Missing the gigs..

‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ 

..sang Joni Mitchell. 

Being forcibly ejected by COVID from my never-stopping 42 year roundabout of gigs tours TV shows and recording sessions has finally given me some perspective, some distance, the ability to contemplate a life and career largely spent on the road. 6 months without a gig after what seems like 42 years without a break. No foreseeable prospect of being back at it any time soon. I miss my musical mates, I miss the income, I miss the feeling of being on the road heading to a gig but more than all that, much more, I miss the experience of being on-stage, (or on-floor), in a club, arts centre, theatre or village hall playing to an audience between 50 and 300 in number. Warm-hearted appreciative kind folk who would shake my hand vigorously or hug me on their way out of the hall and tell me ‘I always feel better for seeing and hearing you’ or entreat ‘you will keep coming won’t you?’ thereby confirming that I’d done my job, fulfilled my self-defined role as a ‘lifter-of-spirits’ (I’d much rather it said that than ‘musician’ on my passport). I miss them with a palpable ache in the pit of my stomach and I fear for their future. Already some have been forced to the wall. Others will doubtless follow. 

Now I’ve always valued them, these small gigs, and looked forward to being back at them when I’m away playing stadiums or concert halls with the stars who sometimes hire me, but lockdown has really blindingly face-smacked me with the realisation of their huge value and importance, they changed my world and shaped my career and I desperately hope they will survive, rise from the ashes and be there for future generations of young artists.

6 comments

  • Jackie
    Jackie London
    So missing your gigs.

    So missing your gigs.

  • Mary Jennings
    Mary Jennings West Sussex
    Dear Snake, thank you so much for your generosity and massive amounts of hard work, with your family, producing these lockdown gigs. It's very hard to find words which are adequate to say how valuable they are. You really have an amazing gift for sharing music to lift the spirits, and the friendliness of the 'Snakey Community' has been - and is - so encouraging and morale boosting. I've played them through many a time, especially early in lockdown, when feeling rather 'blue'. They are good therapy! Reckon the NHS should prescribe Doses of Snake! Thank you, too, for the workshops, which I can't get to (virtually!) when they're streamed, but I'm gradually playing through some as soon as I have opportunities. I found the one on making recordings really helpful when I was struggling to make a recording for our church service. Still have my L plates on, but always will! Thank you again Snake for everything you're sharing so skilfully and generously, with best wishes, Mary Jennings

    Dear Snake, thank you so much for your generosity and massive amounts of hard work, with your family, producing these lockdown gigs. It's very hard to find words which are adequate to say how valuable they are. You really have an amazing gift for sharing music to lift the spirits, and the friendliness of the 'Snakey Community' has been - and is - so encouraging and morale boosting. I've played them through many a time, especially early in lockdown, when feeling rather 'blue'. They are good therapy! Reckon the NHS should prescribe Doses of Snake!
    Thank you, too, for the workshops, which I can't get to (virtually!) when they're streamed, but I'm gradually playing through some as soon as I have opportunities. I found the one on making recordings really helpful when I was struggling to make a recording for our church service. Still have my L plates on, but always will! Thank you again Snake for everything you're sharing so skilfully and generously, with best wishes, Mary Jennings

  • Dave and Jan Haddock
    Dave and Jan Haddock Barton upon Humber
    Thank-you for a wonderful, slightly chilly, afternoon in the park. We thoroughly enjoyed the music and chat and really appreciated all the effort that had been made to ensure the safety of everyone.

    Thank-you for a wonderful, slightly chilly, afternoon in the park. We thoroughly enjoyed the music and chat and really appreciated all the effort that had been made to ensure the safety of everyone.

  • Gill
    Gill Helmsley
    So agree with all you say, really looking forward to another fine gig in helmsley later this month, let the good times roll xx

    So agree with all you say, really looking forward to another fine gig in helmsley later this month, let the good times roll xx

  • john seddon
    john seddon Kendal, Westmorland
    we WILL come out of this ,and when the fear factor subsides the first thing we NEED is you Snake ,,, and Peter Kay, you should both be on the National Health !

    we WILL come out of this ,and when the fear factor subsides the first thing we NEED is you Snake ,,, and Peter Kay, you should both be on the National Health !

  • Ann Yates
    Ann Yates Rossendale
    I miss live music very much.I cant wait for it to resume. Like you I worry some venues will close for good. Your live streams are wonderful and lift my spirits Snake. That's when my internet allows of course. Just tried to download backing track to join in your singalong but told site cant be reached. Very sorry .....I tried. Even got my husband involved but without success. Keep up the good work.There are three old groupies in Rossendale who really appreciate your broadcasts from the Zen Den😊 Love and hugs Ann xx

    I miss live music very much.I cant wait for it to resume. Like you I worry some venues will close for good. Your live streams are wonderful and lift my spirits Snake. That's when my internet allows of course. Just tried to download backing track to join in your singalong but told site cant be reached. Very sorry .....I tried. Even got my husband involved but without success. Keep up the good work.There are three old groupies in Rossendale who really appreciate your broadcasts from the Zen Den😊
    Love and hugs
    Ann xx

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