Loop Pedal, Highway to V Festival, TripHop, Soul, Folk,

So last night I performed amongst 11 fairly heavy rock (and variants of rock) bands as part of a ‘battle of the bands’ type shindig – to win a place in the final, to then win overall and open up V-Festival next month. I sent them my music and social links, got put through to the heat, and was emailed a couple of times telling me the running order, the way it works, and the main point that this would be audience voted – bring as many people along as you can. Not a difficult task seeing as they had us arrive from half five and there is 50% off all food and drink from this time until 7pm. Half price off drinks.. A round of three drinks comes in at less than a fiver.. Would have been quite easy to forget why we were there in the first place. Anyway, I signed up because I wanted to challenge myself – I hadn’t done anything that would scare me in a while, and this defiantly did. I didn’t tell the internet world I was competing, and I didn’t ask anyone to come along in the end – I thought about it, maybe I’m a wimp, I didn’t want to make a big thing out of something that I knew might be another case of.. nerves making me perform like a monkey who has never seen a guitar before..

I took two people. I was second to last to perform, and I hadn’t had a drink beyond diet coke until just before I went on. The reason for this – we got a car last week (finally!) The freedom this has brought, the way in which it completely dispelled any sense of isolation we had had at our village house previously (all buses stop before 10pm) was simply joyous. I went to an open mic night with a friend, and I drove – thus I drank nothing but blackcurrant squash and soda water with lots of ice, all evening. And a lovely evening it was. Comfy, cosy, incense wofting around, nice crowd, talented musicians, great sound. Needless to say I was sh*tting myself before I played. Completely sober is tricky and unknown. But.. a life lived in fear is no life at all, and what did it matter – even if I screwed up, made a fool of myself, fell over, electrocuted myself, electrocuted somebody else, sang something offensive.. It would pass by, and these were nice people, it would probably be ok. Furthermore, it’s a big world – there are so many places to play music – if you mess up that bad, maybe just don’t go back to that venue again.

Anyway.. I played, my heart raced, I sang clearly and played.. strongly, I guess.. I was shakey, but I was in control. It makes alot of sense, and if you’re not a drinker, it probably makes so much sense that you can’t bear the thought I hadn’t realised it before. After I’d played, I felt a kind of elation, like.. so relaxed, like I had accomplished something, like the feelings of stress had hit their peak and then completely f*cked off. It was pretty amazing, and what’s more I woke up fresh – not a glimpse of a hangover. I wanted to try this more often.

Back to the competition. I put off drinking for about two hours, and then I’m not sure what changed – I was certain I wouldn’t perform well on such a big stage in such a loud (rowdy?) setting.. so atleast a beer or two would make me more confident about failing. I don’t think it had much effect on the outcome regardless. It went alright -I looped a bit of feedback unfortunately, so that was pretty noisy, but I’ve watched a video back of it and it doesn’t sound quite as bad from out the front as it did from.. in the back.. in the back of my brain..

The other bands were rock bands – heavy metal, indie, dancey, rocky.. There was also one acoustic guy, just him and a guitar, and he brought a whole lot of people, and he ended up winning it – fair play for putting yourself out there. I saw my own appearance as a sort of sneak in sneak out kind of thing. I felt proud for not running away after watching ten bands, all of which were pretty damn good, fight for the audience’s approval before me. At one point I could have left. I looked at Adam with genuine ‘let’s just get the f*ck out of here’ eyes. But there was no point. That would be worse than playing badly. As it turned out, I was fine – bit of feedback, bit overwhelmed and not my strongest voice, but the crowd were very welcoming and supportive – a whole lot of noise (not me, and not boos.) followed, so.. mustn’t have been too painful.

I think the point was I only ever competed once, about four years ago, and the fear and the stress made all other gigs afterwards seem like little pieces of cake. I wanted to feel that again. I’ve got lots of gigs coming up in August. I’m hoping fear will stay away for a little while now so I can get on with them. I love making music. I love doing gigs.. I just get in my own way too often.

The loop pedal song I performed was why bother – I’ll upload some video soon and a photo or two. For now, here’s the track as it was when I first made it..’ http://soundcloud.com/rebeccacullenmusic/why-bother

Thanks for stopping by ! RAAR. \m/ xx