I’ve never written a blog before, I’ve never really had the time and to be honest, I couldn’t really see the point. Before the lockdown, like most people, I was connecting with people on a daily basis, gigging in nursing homes, pubs, restaurants, singing at weddings. You name it, I’ve sung there! Connecting, always connecting. I connected through performing my acoustic versions of popular songs in front of people, with a mic in front of me. My last gig was on March 15th, nearly two months to the day. No more connection.
As with most people in the UK, my livelihood was instantly stripped from me. My phone literally melted over a two-day period, every call decimating my diary a little bit more until there was nothing left. It has taken eight years of constant graft, persistence, tenacity and sheer bloody mindedness to ensure my ability to sing and play guitar could translate into paying the bills every month. Eight years wiped out in 2 days. Thanks Covid-19, appreciate it buddy.
We are now two months into lockdown, give or take. Life is very different now. We are lucky to live in a rich economy where the Government can bail us out in our time of need. I don’t know anyone who is going hungry or who doesn’t have a roof over their head because of this crisis, do you? I’m not going to get into politics, my dad always said ‘never argue over religion or politics’, wise words from a wise man. I miss my dad every day.
So, how to connect again? I had no idea. What I did know was that I was worried I’d lose my ability to perform. I had convinced myself that I’d lose my mental repertoire, all of those songs that I performed on a daily basis stored away in my head somewhere. Would I have the confidence to pick up a guitar in front of people again in 6 months, 9 months, who knows when? The lockdown had given birth to a mental barrier leaving me seriously considering a career change.
Rock the Lockdown UK (Official) - that was how to connect again! Not that I knew it when I contacted the admin team asking for a gig slot. They agreed to my request for 8pm on the next Sunday. Fortunately, my wonderful wife, Kirsti, is very good with social media and all that crazy stuff, I’m hopeless! Kirsti did all of the technical things necessary to get me live on Facebook. I did what I do best, sing, play guitar and talk rubbish between songs. And do you know what? People tuned in! Kirsti relayed the banter in the comments to me making the show interactive and intimate. Yes, people tuned in, not only live music fans wanting some lockdown entertainment, but people we love and care about. People who would never get a chance to come to my gigs in normal times because of distance, circumstance etc. We were connecting again, a modern-day miracle but true.
We are now seven weeks into lockdown, we have made new friends through the regular Sunday 8pm live acoustic requests show. We have reconnected with old friends, we are connecting with family and friends much more than before. I’ve found a way to not only maintain my performance skills, but to improve my repertoire due to all of the requests I’m getting.
I’ve enjoyed writing this blog so I’m going to continue with it. If you’ve got this far, thank you so much for giving me your time and attention. Look after each other, people are what is truly important in this crazy world.
Love & Peace, Graeme x