This week marked my debut performance in Blackpool. I sang for the residents and staff of a small care home called Feng Shui Care home. The gig was set up by the owner of the establishment who had heard me at ‘Clitheroe Food Festival’, leaving me a voicemail as I was singing, offering me the gig! It is a bizarre thing hearing yourself in the background singing whilst listening to a new opportunity. As it turns out, Sinatra himself visited Blackpool, and at one point considered giving it all up and being the mayor of the seaside town. So that could have turned out… different.
I prepared a brand new set for them, and it went down a storm. The place is very into their Chinese medicine, and because of that I was given my Chinese horoscope. She found out for me when my fame will come in, but I won’t give any spoilers away: I’ve got to keep the suspense going. I was placed in the level 8 area of the building, which is where the biggest level of energy is, which I needed after the somewhat mediocre meal I had at the Pizza Hut down the road (only brightened by making my dad do dares to amuse myself). I started doing a sound check, which was mistaken as the start of the gig itself, so I didn’t even have time to change into my suit. This actually worked out in my favour, as when the second half came around, and I stepped out adorned in my trilby, bow tie and freshly dry-cleaned suit, it felt like something out of Stars In Their Eyes.
The reaction was absolutely magical. The audience seemed to be lifted into a different state, which was made even more moving by the fact that a lot of them had quite serious dementia, but that seemed irrelevant as they were tapping their toes, singing every word and a woman named Hilda even took to heckling at my jokes. Some of the staff had to leave the room at points because of the reaction the residents were having to the music. I was informed one gentleman, George, usually went to bed at 5.30 on the dot every night, heard the music and came in, stayed until the very end, and sang along to every single song, as he was such a massive Sinatra fan. He shook my hand for a long time, and said ‘I’ve had an absolutely wonderful evening, thank you so much. I hope to see you very soon’. A woman stood up at the end, unprompted and announced she’d a magical evening, and thank you very much to the singer.
Not to sound overly sentimental (which I’m sure this will inevitably end up doing so) but this is the reason I absolutely love gigging. I can perform at a wedding and give the bride and groom some up-tempo dance songs to kick their night off, or I can perform at a homely little care house, and know that I’ve brought a little of the past back to some people. The bright lights and the music itself are enough of a reason to want to pursue this career on their own, but to be able to have such an effect on peoples day to day lives has no rival feeling. If this is what I end up doing fulltime, my god it will be stressful, and I’m in no denial that not every gig will be like this, but if one in ten are, I will be a very happy man.
This week I have two meetings with potential bookers, and hopefully a few more possibilities will arise from this. Also the staff at Feng Shui have not only invited me back in less than 2 weeks, but have also recorded me so hopefully some videos will be on the way of that gig very very soon! Stay tuned.
I know what all you hardcore readers out there will be thinking, there was definitely less jokes in this post than the last. Well sometimes sincerity is needed, and this was one of the few times. Thankyou for having me Feng Shui, and as I said before I sang the famous song from Casablanca, ‘I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship’.