I love playing shows. Even the ones where I’m exhausted. Just getting up on a stage is like a drug for me. I’ve played hundreds, maybe close to a thousand shows over the last ten years of my life.
But yet, it’s only happened a few times, perhaps about four that I can truly remember, where there’s this perfect synergy between band and audience. You look around and the band is just clicking, the vibe is right, the energy is high and the crowd is totally into the show.
Four times. From 1990 to present day.
These are those times: –
– Roxy Cinema, Trinidad (October 1990) – My first ‘real’ show with my thrash metal cover-band Warhead, I didn’t even know what a sound check was, I hadn’t a clue what playing a ‘rock show’ entailed. Tt the end of our set, the crowd was screaming our name, I was 16. We played an encore. The band lasted another year before we called it a day. I thought my music career was over then. Little did I know it was just beginning.
– El Mocambo, Toronto, Canada (November 2008) – From 2004 – 2008, I occasionally did solo shows. They weren’t my favourite but, this time I played a solo acoustic show for a group of underprivileged migrant school children. They all wanted my autograph after. I’ve never experienced such gratitude, I was 34. They never heard my music before. Such honesty and appreciation.
– Womad Festival, London, England (July 2014) – Charlie Gillet Stage, 4pm show. The crowd was screaming for us (Kobo Town) in between every song. They sang along to songs they never heard till that evening, I know this because we’ve never played at Womad before. It was the loudest and most appreciative audience we’ve ever played for, we signed autographs for almost an hour after, I was 40.
– Assumption Church, Trinidad (2001 – present) – The Saturday evening choir is sometimes a hit and miss, but every once in a while we get it right, and we play hymns the way they’re meant to be played – reverent, with love and homage to God, and I can see the look on the parishioners, that they enjoy what we do, and for a brief moment, the church is filled with a sense of peace and love. God’s peace perhaps.
Four times, over the space of 25 years.
Not bad. Not bad at all.