Fact: Some people are invariably more into drink ordering, I-phone checking, hen partying or anything else under the sun than listening to what’s on stage. Many musician friends feel deeply wounded by this apparent lack of respect. I’m not. Which makes me totally Zen or totally in denial, or both. I just direct myself at the good folk who ARE listening and go with the flow. And corporate-type events where I’m officially background ear candy are actually great opportunities to experiment, and to improve on new or rusty repertoire.
However when I played a Wohnzimmer (Front room) Konzert two months ago near Chemnitz at the Scala Adorf (official title of Micha and Kat’s front room, in the country village where they host monthly invite-only events) ……. something very different happened.
Everyone was listening in rapturous pin-dropping silence ……and that’s just while I looking for my plectrum. Ah, that’s what respect is! You have to truly deliver to deserve it. Time to be totally focused, totally honest…. and to think on my feet. I played the intro of one song, and then faced the singer’s ultimate nightmare – total lyrics blank. After 3 unusually long seconds, I announced that my subconscious was telling me not to play that song, and moved on. (and it’s still telling me, because I can’t remember which song it was) But the songs I did remember went down really well, we got that connection going, and I was firing on all four. By the second set it felt less like a poetry reading and more like rock’n’roll.
Micha is a massive Amanda Palmer fan, and this got me wondering how the evening would have gone with her at the wheel. Wohnzimmer concerts remove the filter of all those subplots that go on in traditional venues. It’s artist to audience undiluted. I’d read about how Amanda P had achieved total one-ness with her fans by letting them write all over her with felt-tip pens. While I got as far as encouraging them to sing along on a couple of numbers. Maybe that’s why she’s made a million and I haven’t. But at least I didn’t have to stand in the shower afterwards for 20 minutes with a scrubbing brush and a jar of Swarfega.
I can honestly say it was a great evening and I’m ready to do more like it! Especially if they make coffee like Micha does.
You can hear some of the songs I played, and a shedload of other ones here at BANDCAMP
More about Kathy Freeman at KATHY-FREEMAN.DE