Paul Davis (Dep Bass and Dep Keys plus Harmonies) [Covers & Original, Dep Musician]
Final Stand15 May 2019Final Stand Sorry to have to mention this yet again, and hopefully this will be for the last time on my blog section, but this needs to be said for the benefit of all those singers that are hearing the same old rubbish from people who should really know much better.I heard an example of this from someone this week and know that if I'M hearing it (as a non-vocalist), singers must be getting an earful of this too, especially younger ones …So please take it from me and many other REAL-WORLD gigging people:There's NOTHING wrong with singers having lyrics on a music stand or electronic device!To get some perspective, I know singers who have performed a larger variety of material in the last 20 days, than some other people have in the last 20 years.Seriously.So yes, if someone in a single act has been peddling around 40 to 50 songs over the entire span of the 21st century (that's less than 2 “Now ...” hit compilation albums), I'd ****** well expect them to have learnt all the lyrics by now!But if a singer would like to have a more varied musical experience, both for themselves and any audiences they perform to, don't let any dogmatic non-singing bully convince you that you're somehow sub-standard or a fraud for having lyrical prompts onstage.Of course, nobody wants to see a singer 'READING' an entire set, but expecting somebody who doesn't simply want to perform the same old same old to commit thousands of words to memory without a safety net seems stupidly harsh.At least these singers are the ones trying new songs, whereas I've seen musical innovation with bands stopped dead in its tracks because an instrumentalist doesn't want to have to spend time learning new stuff, and just stick with stuff they've played before (so that muscle memory can kick in).I'm lucky to work with many instrumentalists who have no issue with lyrical prompting for singers, but still encounter the hypocrisy of those who disapprove of those vocalists who simply want to expand some musical horizons.So if you're a vocalist in a band with unforgiving instrumentalists making you feel as though you're doing the Devil's work because of your mic-stand-mounted tablet, there are voices of common sense elsewhere in the gigging community.Classical musicians use music stands, as they don't just play the same one symphony at every session, and nobody would accuse orchestral players of being “unprofessional” or "amateur".= = = = = =PUBLIC GIGS THIS WEEK:Saturday 18th May 2019 – Starts 8.45pmPlaying keyboards for DOWN 2 EARTHNEWTON S&SC, Newton, Cambridgde(Myself on piano backing Right Hand Drive & Horizon vocalist Katie Oldham. My sort of chilled gig!)=Sunday 19th May 2019 – Starts 7.30pmPlaying bass for THE LANDLORDSTHE BOOT, St Albans(Replacing PEP – who are taking a break from gigging – The Landlords make another return to this well-established city-centre music pub)= = = = = = I'm available to dep this Friday (17th May) on keys or bass. As usual check out my Lemonrock main page for details.= = = = = =
Doing "Nothing"10 May 2019Doing "Nothing" Many commentators have noticed the many the links between music and humour, particularly in what triggers people to react emotionally to what is essentially (at a base level) a collection of audible frequencies and in the same way, to laugh at something.Like the great Tommy Cooper slightly earlier, the late Freddie Starr was one of those rare individuals who could have audiences in hysterics by doing “nothing”.Admittedly, he was wasn't to everybody's taste, but he personally made me laugh out louder than many of those trendy panel-show "comics" you find on every media channel today (though I do appreciate several modern comedians).And the great myth about getting laughs for doing “nothing” is that it's actually a masterclass in timing and dynamics, as anyone who watches this sketch would find difficult to disagree with:www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPL95K1kWawWhat strikes me about this piece is not so much the scripted words, but just the pauses, the anticipation and the apparent imperfections.As much a performance with highs & lows, louds and quiets, fasts and slows, and pacing as any musician bringing tears to peoples' eyes with a beautiful rendition of a song or instrumental piece.Dismiss this view as arty pretension if you wish, but the similarities between great comedians and great musicians have a lot in common, and the latter could arguably learn more about artistic performance from watching a few clowns like Cooper & Starr, than yet another Youtube tutorial on playing faster solos …= = = = = =PUBLIC GIGS THIS WEEK:Friday 10th May 2019 – Starts 9.15pmPlaying bass for TALLER THAN ELVISThe North Western, Wolverton(My second time with this band, & my second gig in a month at this pub!)