In all honesty, I’m probably not a very good “independent musician” as I’m uncomfortable with the concept of “hustling” for gigs and opportunities to play live in front of a crowd. Besides which I virtual no following locally (correction, nationally) so at this stage I doubt very much any venue would take a risk on putting me as an act. Of course, there are smaller local venues such as pubs and bars, but I suspect my peculiar kind of introspective music isn’t really what drinkers are looking for midweek. I suspect they are looking for a pick-me-up to get them through the horrors of the working week. As one of my songs goes “I know, I am acquired taste”.
Anyway, enough of this imposter-syndrome self-flagellating abnegation (there are some words to google right there)
In the absence of gigs (paid or unpaid), I decided I’m going to use the local Derbyshire session scene as a way to get out more, meet new people/players and also pimp my CD. I love the purely acoustic aspect of sessions (no fiddly complexity of wires, cables and microphones!) and the community of singers and players you encountered – and it’s where I first overcome my fear of singing in public.
I’ve had some success with this model so far having recently attended a session at the Flying Childers (First Thursday of the month, Stanton-in-the-Peak) and offloaded a couple of copies of “Songs from a Cold Conservatory”. The Flying Childers is a lovely little pub/venue. It’s pure acoustic – and you get to do 3 songs in a go before moving on to the next player, and if you’re lucky another 2/3 if you get around quick enough. Lovely receptive audiences who are clearly there for the music. I must thank Matt and Nik of Cage of Crows for the introduction last year. The following week I found myself in Bulls Head (Youlgreve, Third Thursday of the Month) – surrounded by many of the usual suspects from the Flying Childers (it’s a 7min drive between the two villages). Being very warm folks were outside and a small PA was set up – usually indoors and purely acoustic.
Aside: Why are SO many sessions on a Thursday? And why the 3rd of the month? Is it just people like the assonance of “Third Thursday” 😀
So after some judicious googling and Facebook questions, I’ve put together, what I’m calling a Derbyshire Sessions “Tour” which has me on the following locations over the next couple of months:
June 21st – Hollybush, Belper
June 23rd – Free Folk Friday, Drone Valley Brewery, Unstone, Dronfield
June 27th – The Old Bank, Matlock
July 13th – King William, Belper
Aug 2nd – Sitwell Arms, Morton
Aug 3rd – Fishpond, Matlock
Aug 7th – The Sheaf, Sheffield
Aug 8th – South Wingfield Social Club, South Wingfield
Aug 28th – Anglers Rest, Bamford
Sept 26th – Black Swan, Ashover