So it’s the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, the whole country has been hit with a blanket of snow seemingly from nowhere, but I’m out facing the cold regardless, on my way to see my friends in Awooga supporting Amplifier; a band I’ve loved since my teens. I find Taz and James down by the sea and we walk back to the venue where Amplifier are soundchecking. The night before, the two bands had been in Birmingham and a stellar show had left Sel’s voice a little worse for wear. The guys from Awooga asked, seemingly jokingly, if i’d be up for singing for Amplifier (Taz has put me on gig listings plenty of times in Sheffield so he knows what I do). But then the idea was floated again, this time a bit more seriously…
Next thing I know, I’m in the back room with Amplifier going through their setlist, nervously confirming which songs I know well enough to sing. Matt is digging out a shirt and tie and I realise this is really happening.
Amplifier aren’t just a favourite of mine. They’re one of those bands that appeared in my formative years. They’re a huge inspiration, the soundtrack to my university days and the reason I met many of my friends. And somehow, here I was, on stage with them, singing my favourite songs to an audience who made me feel incredibly welcome.
It was an absolute honour and the most fun I’ve ever had at a gig. Thanks to Taz for getting some footage of it, just so I can be sure it actually happened.
I’ve been sleeping. Dormant. Occupied by duties and distractions that have taken priority, much more than they should have.
I’ll try and blame it on circumstance; money, work, my health. Truth is I’m too distracted. I’ve let bad habits develop into a lifestyle, somehow convincing myself that goals would still happen if I just started tomorrow. Maybe in the back of my mind I’d resided to the idea that they actually won’t.
But then everything got reset. A new place, a new life, and a new burst of motivation. Things can happen, but you have to make them happen.
I want to make music. When I packed my life into boxes and moved to a new home, I accepted that doing what I wanted was too difficult. Time to take a break. There will be time in the future. I told myself I wasn’t giving up while I put all of my energy into plan B.
I’d accepted that it would be a long time before I’d perform again. But then I had opportunities thrown at me out of the blue, and I was forced out of retirement. And so with a stripped back set I was back on stage, receiving feedback from total strangers that reminded me why I ever wanted to do this at all. The kind words of strangers can be intoxicating.
It was then that I realised that you can’t sit around waiting for the right circumstances and conditions. You have to find a way to make it work with whatever you have.
I don’t know exactly what it is I’m trying to achieve. But I know what it is that I’m motivated to do.
SoI’ll do it.