16-Oct-2011 G Is For Golf

Or Gigs… or GAS…

It’s also for Google+ (Google Plus) – never ones to shy away from digital and virtual stuff, we’ve created a Google+ account – Google won’t allow us to use our stage name and threatened to delete the account if we don’t use a ‘proper’ name… so we’ve changed the account name to jimmy jiva. Look us up. Add us to your Google+ circles. Just what the world needs, eh? Another social network site. Who knows, it may turn out bigger and/or better than Facebook.

G also brings to mind Give and take and Generosity and playing the Game properly and unselfishly – unsung heroes of the music scene are the organisers and MCs who do their darndest to provide a good programme of live music to be enjoyed by one and all. As performers (either floor-spotting or guest artists topping the bill) we owe a great debt to the people who enable us to pursue our passion for playing and singing… If the MC is running short on time, and asks for, let’s say, two songs ‘But, keep it short’, that does not mean lengthy introductions to the two longest songs in your repertoire and possibly making the second one a medley of three songs in the same key. Similarly if told ‘Sorry, we’re running late, but I really want to get <insert name here> on for a couple of songs, so I’ll have to cut your second set to 35 minutes as we have to stop the music at 11:30 pm’, this does not mean giving the poor guy a hard time before playing until 11:28 then launching into an eighteen-minute segue as the organiser glances at his watch, glaring at you as he gives up all hope of finishing on time.

For goodness sake, be genial, grin and be good – we always try to do either exactly what’s asked for, or maybe a minute less… it’s not rocket science, cut the intros down a bit, get on with it, take out a long song and substitute it with a short one. Be generous, give some time back… good grief! Good manners cost nothing.

OK – rant over.

G is for Gigs and GAS… 2011 has seen us busier than ever – private performances in care homes, folk club guest nights, support slots, dropping in at singers nights, performing at at a couple of festivals, radio studio appearances, some charity fundraisers, restaurant, coffee shop and pub gigs too, writing new songs, adding our own interpretations of some of our favourites to the jiva repertoire and generally refreshing our promo materials… all of which brings us to next year.

We’re planning next year’s gigs and are happy to report that the music busyness (as opposed to music ‘business’) is showing no signs of abating… guest nights confirmed at Foggy Furze Folk Club, Aycliffe Village Folk Club, Cutty Wren Folk Club, festival appearances at Clennell Hall, Nature’s World (Middlesbrough) and Saltburn in the diary with others in progress including a songwriting presentation for the U3A, and we’ll be expanding our care homes clientele as the year progresses.

If you’d like us to play at your club or organisation or venue or event we’d be happy to hear from you. We¬†play any kind of event – personal, private, public, corporate, festival, folk club, fundraiser, house concert, cafe/restaurant, village hall, community and educational establishments, coffee morning, concert… the list goes on. Do get in touch…

GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)… there’s alway something isn’t there. A new guitar? Ukulele? Amplifier? Computer? Printer? Camera? Video camera? Digital recorder? Stage backdrop? The current Google searches and research of late have centred around video editing software, stage lighting and microphones. Why? Well, apart from the ‘why not? or just ‘cos’ angle, we want to make a video to promote our new Christmas song ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ and so we’ve been checking out our video editing suite to see if there are any enhancements or add-ons or plugins that we might need to bring to life some of the ideas we’ve had for the video – it might be that we invest in totally new software… and so there’s been the usual glut of downloading trial versions and going over specs with a fine tooth comb. And, of course, the video will need a great soundtrack – so we’ve been thinking of upgrading our recording gear, and have been gleefully gazing at gigabytes of microphone reviews and glazing over after a while. It’s all go, isn’t it? Getting good gear is only part of the story… using it well is a whole different ball game.

Stage lighting, did we say? Ah well, that’s another story – we may well have to give up on that one for now while we concentrate on the essentials for the video. But if anyone can save us hours of research we’d be eternally grateful… we just want something that is portable, adds a nice colour wash, can be foot-controlled from the stage, and… and… and… is unobtrusive. Any suggestions?

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