This poor blog has been neglected now for over a month. There have been a few things happening.
In an effort to live a bit more simply and regain control over life, priorities had to be set. There simply isn’t time to do everything in a day and few other projects took up whatever time was available.
The first project, that I’ll tell you about today, was to sing in a band. Now in their late 30s and early 40s, a group of my partner’s school friends decided to put together a covers band and play at a pub. For two years they taught themselves instruments and a few months ago asked me to sing for them. Their lead singer had decided to leave.
Outside of karaoke parties, I was a completely inexperienced singer whose first instinct was to refuse. But then, who doesn’t harbour a secret ambition to be a singer or an actor or some other performer? This would no doubt be the only time any one would ask that of me, so I began attending the rehearsals.
The first rehearsal was awful. It wasn’t helped by the fact that most of the songs were unfamiliar. I could see by the faces of the other band members that they thought they had made a mistake, yet were too polite to tell me.
That week I burned a cd of all the songs and began listening to it, singing along in my car. The next rehearsal went a little better. Once again, I couldn’t sing many of the songs – I would sing them too high, or too low. My voice would emerge thin and wobbly from my throat, and it would crack unpleasantly. However I did manage to nail one song right at the end to the visible relief and surprise of my bandmates.
Months went by and singing gradually became easier. Its strange to think back on how difficult those songs were at first.
Last Saturday night we played our first gig. 100 people, mainly friends and family, came to watch us perform at a local pub. We were patchy, I forgot some of the words, and skipped an entire verse in one song, but with so much support from the crowd we relaxed and managed to put on a show that our friends seemed to enjoy.
The rush of performing in front of a crowd was amazing. The element of risk was alarming, the chances of utter humiliation huge, and to succeed was sheer joy. I felt like a kid on one of those giant slippery dips we have at the Royal Easter Show each year. At first its terrifying, but then as you travel down it becomes more and more exciting. After the ride is over, you just want to get on and do it again and again and again.