Friday, 11 June 2010

Audiences Can Vary: Probably the Most Important Lesson

Approximately one half of my Scotland II tour is done, unless anyone randomly asks me to play more shows (hint!?).

On May 30th, a Sunday, I played a set at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow. Now, a Sunday show, according to my personal observations, can really be a mixed bag. My feeling, at least in the States, is Sundays in bars are either very quiet (i.e., three people pestering the bartender to make tea; yeah, OK, one person, that's me, "lapsang souchong, please"). That being said, Sundays can also be the day when all the riff raff come out and give you a hard time (there is a particular open mic whose name I will not mention that fell on a Sunday and was godawful--weary, angry people rambling in, doing shots alone, really not the best atmos. for sharing angsty love songs). Pivo Pivo sort of fell between those two extremes for me. Kenzie Mac was a friendly host with a lovely voice, so that made the night more awesome, but I wish I'd known it was a bank holiday weekend (read: three[four?]-day weekend) before I got there. Lots of people just there to get wasted, other musicians playing that night reading the newspaper studiously during my set (OK, one, you're too drunk to read; two, bad form, peeps). Plus I got paranoid that my voice sounded echo-y (always traumatic; this belief also was unfounded, the sound was done really well) . . . so . . . I'm a little grumpy about it. Also, I noticed that all my blog posts are unequivocally cheery, so I thought a little irritability might be refreshing. Thoughts?

On June 2nd I played probably one of my favorite gigs of the year, Secret CDs XXI at the Phoenix Cellar Bar in Edinburgh. Its a show designed around CD sales, thus giving me an excuse to harass people to purchase my Oneword and Other Wonders EP, which I would have done anyway. I'm really not used to having such a (relatively) large audience be so attentive--seriously, I almost wanted someone to start a bar fight or something. Apparently when I actually get the attention I crave I immediately want it diverted elsewhere. OK, that's kind of an exaggeration, gimme attention. My only complaint was this: usually only about eight people come to my shows, so when I sell two CDs I'm like, "Yayy, I just sold to 25% of my audience!" But there were thirty to forty people there, so when I only sold four CDs I was like, "Damn, there goes my average." Of course, many of the AMAZING people who came to hear me (well, they might have come to hear the other polished and engaging musicians, but I think a few came based on my coercion) already had CDs, so I should probably stop trying to find a problem with what was actually an extremely enjoyable gig that was run really well and that had a super-good sound system. [[Correction--five CDs sold, yayyyy!]]

Those were gigs 9 and 10, respectively, meaning I have 190 to go. Arrrrg . . . goal . . . so . . . far . . . away.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Secret CDs Francie. You sold another CD after you left so that was 5 CDs to a paying audience of about 30 people (excluding musicians and Secret CDs / bar staff). Not quite 25% but not far off. :)

    I hope to make it along on Sunday and I'll give you the money then.

  2. Thanks James! (CD sales are now corrected . . .)

  3. All I had to do was look and here you are blogging away. I like it when your irritable, oh my! A true well rounded picture of yourself. Killer smile and occasional irritability, an authentic person!
    Wonderful adventures.

  4. You ROCKED Pivo Pivo HARD!!!!