This originally appeared on misteragyeman.blogspot.com on March 2, 2015.
A ship is safe in harbour; but that’s not what ships are for.
It’s March, so now I get to say that I’ve been writing songs for half of my life.
Over the years, I’ve averaged three songs every two months. Of course I’ve lost some, and some I’ve dug deep holes and buried away. But there’s a few songs that have survived, and now I feel ready to share them– because that’s what songs are for. Which is why I’m planning to do a concert.
I call it The Sitdown, because I like how cosy the term sounds. Even with the Mafia connotation you visualize plump, elderly men in knit pullovers murmuring of ice and mattresses and fish. Also, I need to sit down when I’m in front of an audience. If I don’t, nervous energy makes my knees wobble in an unattractive manner.
Not many people have heard my songs. They aren’t exactly Top of the Pops. They are folk/gospel/root things, weighted down with the things that occupy my mind. Often I worry that they might be preachy. (I have learned that there’s the satisfying way of saying things, and then there’s the useful way.) But they are preachy because I wrote them for myself. Will others like them? Will you? I can’t force anybody, whether by force of presentation or by exposure of body parts.
This uncertainty may be one of the reasons why The Sitdown has to be free. The biggest one is my inability to profit from art. I don’t question anybody’s desire to do so, but for reason I feel satisfied when I make a connection. Also, my friends are playing with me for free, and the equipment is coming from another friend for virtually nothing. I’m still working on the venue bit, but I think there’s hope there. (I’d be grateful for any help or advice on that front.)
If it goes the way I’ve dreamed, it will be the best concert ever. If it goes the way I’ve planned, it should be a refreshingly cosy evening of words and music.
The way I see it: on the day, we’ll set up early then start jamming around six pm. (I wanted to do it on Fools’ Day, which is to me what Val’s Day is to lovers. But it has to be a Saturday, sadly. Perhaps the Fourth of April.) Then I’ll ask people up to jam with us if they’d like. Then we’ll do some instrumental pieces we wrote ourselves, then we’ll get into a mix of songs written by me and the guys, and some of my favourites from other artists. I’m trying to find a projector for the lyrics and some art, and I’ll have a list of all the songs so the audience can choose whichever title looks interesting. Then we’ll do one song from our upcoming charity album, Some Bright Morning, and we’ll take an offering for the recording budget. Then we’ll do the big closer, and hopefully we’ll dance a bit. And then we’ll all go home smiling.
So I’m inviting you to my little experiment. And it will be a little one; it would be flattering to see people squishing together till they can’t breathe, but it’s hard to connect with a crowd, even if you don’t go weak in the joints. So come to my grand audition; you can be Simon, if you like.