The Plucky Haggis [Original Acoustic + Covers, Solo Artist]
SIX STAR REVIEW: Summer Sensation!16 Jan 2023SIX STAR REVIEW: Summer Sensation! Private Party @ Devizes Sat. 4 June 2022 “Plucky was just as I expected him to be - professional and highly entertaining. The garden party was not the easiest gig, as his audience were coming and going between other activities in the garden. However, Plucky's stamina was awesome - delivering FOUR hours of fab tunes without losing his immense energy and commitment to first class entertainment. I regret that as the host, I couldn't have spent more time in his audience although he was providing a great sound track for the whole garden. The immense range of songs/genres in his catalogue makes The Plucky Haggis an excellent choice for entertaining the most diverse crowds.”Nicola may've kept me waiting for a review due to her action-packed global schedule.. but boy, were my patients well-rewarded! 'Though you may be forgiven thinkin’ Ed Sheeran had turned-up! 🤣The Patio Gig past August turned out to be more of a stretch for less than half-the-time; and was probably partially responsible for losing my Falsetto – having forced it, regrettably! Thankfully it started to return/heal mid-Dec. and IS NOW fully restored! YES!No more gargling with Lemsip, Whisky, mouthwash, any forcing… obv. NOT WORTH IT. I could still reasonably sing/busk without it, but 'twas a loss that constantly gnawed at me; continually affecting freedom & confidence. Not as bad as the issue I had, following a violent cough, on route to a Christmas gig in that ‘cold-snap’, which nearly torpedoed my performance! Definitely NOT my best work, but as it was a small-scale, intimate, discounted local gig.. 'we' just about got it over the line, c/o supportive host & gracious audience. EVERY performance deserves ‘our best’, and find it so disappointing when I fall 'short' of that. Needless to say, I'm not 'waiting' for a review! 😉Bletchley has latterly become my 'go to' busking town, surpassing MKC, Northampton & Bedford due to their encouraging, engaging, friendly, and appreciative support. In all walks of life, we have good days & bad, but here, even an ‘iffy day’ can be less ‘disappointing’ than elsewhere. Turns-out, chasing the ‘end of a rainbow’ isn’t everything! Bletchley, for me at least, appears to have the right balance of heart & soul, greater sense of community, mature diversity, with a genuine ‘warmth’ & ‘lightness’ to it, more notable than the competing towns/centres nearby. Locals certainly expressed their appreciation in the EIGHT days I was able to busk here in Dec.Christmas Eve (Sat) absolutely surpassed Plucky’s previous BEST EVER return. THANK YOU!Happy New Year Folks 2023! A couple of days of dry/mild/calm weather allowed me two unheard of busk days in Jan.; offsetting the mid-Dec cold-snap poss; oh, that was bitter & costly!Looking back: 2022 saw 141 busking days, down on last yr.’s; 165, but up on 2020’s; 128. Added to which, there were only a handful of ‘Paid gigs’ and about as many free/festival events, in these three past tough ‘COVID’ impacting years; no wonder I, among many, truly struggled! 2023 therefore, NEEDS to significantly improve, esp. IF I’m just to survive another YEAR, let alone advance, as I truly desire!Presently buoyant & optimistic! I'm all too aware, of the many ‘threatening shadows’, that loom large behind & ahead of us all; LIFE, constantly requires determination, flexibility, strength, courage, effort, heart, support, a bit of good fortune, and an eternal 'spring of hope', to overcome &/or advance! 😁All strength to you & yours, through whatever life throws ‘us’ throughout the year ahead.CHEERS! 👍 Plucky 💖 tphx
TEN Years PPP, and, very nearly OUT!9 Nov 2022TEN Years PPP, and, very nearly OUT! YES, Plucky’s Public Performance finally hit the buffers; after two years of COVID, and the sluggish return to normalcy trumped by a European War & the subsequent Cost of Living ‘mare, on the back of this and more - is it any wonder I began to 'write' Plucky’s Musical Epitaph.So what saved Plucky from the rocks, the brink of sinking into a 'Haggis' abyss?Not much, as it turns out. Or perhaps everything. Towersey Festival, in its new home (nearer mine), probably gave me a much needed BOOST. As I was able to perform an hour’s set on Sunday afternoon 4 – 5 in Market Square (albeit with a slightly compromised vocal), where it stirred something within me, and provided a timely insight to what could be/become on stages of such significance & beyond; enlightening, rewarding, reinvigorating and inspired - I've recommitted myself to this next year, come hell or high water. 