Sometimes it all falls into place.
A few weeks back, I received a text message from Ronnie Taheny, asking me if I would like to support her at an upcoming SCALA performance evening. It was to be her last Adelaide performance until early 2012, as she is soon off to Scotland and will then (I guess) return to her Frankfurt base. I almost never turn down a gig, and I certainly wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to showcase my songs while on the same bill as the impressive Ms Taheny. I said yes immediately.
As the evening grew closer, it seemed as though the gods were conspiring against me. I almost never catch colds and the like, yet one week before the performance I was struck down with a headcold. It had me coughing and spluttering throughout most evenings, and my voice sounded like I was channeling Jack Nicholson. Great. If that wasn't enough, my thumb decided to split open, through dryness, and the pain centred exactly at the point where the thumb applies pressure to the pick. Double-great. Also, I was back in my day job, which kind of gets in the way of the music mindset...
I continued my usual schedule of rehearsal, rasping through my catalogue of songs and wincing while strumming. Hoping against hope that I would get well soon.
The evening arrived. I wasn't a lot better, but I was resolved to show some backbone and just get on with it. The show must go on.
Perhaps I was inspired my recent attendance at the Paul Weller gig, or perhaps it was the fact that this was a bit of a special evening, I don't know - but tonight was a night I will remember for a while.
A healthy crowd turned up early, and it was pleasing to see a couple of enclaves of David Robinson invitees ensconced in the midst of the audience.
Peter Wilson was first up, playing his own brand of pop/folk/punk songs through his amp, sounding a little like an Adelaide Billy Bragg. It was the first time I'd seen Peter play, and I hope I will see him again soon.
I hit the stage second, feeling good and ready to rock. My ailments didn't seem to affect my performance at all - my voice felt alright, and my thumb was pain-free. I launched into my set and, as usual, the whole performance seemed to pass far too quickly. Seven (and a bit) songs, all done and dusted in just over 30 minutes. All of my newer numbers, with a few of my favourites thrown in. The crowd seemed into it. I did my best to mach schau and played, sang and chatted with enthusiasm. It was a shame (for me at least) that I had to finish. I felt pretty groovy as I stepped from the stage.
Feedback from friends and punters was positive, and I got the feeling that I'd gone down well with the masses. Someone splashed out and bought a copy of A Drop in the Ocean; it's always pleasing to sell an album.
Ronnie played last, and it was great to sit down amongst friends, have a beer, and watch one of Adelaide's best exports strut her stuff. She played for an hour, trotting out many of my favourite Taheny songs.
I left Higher Ground a very happy man indeed. A great night.
If every day as a musician was like today, I'd never do anything else...