amazingly quirky instrumental tunes! They remind me of American Football, who are a band you *need* to hear if you haven't already!
- Swound! are the most fun band i've ever seen live and it was a genuine surprise and honour that they came to some pokey venue in Derby to play for my birthday, especially as they'd just recently played the BBC1 Big Weekend festival! It actually made my day when they broke off their grand finale to sing happy birthday to me mid-song :) Basically if you ever have a band playing at your birthday, it should be these guys!
- Ryan Lauder is a good friend of mine and i've had the pleasure of recording some of his demos in my flat. I'm in awe of his voice and some of the songs he writes ... 'no-one writes home' and 'the lord believes' are simply stunning!