😊I still face the nightmare of rising costs. More specifically, significantly, & concerning - rising interest rates! I’ve been over-reliant on an Interest Only Mortgage which hitherto underpinned my decision to change professional careers. Arguably, closing in on a degree of ‘successful’ opportunities, prior to 2020.. the last 3 yrs have taken a toll. That said, I’m now refocussed, and fully emerged in an effort to REMAIN afloat, bailing out water as quickly as it arrives. Whether I succeed or not, will inevitably come down to hungry I am for it, I suspect.I’ve never been the most confident of people, but throughout the years, especially as I’ve grown as a performer/entertainer, I’ve grown significantly in this regard. AND believe, I have what it takes to KICK IT UP another gear… perhaps TWO!Busking Summer ‘22 was different, I lost several busking opportunities due to sky-high temperatures, offset in measure, by a severe lack of rainy/wet days! But, overall, busking revenues took a hit, and paid gigs were few & far between – in part ‘cause I'd lost the desire to chase them (something I still need to remedy). May being the highlight of the year; Fab Birthday Party in Devizes (4 Hr cont. performance) was suitably rewarding… followed by a few smallish local gigs & Festival appearances (all in, a significant improvement compared to '20 & '21) – just not enough to impress the 'Bank Manager'! 🙄Recently, I started spinning up my Christmas repertoire, and have a wee Crimbo gig booked mid-Dec. which I’m looking forward to. AND fully intend to make a 'bigger splash' in 2023! Assuming I survive financially of course ;)Sadly, my trip/tour to Scotland/Aberdeen this year, was tempered due to the sudden passing & funeral of my Uncle.. who passed away 2 days after my birthday (I’d spoken to him, albeit briefly, then). He was a remarkable, fondly loved, & widely respected, God fearing, family man – and something of a surrogate dad to me (as well as my sisters), being my mother’s brother.Having another 100+ busking days under my belt this yr.; dozens of touching, encouraging, enjoyable, special moments – mostly in Bletchley, I have been truly richly rewarded overall, and locally looked after. And as is my way, continue to express my heartfelt appreciation for every contribution/contributor.Falsetto slippage, damage, or change in my natural vocal break mid-Aug. remains disconcerting, a times amusing; esp. when I try for ‘a NOTE’ that’s no longer in ‘my pocket’. Sadly, this affects half-a-doz. or so, of my favourite go to tunes e.g. Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes PS, Perfect ES, I’m on Fire BS, The Only Living Boy in NY S+G etc. Hopefully, I can adapt the Key to manage 'frilly' embellishments where they're required, rather than fudge it or leave frustrating gaps! 😉That’s it, you’re up-to-date, WE’RE still here.. albeit clinging on by oor fingernails, living on a wing an’ a prayer! But then, that’s precisely what life’s like, to a lesser or larger degree in my experience. Besides which, there are feint glimmers of global hope going forward (despite the obvious shambles): Ukraine continue to take & make ground (Russia in trouble, but still very capable of Nasty stuff); Inflation nearing a natural tipping point; Trussonomics binned; Sunak belatedly & welcomingly at the UK helm; Global leaders c/o COP27 continue to ‘inch forward’; And US mid-terms proffer further hope (to temper/end Trumpism, curtail 2020 Election deniers, cut-off 'puppet politicians', stem expansion of unwarranted far-right lies & BS! NO STORM lasts forever… and whatever be thrown at us, we can and shall overcome - RIGHT! D.V.Fight to the end, ‘til there’s no fight left in us, or our fight be over.Peace Out – Plucky 💖 tphx
