London – 2nd March 2017 – The Victoria
I have been telling myself for years I need to start writing my stories down. I started playing open mic nights when I was 15 and for 10 years I’ve been collecting stories and memories which bring me to where I am today. It’s a part of the big vision that I’ll write a memoir but for now (and with big thanks to the kind people at TicketWeb) I’ll be sharing my touring tales with you here. Throughout 2017, I’ll be blogging my way through my live shows and I am so excited to let you in on it.
There is always so much to say and tell about playing and touring; from the empty to the full; the time I forgot my words and I felt as though the world was swallowing me whole; the time I drunkenly got into the wrong bed and the time I had the most amazing burger, the burger of all burgers I could happily never eat one again. So much happens and so much is to be shared.
So, I’ll begin with London a few weeks ago. My first band show of 2017. I’ll be honest, I was nervous and felt rusty. I was still in a strange state of new year blues where I was plotting my plan of attack for 2017, so in some ways it only just feels like my new year has begun. London is a funny place. I’m a relatively small town girl, and every time I come to London I feel the pressure. I’m pretty sure we all do, but it’s so silly. It’s the same really but the beers are more expensive and people smile less. Playing in London has always been a slow growth for me, but this time people actually turned up, more than before. “It’s working” I thought, which when you’re doing things DIY it fuels you to keep going. I was eating this fabulous burger with deep fried chicken skin, when I noticed actual real life people seeping in (I’m pretty sure they noticed the mayonnaise dripping from my chin but I’m not sorry). One of the best parts of touring is the food. The band and I get so into the idea of “where to have dinner tonight?” which almost always will result to a burger or kebab. If it’s a sit down kebab place, even better.
The lights come on, and we’re off. ‘Am I Alone In This?’ is the first song (a personal favourite) but all of a sudden I’m lost for words. The show I mentioned above about the world swallowing me whole? Yes, this was the one. I’m looking down, thinking “Charlotte, this is your favourite, you love this song!” and I’m blank. The first song and I’m blank. This has never happened to me before, the growing turmoil inside is in full swing. I turn to the band and tell them to keep going and my guitarist starts playing some god-like slide guitar lick to fill the never ending hole half of my body is dangling from. I give myself a moment, retrieve my body, cling on and sing the crap out of life.
The show’s over – I take a deep breath and with some of the inner turmoil still simmering I’m convinced everybody noticed, they’re staring into my soul wondering what happened, but nobody bloody noticed. They probably thought I was in a midst of a clever improv band jam (which never happens by the way) or trying something different and edgy but the reality is they probably didn’t even know the song anyway! Phew. I gather my first “forgot the second verse” experience, have a quick spray of deodorant, meet some very kind people and enjoy half a wheat beer before we begin to load out.
Suddenly, I’m getting into bed at 3am and I have work at 9am. This is the life for me and I mean it.
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