Singing in the sunshine

Lots of al fresco musical adventures in the past six weeks or so, from jamming with Ecolint teachers at the end of an in-service training day, to doing short sets at a couple of the school fairs where I was working (in my capacity as Ecolint’s alumni guy), to our local village festival and, most recently, the Fête de la Musique in Nyon. It’s been really nice to be singing in public again and in such a variety of different venues and contexts.

On the Ecolint stages I stuck to cover songs, with the exception of the set I did in the Greek Theatre at the LGB Kermesse on 30 May, when I opened and closed with a couple of my own songs. I had John Marc Davies, music teacher at LGB and talented violinist, join me for that set. As you can see in the video below, he did a really nice job, particularly given that he didn’t know the songs.

At the Nyon Fête de la Musique I was given an hour-long slot on a lovely little stage at the Place de Savoie, close to the lakeside. I was first on stage at that location, at 13h30 in the afternoon, so it was quiet enough as I began. But by the end a nice crowd had gathered and I was pleased with how it went. I decided in this context to play only my own songs. The video below is just a short snippet of My Silver Son, the song I wrote for my son Declan.

It feels good to have reached a stage where I can fill an hour with my own songs – even leaving out a few that I would have been happy to sing – and get a good response. When I have an opportunity to perform somewhere now I have to decide whether to play covers, originals, or a mix of both. It really depends on the context, timing, audience, my own mood, etc… At Vich en Fête, our newly revived village festival, earlier this month I was more than happy to stick to well known covers. It’s still a lot of fun to sing The Beatles, Paul Simon, The Kinks, etc., in the sunshine for an appreciative audience of friends and neighbours.