emma mcgann

jumping on the blogwagon

Thursday, 18 December 2008

2008 gigs and other shindigs

This is the first online blog I've ever wrote... ever, ever, ever. I've never really had anything to blog about to be honest - some people manage to find something to blog about almost everyday by the looks of it... these people obviously have a lot of time on their hands I guess? I've just always seen it as a chore but I think I've found something to natter on and on about and that's about all the gigs I've been doing his year.

Played my last featured gig of the year on Tuesday in Birmingham at the Yardbird, this lovely little jazz cafe near the art gallery (we found it eventually... in the rain!) Once I noticed this was my last gig of the year I thought a blog about the places I've played and the people I've met so far on the local music scene justifies a reason to write and publish a blog.

So it started out in June 08. Myself, Hannah Banana and Lorenzo made a trip to the Campbell for the weekly strawberry cider Friday after doing some photography exhibition work (my first ever strawberry cider friday as I'd only just turned 18) So after cider and food we toddled up the road to the Hope and Anchor - I thought the Satin Dolls were playing but it turned out they were playing elsewhere and instead there was an acoustic night on. After me being reluctant and eventually giving in and Lauren knowing I play and write my own stuff she went over and asked the girl running it if I could jump on the mic, turned out she was all booked up but asked me to come to her new acoustic night at the Earlsdon Cottage.

After I met Kristy at the H&A it kind of went on from there. I asked my good friend Caroline Kelly to sing for me at the Cottage the first time we went up there. We were working on some country stuff in between lessons in 6th form so it felt great to perform what we'd been working on ourselves. After I played there once I'd do my best to get down to the Cottage most Thursdays. Dead atmospheric, playing in front of this mega grande piano. The Cottage had only recently just been done out so it got popular really quickly, and people would be really appreciative and listen to you play. I remember being stupidly excited when I was asked to do a featured artist slot. Wouldn't shut up about it. Went all out and bought a new dress and even played Kate Nash on my pink ukulele :)

Back at 6th form my art teacher found out I'd just recently started playing and asked me if I fancied playing at an acoustic night at the Tin Angel on Spon Street, this dinky little studenty cafe. The Tin is a right little intimate place, lovely people and again, really atmospheric... and about the size of your living room :)

So after playing a few nights at the Cottage and meeting new people each time, I started getting asked to play here there and everywhere. I met the lovely Dave and Brenda and played at The General Wolfe, the Albany, the Campbell - ya know, small, pleasant acoustic nights around Coventry. Really enjoyable and good to hear other peoples music.

Come September Kristy started hosting a new night down at the Tuns in the city centre - and now it's pretty much THE place to be on a Friday night - compared to the Cottage the Tuns turned out to be way better, with cheaper drinks and a much more laid back atmosphere with candle-lit tables and a bigger stage budded with orange fairy lights - lovely stuff, and perfect for an acoustic wind down on a Friday - so I always take the usual crowd down for a nice relaxing evening nowadays (before drinking too much rum at the Campbell afterwards :)

I pretty much tried to make it to the majority of the acoustic nights that were on throughout the weeks of September. The Campbell with Paul Ryan on a Monday, the General Wolfe with Dave and Brenda on a Tuesday, the Acoustic Escape with Justine on a Wednesday and KG presents at the Tuns with Kristy on a Friday. I'd just started uni in September as well so I was trying to work my music around my uni projects but I could never really find the time to write until I eventually found myself writing more stuff than usual and eventually losing interest in my uni work for graphics. I'd just started working at the Campbell too so I was busy all the freakin' time. I was way more focused on my music and got a good response from the recordings I'd done with a friend in the Herbert Art Gallery. So after attempting to transfer from graphics to music composition but not being able to, I temporarily withdrew and now plan to start music composition next Spetember instead. A year out will do me good anyhow, and I love working at the pub. There, I think I've justified me dropping out now :) If I had to pick two of the best things that has happened to me this year it would be getting a job at the Campbell and starting to promote my music locally and stuff. Met some awesome people.

Recently from October through to now I was offered to play gigs outside of Coventry and in bigger places like the Kasbah (aka. the Colly), the Fox in Birmingham, the Newbold Comyn Arms in Leamington, the Great Western in Warwick. I played instore at Zavvi on October 18th too. Playing in the music store where you bought your first album is pretty surreal :)


The gig I had on Tuesday at the Yardbird in Birmingham was probably one of my favourites so far. The guys who ran it were lovely and really supportive. The guy behind the bar even cooked me and Sin some grub because we were hungry! :) Was ace. The Yardbird's a charming little jazz cafe near the art gallery in Birmingham, would definitely go there again and would recommend popping in if you ever pass it on Paradise Place.

In the mean time it's all about getting sorted for Christmas, and planning the new acoustic night at the Campbell for next year! If all goes as planned it should be a good un'. I've got some gigs lined up for next year already and they're all listed on my myspace, as always. So have a peak if you're reading this now.
http://www.myspace.com/xemmaxacousticx

I have a lot of people to thank because if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be enjoying what I'm doing with my music as much as I am now so thanks very much to all.