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  • Clayton Bolger

Good Gigs for the Soul


Every now and then you get a run of gigs that are little better than the average lot. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and I know how lucky I am that I get to make a living from it. But sometimes you land a few in a row that are just more enjoyable than usual. It's good for the soul. Good gigs for the soul, even.

This was the weekend just gone, and it started with a gig I got fairly last minute - The Generous Squire in Shafto Lane, Northbridge on Friday night, playing 9pm till midnight. It was perfect timing because Rhona and Alyssa were going to see Disney On Ice at Perth Arena with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They decided to call in and watch me play a few songs after the show finished. I was able to learn up a song that Alyssa really digs at the moment, thanks to the movie Sing, which is Elton John's I'm Still Standing. They arrived at the pub while I was still setting up. The venue has a wireless system that I plug my PA into so that I can be beamed into their in-house system. There's no escaping me then, see? He he he... Anyway, I was still putting leads into place and pointing my lights when the girls arrived. I was hoping to already be playing when they got there, but the show finished sooner than I thought, I was running a teensy bit late. Traffic, roadworks, parking and stuff. 9:04pm and off I went, opening up with the aforementioned I'm Still Standing. Alyssa was rapt! He he he...I spied her singing along and she told mum how excited she was that I played it. That moment buoyed me for the rest of the gig. Because Alyssa was only 11 (side note: she just turned 12 today!), they had to leave by 9:30pm, but she came up to the stage for a quick photo and hug before they all left. The night did start to quieten off a bit, and the punters weren't hugely responsive, but I got a few requests and some nice comments from a couple of the guys in the crowd. That's all you can ask for really. I don't expect rapturous applause after the end of every song I play, but it's nice to have a little interaction with the audience. Anyway, the next night saw the Wesleys play at a private party down Byford way for a 50th birthday. This had the added bonus of us actually knowing the birthday girl and her immediate family. They were known to frequent Lakers from time to time and had seen us perform on numerous occasions. We've been friends for a quite a few years outside of that world as well. Private gigs are pretty hit and miss, but this one was a joy. The lady of the hour was unaware that her fella had hired us, so after we said our hellos, we set up the band while she was distracted by her family members. I didn't catch the moment she twigged, but I'm told she was quite stoked when she realised we were going to be playing. From the first song, the party-goers were quite enthusiastic with lots of clapping and woohoo-ing. It had been about a month or so since Kieran was behind the drums too, and it's always great to play with him. Each Wesley line-up has a few songs that are only played by that line-up, so there were a few tracks that hadn't been aired for a while, namely Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Our version has morphed into a 5-6min version since we first started playing it. For a long time, that was always our final song. The third gig was another Wesley Sunday sesh at Lakers Tavern in Thornlie. This wasn't just a regular Sunday sesh either. For starters, it was a later gig due to the long weekend, so we played 7-11pm. It was also the first time we'd played there since we got the news that as of July, the Wesleys were going back to playing there every Sunday.

To give you a little background, the WesGoods got given a month trial to play at Lakers in April 2013. For the most part, we've played there every Sunday...until recently. From February this year, the venue thought it would be a good idea to have us on a fortnightly basis, sharing with another band. This move caused us to seriously lose momentum and started confusing regulars about whether or not we were playing. So, it was quite a buzz to let people know that we would be back every Sunday, and things would go back the way they were. There was a great energy between us onstage, and I think that was a mixture of us feeding off the audience and vice versa. It didn't hurt that Shaun had his newborn baby in the crowd as well. He he he... Three very enjoyable gigs in a row; how lucky am I?

#soul #gigs #TheGenerousSquire #ShaftoLane #Northbridge #LakersTavern

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