Tales from the Rails part 11: Harps and sunsets

Tails from the rails now back on British soil with a show at the Ritzy Cinema Club in Brixton. Unchartered territory for me: As a north Londoner, I can count on one hand the number of shows I’ve played below the river… My friend Patrick from the band Heart Kill Giant hosted the event. I shared the bill with them at last year’s Pure Festival (and still have half a bottle of delicious Whiskey in my kitchen cupboard to remind me / keep me going until this year’s Festival!)

It’s been a hard and long week back in London and I felt very tired as the orange sun set and flickered through the glass doors of the Ritzy’s balcony. Slumped in a corner, I listened to the other acts play. Although I may have looked bored, I most certainly was not: All three acts put on brilliant shows with amazing guitar styling’s and a few Bob Dylan covers dotted around the night.

I was pleased that people were still there when it was my turn to play. Once again, the audience was larger than I had anticipated – a happy theme for this tour, it seems. Despite the dodgy guitar lead that added unwanted effects to the opener, Indie Electro Pop, I really enjoyed playing and finally felt at home in my songs after that long and sleep-walking day. What was best about the show though was the really unusual camaraderie between musicians (unusual for London, that is!). Everybody was so nice, stayed and listened right until the end of the show – the atmosphere was great and really reminded me of the folk nights in New York that I miss. I was just telling fellow performer Chris how much I admired his guitar skills and how much I wish I could play the harmonica properly, when he offered to give me an impromptu lesson, after which he said: “You know what, just keep it until your next gig”. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore – I hope no Londoners take offense (and I am one myself), but I couldn’t help think “how very un-London of you!” Chris had, as was established later when we were all rushing to catch the last tube, lived in NY for a year and played some of the same nights as me – so all makes sense in the end!

So what have I learnt? Not how to play the Harmonic… yet. Sunsets are pretty in Brixton and you can find a bit of home anywhere, be it in a song or a stranger’s gesture.

Next stop: Esquires at Bedford for the final gig of the Spring tour!

By the way, I want to learn the harmonica so I can play THIS!

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