It’s really difficult at the moment for artists/singer-songwriters who perform live.
There’s nowhere to play. No audience. I’m not talking about The Albert Hall etc, I’m talking small scale. As a band, The Sitting Room, and the constituent members that also play solo, have nowhere to do their thing. We play small venues, clubs, rooms above pubs, venues all under 100 seats… to be honest most under 50… But we have regular places we go, where we are known and get a good reception for our set. These places are not presently open. And even if they were, singing in public at the moment is a no-no. These places are at risk, and don’t seem to be getting any of the government support offered to the arts.
I miss it so much!
Many people in our position, but mostly solo performers, have been live streaming. I desperately understand their need to do this, to have some interaction, even though it really isn’t anywhere near the same as having a live audience right in front of you. Apart from a few, I haven’t been able to actually watch. It makes me too sad.
My band mate Andy Jenkins has done a couple of performances for a facebook group he is a member of. But we feel a bit weird singing out at no one. I am missing it so much because I cannot do it on my own. I don’t play an instrument. I need my band! I miss them too. The camaraderie of the rehearsal room and the interaction of five people singing and playing live. Can’t beat it. This country will be in a sorry sorry state if we lose these small but beautifully formed live music venues.
We have managed to adapt the way we write though, up to a point, and then we have halted. I’ve been writing lyrics, quite a few lockdown related songs, and have sent them out to my co-writers to play with. I reckon we have about 5 or 6 new songs ready to be worked up so that we could perform them live, or maybe record. But we can’t. 3/5 of the band are in Birmingham which is currently deemed tier 2, which is high risk. Dudley where I am, and one other player, is currently tier 1, medium. This means that Ian and I have actually been able to get together to work on a couple of songs, either in the garden, or in the large gallery space with all the doors and windows open, and sat far apart, facing our singing in different directions. It has been a lifeline, but I don’t know how long it will go on, as we are surrounded by tier 2 areas…
To work up the songs requires all of us to be together. I attach a link to Soundcloud below, of the song I’ve most recently written with Ian ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’… it’s a guitar and two voices. It is in its most basic, fresh out of the notebook state. We decided to post it up, unpolished, just to get some reaction and feedback, and just to prove to ourselves we are still working.
When the small local bands do get back to these gigs, please please support them… there are some amazing talents out there in the real world far from the likes of Britain’s Got Talent… so much better, but they need support, they need ears and eyes, a round of applause and the occasional purchase or donation!