Part Two of our series of ‘self-reviews’ is courtesy of Gideon Conn, who looks back at his gig at the start of October. I don't normally write my own gig reviews but a man called Ian asked me to and I said yes. Perhaps a little hastily because I don't love writing, but hey ho. The gig in question happened a fortnight ago so I've had time to reflect. The venue was the Kings Arms in Salford, an excellent room where I had played happily before although not for several years. The turnout was low, partly due to torrential rain at 7pm and perhaps also because Man United were on ITV in Europe. John and Andrew (from Dr Butler's Hatstand Medicine Band) thought it judicious to put seats out, which was a good choice because around 45 people would have looked sparse if standing.Heidi Browne opened the show very well. Her singing and guitar playing are pleasant and easy to listen to. She decorated the mic with felt flowers. I rarely book a support act that I haven't seen live but, as I said to Heidi, she messaged me at just the right time and I felt she would be good. I think the audience took to her. My own performance was good, not as electric as on some of the other tour dates and I didn't think that I reached the peak of my powers. Perhaps the room was a little dark for close eye contact and the concert atmosphere a touch formal but I was happy overall and I'm confident that the guests really enjoyed their evening. John and Andrew accompanied me beautifully for the majority of the set on mandolin and banjo percussion. Andrew brushes the banjo head like a snare. Particularly enjoyable was the cover of Gil Scott-Heron's ‘Lady Day and John Coltrane', which they didn't know was in the set - we do our rehearsing on stage. I didn't get a fee for the show, which was a slight downer, but that's my own fault for arranging a venue hire through a promoter instead going to the venue directly and asking them to book me for a show. On the upside, CDs sold fairly well so I didn't leave totally empty handed.
Words: Gideon Conn Image: tour poster