=Saturday 11th May 2019 – Starts 9.15pmPlaying bass for RIGHT HAND DRIVEThe Butchers Arms, Barnet(My second time with RHD at this pub – a local gig for singer Kate and drummer Al too)=Sunday 12th May 2019 – Starts 5pmPlaying bass for THE LANDLORDSThe Lower Red lion, St Albans(An “unplugged” trio gig, backing singers/guitarists Neil Oxtoby & John Cusworth)= = = = = =
When You're Enjoying Yourself2 May 2019When You're Enjoying Yourself Several people seemed to be in awe of the fact that I spent four and a half hours standing behind a keyboard without a break on Easter Monday's "Pimp My Paul" (PMP) event in St Albans. I reminded many people that the first PMP (on my 50th birthday in 2017) had me onstage for six, so this was a walk in the park by comparison!But it highlighted the importance of enjoying the gigs we play. And if something is not an absolute joy (unless you're being paid a juicy financial premium), why the hell we're putting ourselves through it still?!Some people might call it paying your dues, but I've found playing an hour of boring music for unappreciative people absolutely draining, yet hardly notice hours (plural) slipping away doing something where the music is fun, the audience attentive and the atmosphere relaxed.Another reason to never just "think of the money". Enjoyable gigs are as uplifting as the bad ones are debilitating. So why do that to ourselves? ;)= = = = = =Available to play bass or keys for acts this Bank Holiday Monday. I have plenty of jobs to complete, but I always have time to play paid gigs if they arise (within a reasonable distance for the money!).= = = = = =PUBLIC GIGS THIS WEEK:Friday 3rd May 2019 - Starts 10pmPlaying bass for UNDERCOVERTHE ROSE & CROWN, Hemel Hempstead=Saturday 4th May 2019 - Starts 3.30pmPlaying bass for THE SWANVESTA SOCIAL CLUBTHE STORTFORD FESTIVAL, Bishop's Stortford(Playing a mid afternoon spot with the "Swans" - the festival itself runs from 1pm to 11pm)=Saturday 4th May 2019 - Starts 9.15pmPlaying bass for THE TEXAS FLYERSTHE BLACKSMITHS ARMS, St Albans=Sunday 5th May 2019 - Starts 8pmPlaying bass & keyboards for HUGGY FLARESCRAWLEY GREEN S&SC, Luton(Open to non-members too, though worth checking with the club for prices and various seasonal conditions. Great club though)= = = = = =
Anatomy Of A Pub Gig26 Apr 2019Anatomy Of A Pub Gig Couldn't resist sharing this graphic I was sent! Sums up exactly what I think about gigging. So many acts end up trying to serve the groups in blue, whilst ignoring the people who are REALLY your best allies!= = = = = =I'm free to play either bass or keys for paid gigs this Saturday (27th April 2019). Get in touch if I could be of use!= = = = = =Thanks to all those who participated or came to listen to PIMP MY PAUL on Easter Monday, a rare "solo" gig for me, but something I'm very keen to do more of. Not a jam. Not an open-mic. Not a karaoke. More like my old "Pimp My Band" days, though "unplugged" and with a keyboard bias.www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHFi_ZQ-0z4Enjoyed playing along and harmonising, even if I look in constant pain!= = = = = =PUBLIC GIGS THIS WEEK:Friday 26th April 2019 - 9pm startPlaying bass for THE TEXAS FLYERSTHE WHITE HORSE, London Colney=Sunday 28th April 2019 - Midday to 3pmPlaying keyboards for THE HUMMINGBIRDS (& friends)ART & SOUL CAFE, St Neots(An unplugged-style showcase with Jayne Tretton and lots of local talent - PLEASE NOTE: not an open-mic)=Wednesday 1st May 2019 - 7pm startPlaying keyboards for KIRSTA JOHNSTONCAFE ROUGE, St Albans(More brand new songs, whilst providing music for the diners)= = = = = =
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