So, I was in London t'other day, playing with Andy "Big Hair" Thomson's band Fuzzystar for the Sparklehorse tribute gig. If truth be told, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much whilst retaining all my clothing. Not having played the electric guitar for literally years prior to the gig, I was a bit nervous.
The adrenalin was pumping somewhat as we took to the stage, and I had that weird realisation that you sometimes get when playing live, that each note and chord you play will boom out, and somehow become part of the atmosphere of the night. We played an older Fuzzystar song "Falling In Love" first, then two Sparklehorse songs, "Piano Fire" with me on harmonica, and "Pig", which is a somewhat riff-laden heavy number. The crowd seemed to like the first two, and we lit into the last like our lives depended on it, and rocked out. And, if I may make so bold, rhythm guitar is what I do best.
My brother claimed to have been "nearly blown backwards" by the volume, and said it was "the loudest gig he'd been to since The Ramones in 1980". George and the Doc liked it too. Result!
It made me think, just how utterly different that experience of playing the guitar is, to launching your newest acoustic song down at the Blazer. I did just that a few weeks ago, and I had a slightly different attack of nerves before that too. This time, I felt faintly ridiculous; I mean, what was I thinking? The song had seemed like a good idea when playing it in my room, but in the harsher environ of a pub, it seemed stupid. I felt mild nausea, and almost didn't play the thing.
In the end, people actually seemed to be listening to it (which is almost as disturbing as people not listening), and no-one publicly denounced me as a pretentious buffoon. Result again!