Sunday, 9 November 2008

Going places

This Friday I'm off to Edinburgh to take part in an event at the Forest Café. I've mentioned it once before but it's only a few days away now so I'm mentioning it again. The event is called Postcards from the Song and it features poetry from Hugh McMillan and from me and music from a range of hugely talented individuals (details below). We will start at 8pm, admission is free and non-alcholic drinks will be on sale (but bring your own if you want something harder – you just have to pay corkage). Any spare cash can be used to buy books or cds from any of the performers, I'm quite sure. I might even have postcards for sale too.

With just a few days to go it's the usual thing of getting myself ready for a public reading...this involves:

1.Thinking about the poems – something old, something new and all that. I have one new poem to try that might work really well or might...not...we'll see! Usually I work round the songs Verona and I are going to perform to some extent but Verona will not be coming this time (due to a family bereavement) so that changes things. It means I won't sing (lucky audience) but I will miss having her on stage too. Having a best mate on hand is always a good idea but as it is I will be solo, exposed, no-one to blame but me (or Hugh...). I could sing on my own of course but there are lots of other musicians and singers on the bill so there's no need to do it and I'm probably better off just concentrating on the poetry and organising sides of things.

2.Worrying about how it will go – since I started reading poems in public (never mind the singing) I have yet to have a 'bad gig'. This is great of course but it does mean I am kind of waiting for that 'bad gig' to happen! I don't think it will be this one (will there be an audience? Will they yawn while I'm reading? Will they throw things?) but you never know. Maybe I had all my bad gigs as a DJ (we were always getting booked to do totally unsuitable club nights and parties...we did get bottles thrown once when we were booked for a chill-out room and a 21st birthday party arrived complete with male stripper).

3.Worrying about getting there - pretty much most of my remaining anxiety is centred around travelling these days (I'm not as bad as I was around the time of the great meltdown of the late 90s but I'm still fairly twitchy). I worry about busy trains, a lack of oxygen, heart attacks, panic attacks, the state of the railways, knife-wielding other passengers, Small Girl left elsewhere, the house burning down, the dogs escaping...then about why my head is spinning (that'll be the worrying – genius!). Luckily my Beloved is coming with me and he is like a calm person just back from a really long, relaxing holiday so he is a very good influence. All of which reminds me of a quote from the comedy show 'Everybody loves Raymond'...
Debra (the wife) 'Just enjoy the moment'
Raymond (the husband, product of a dysfunctional family) 'I have no training for that'.

4.Wondering whether we will escape school-sourced germs and bugs long enough to make it as planned – you know how it is with small children...someone is always ill. Will we have to cancel something and if so what?

5.I've never met or heard Hugh McMillan before – will we hate each other on sight? Oh I hope not...

But let's be positive! Time to rid myself of worry once and for all...yeh, right. Here are some things I am really looking forward to:

1.Having some more time in Edinburgh and this time without Small Girl. Two adults alone in the capital city – very exciting! We may just run through the streets whooping...well, I might.

2.Not having to scoop poop for over 24 hours – we have two small dogs...I don't know how people with big dogs cope, I really don't.

3.Seeing some of the friendly folk who might make it down to see us all...come join the fluffy poetry revolution (sorry, read the Russell Brand interview in the Observer today...it's much more interesting than you might think...)!

4.Hearing all the musicians at the Forest on Friday (14th Nov). Kim Edgar I first heard at a Grace, Hewatt, Polwart gig at Out of the Woods in Dundee. Her first CD is 'Butterflies and Broken Glass' and I have been listening to it quite a lot in the past couple of months – it's quite hard to describe (often a good sign) but I suppose some reviewers might call it intelligent pop or something. She has a lovely, pure voice and sings with a Scots accent (which I love...in most cases). She is a pianist, a guitarist and a very talented songwriter and I'm really chuffed she's agreed to appear at this gig with us. Kevin O'Donnell is a fiddler and coming on Kim's recommendation so I'm sure he will be great too.

5.More music – I'm also looking forward to hearing Andy Spiller (who I first heard at Out of the Woods too). Andy is from Carnoustie and is a mean guitarist! He came to my book launch in the summer and read a poem he'd written for the occasion which was a lovely touch. He will one day be in a band called the Lovely Andys.

6.And more – Pauline Meikleham runs Out of the Woods in Dundee so she is responsible for a lot of the great music events in the Tayside area. Pauline is also a really original singer, songwriter and performer so I always look forward to hearing her. She has a great voice...one of many reasons I won't bother singing on Friday!

