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Invitation to the Sitdown

This orig­i­nally appeared on mis​ter​agye​man​.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’m not really that well-built, yes. Let me dream. 

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.