‘Ukraine – Freedom’s Frontline’; Song 30!19 Apr 2022‘Ukraine – Freedom’s Frontline’; Song 30! Well there’s almost a ‘Spring’ in my step, having added another to Plucky’s Worthy Originals. Marking 10 yrs. of song-writing.Amid the awful backdrop of Baltic despair, in yet another largely senseless European War; atrocious in design, deadly, bloody, & destructive in execution – hideous, heinous! Reminded me of a Folk song I cover; ‘Glencoe (The Massacre Of)’ by Jim McLean. The similarity of ‘slaughter’ of late 17th Century feuding Scots against Scots, now 21st Century Soviets killing their kindred kind. Hence 'Ukraine – Freedom’s Frontline' was borne in conflict. More polish required, but the story (despite being far from over) appears to be intact.Video av. here via details, My Website, The Plucky Haggis Official Group on FB, and YouTube Channel with CC subs & full lyric (please subscribe); Ukraine – Freedom’s FrontlineOfficial confirmation re Towersey Festival received, probably to jointly MC the Bar Stage, duties remain unspecified, and No ‘official set’ yet, but hope springs eternal!I had a delightful moment as I finished busking Easter Saturday in Bedford, when a young woman celebrating her 21st asked for one of my own songs!! I was probably happier to be asked & perform ‘SHINDIG’ that she was to hear it! Besides this, there have been more enquiries of late; two weddings, a care-home, private party, as well as Clubs, pubs, & festivals. If even a few of them land, I’ll be greatly encouraged & pleased!Bletchley Conservative Club engaged Plucky for a Paddy’s Day gig 17th Mar, which was cool, but for the fact I lost connectivity between guitar pre-amp and my PA (now fixed). Seemingly few noticed! 😊Song 31.. (which was to be #30, remains just an idea) lol! And my latest cover; ‘Killer Queen – by Queen’ is yet another of this year’s challenges to perform well LIVE.Pluckies Lovelies; be well folks, make the most of Spring, and we’ll catch-up again soon - summertime!Love it Live, cheers! Plucky 💖 tphx
A Gig, a GIG, my kingdom for a Paid Gig!19 Jan 2022A Gig, a GIG, my kingdom for a Paid Gig! Happy New Year my Lovelies, Pluckies, Folkies, & Haggites! 💖2021 NYE Gig finally flew, thanks to a chance meeting in October busking in Bletchley, I was later confirmed for Three Fyshes Restaurant & Bar, Turvey, Beds. Who were fully booked ‘til Omicron struck! Talk about roller-coaster of emotions…Entertainment almost got cancelled as numbers dwindled to a third capacity.. but with a renegotiated fee.. we finally got it away. Phew! Lower numbers unfortunately resulted in a slightly compromised overall performance / diminished interaction… but I determined to give it my best given the situation… so played 4 & ½ hours straight through 20:00 – 00:30. A new record for me! And, with only one deliberate repeat, believe I found my boundary – Exhausted & Finger-sore! Lol Superb supportive comments, and a fat tip jar, went a long-way to make up for the compromises – Thank YOU! Happy Haggis! 😍Looking forward, as 2022 begins, I’m really uncertain as to what this year will bring… Nothing from my Glasto contact; awaiting Team confirmation to MC/Host the Bar Stage @ Towersey Festival end of Aug. (Ideally, to incl. an official Bar Stage set); Official Recordings &/or a 10 yr. Anniversary gig – keep getting pushed back… due to cash-flow & Covid.Lovely to be invited / wanted to perform a Vegan event in Bletchley, only seven days into the year; the feeling in my fingers returned just in time! But there’s nothing else confirmed yet. Perhaps it's time to start pushing… but hate disappointment… and with so much uncertainty re hospitality, now combined with inflationary pressures… ALL results in a BIG squeeze on Live Entertainment, which I suspect may be depressed for many months yet, if not most of this year.Song 30.. remains in embryonic ‘note’ form but the weather in Jan. has finally curtailed busking (too cold), and having finally caught-up on House / Garden chores, Feb. may see me get a chance to write new material!Blog photo: Vegan Event 2022 Bletchley Bandstand. Was, Cold & Damp, but it was LIVE! Snap-shot from a compilation of acts… The Plucky Haggis Official Group My cover of ‘Sweet Dreams’ was perhaps somewhat speedily seeking to warm me up!! 🤣 Well done ye brave souls, sitting on straw bales under cover, supporting live music. 😎As ever, thank you for your continued support [165 Street Sessions in 2021], Social Media interactions, reading blog updates, and, for those special few who truly enjoy my style, vocal, live performance…. you’re my favourites!! 😁 Ergo, in closing, here's something to ENJOY: "The Life Of A Busker" Student Documentary filmed Nov 2021 in Bletchley; added to the Official Group, and YouTube Channel Playlist - 'Plucky's Documentaries & Interviews'. It'll either be my last, or the first of many! lol GOOD JOB! 💪Stay well, respectful of others and their views, remain engaged with life and people of all persuasions, diversity, identities, backgrounds, beliefs; irrespective of status.Haggis Love! Plucky 💖 tphx
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