I played last night in the Hot Spot Music Club, a new-ish venue in Greystones, the town where I grew up. I was a bit nervous about playing in Ireland for the first time in about ten years and singing in front of an audience that was for the most part friends and family (plus a handful of others). There were about 45 people there, which wasn’t bad for a Monday between Christmas and New Year.
I really enjoyed it. As it was a “proper” venue, rather than my usual pub troubadour thing, I played two distinct sets of about 45 minutes each. I wanted to play a few of my own songs too and I had been described as a singer-songwriter, so I decided to focus on songwriters in the set list. The first part was mostly songs from the 60s and 70s; the second had some more recent stuff.
Here’s what I played (and if there’s no songwriter mentioned the song is one of my own):
Have No Regrets
Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
America (Paul Simon)
The Cat’s in the Cradle (Harry Chapin)
Half-Hearted Love Affair
Til There Was You (Meredith Wilson via The Beatles)
Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies, The Kinks)
You’ve Got A Friend (Carole King)
Long Distance Kiss
I’ll Be Around
Mardy Bum (Alex Turner, Arctic Monkeys)
Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice)
Ride On (Jimmy McCarthy)
You Completely Complete Me
Common People (Jarvis Cocker, Pulp)
Black is the Colour (Trad. via Christy Moore)
The Night Before
Fairytale of New York (Shane McGowan & Jem Finer, via Christy Moore)
American Pie (Don McClean)
I tried to stick with songs that a) I like myself, b) might appeal to quite a wide audience and c) I felt I could perform well. I played six of my own songs and I think they went down quite well.
I had to leave out a lot of songwriters that I would like to have included: Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Neil Finn, Ben Folds, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Colin Meloy (The Decemberists), Josh Ritter, etc… So little time, so many brilliant songs.
As I said at the end of the gig last night, I think it’s really great that Greystones has a venue like the Hot Spot. I hope very much that it will be a success – and that I’ll have a chance to sing there again in future!