7.And finally – Charlie Williamson comes to the folk club in Montrose and sings unaccompanied songs (traditional and pop) in the local singers spot. I have to say unaccompanied singing is one of my favourite things when it's done well and Charlie can make a whole room hold its breath (almost to the point of illness) when he's on a roll. I don't know what he's going to sing or anything...very exciting! Charlie wrote me a poem for the book launch too...these boys, so talented!

So that's me this week...wondering and worrying and wandering about. Some things never change...

19 comments:

Poetikat said...

I'm glad you're travelling by rail. I won't give the details about the horrific event on a Greyhound bus in Alberta earlier this year. If you didn't hear about that - you don't want to know. Let's just say I may never get on a bus again.

Best of luck with the gig and I trust it will not be a "bad" one.

Kat

Rachel Fox said...

Oh heck...now I'll have to go and google Greyhound buses and Alberta. Curiosity and all that.

My anxieties are mostly about being too anxious (stoopid, huh!). There is a very good Father Ted goes on a plane episode that covers it pretty much.

x

Sorlil said...

Would liked to have been there, I'm sure it will be great.

Rachel Fox said...

That's lovely of you to say so, Sorlil. It's funny cos I don't get nervous about reading as such but this is a new place, a different set-up, lots of unknowns...I'll be fine once I get down there (and the journey bit is over...well, half of it anyway).
x

hope said...

I'm chiming in behind sorlil to:

[a] tell you you'll be great!
{I went back and listened to your last poem and you have a wonderful voice!}

[b] remind you that sorlil and I wanted pictorial proof in our absence. Now that your Beloved, who is not one of the tech challenged, is accompanying you he'd make a great camera man/director.

[c] I've never met Hugh either but if I had the opportunity, I'd take it. Intelligent and charming are a great combo.

hope said...

Um...the last sentence was suppose to be "charmingly funny" [because he makes me laugh in the right places]. ;)

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I hear McMillan is first choice for next year's Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars...

swiss said...

i like the bus. and alberta. and canadia!

friday, you say. if i can get myself up and be together enough after work i may come thru for that

Rachel Fox said...

That would be great Swiss! We'll have a big ass party...well...something like that.

Fiendish said...

Throwing things has got to be better than yawning. At least throwing things means they've been paying attention enough to feel something about the content. Yawning is a killer.

However, neither of these things could ever happen at one of your readings, so no worries. And best of luck.

Rachel Fox said...

Ta Fiendish. I'll be fine once I get to Edinburgh I think - it's travelling that makes me jittery most of all. Funny too because when I was younger I was quite a globetrotter...hitchhiked on my own round Central America, loads of crazy stuff. If you'd told me when I was your age that I would end up a nervous traveller I would have laughed in your face. Life's such a weird business...

Dave King said...

Hope it all went well. I'm sure it would have. Look forward to hearing about it. In the meantime...
If you have dropped by Sharon's blog recently (and if you have not, you really ought) you will know that she has been good enough to pass some (4) awards on to me, which I have been pleased to accept. The condition of acceptance is that I in turn should pass them on. This I am glad enough to do, and for that purpose have picked out those blogs that have given me the most pleasure over the longest period of time. Yours, I am happy to say, is one of those. If, then, you would like to visit my blog and copy the visuals to yours, please do so. Obviously, there is no coercion here. If you decide not (for whatever reason), that is not a problem. If you do accept, please pass them on in your turn.

Frances said...

Poetry audiences yawning and thowing things - nah it could never happen. Could it? Good luck to you and shug. Sorry its too too far away for me to come.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Dave - much appreciated!

And Frances...I'm not really sure what kind of audience we will get...I'll let you know next week! I hope project Abba is going well - you might be interested to know that a little Abba has sneaked into the dancing poem...I'll probably share that next week too.

x

hope said...

Hey Rachel...since you were one of the people I was going to pass Dave's awards on to, go back and add the other two. Then it won't feel greedy. ;)

Rob said...

I might heckle from the back.

Rachel Fox said...

Maybe see you there then...or hear you! Be warned though...I travel with my own secret service (trained to kill with his bare hands).
x

smith3000 said...

Good luck for tonight Foxy.

xx

swiss said...

t crocked with mystery sleep injury so no out of the house for me. hope all went well!