Raising standards

I’m away with work. It doesn’t happen very often, so it’s always an adjustment leaving behind the things that matter. More and more, my first thought is about how to avoid letting music slip out of my temporary life. And this time, I have a secret weapon: Gaby is with me. 

Someone suggested that we bring a guitar. Now, we love an audience - we’re pretty shameless, partly because it feels like we have nothing to lose, but also because we love to play. But there were a couple of things that held us back.

We have a crew of about 20 people working together on a challenging project for three weeks. We all seem to be getting on: they’re an amazing group of people, some we’ve known for years, some for days and - importantly - some we’ve known for days that feel like they’ve been around for a lifetime. But what if we’re wrong: what if we do untold further damage by presuming to entertain people?

Here’s how it goes. We play something we’ve written. Everyone applauds: they’ve just witnessed a dog walking on its hind legs. Then we play something else we’ve written. The novelty fades. Someone asks if we know Homeward Bound. No, sorry, but here’s an obscure cover: Jackson as reimagined by Hem. Some people like it, but others aren’t so sure. What about anything by The Beatles? Er, no. 

We really have to learn some standards. Suggestions on a postcard ...