After a show in the middle of the Baltic the other night, a nice couple from Grimsby stopped me and said they first saw me performing when I started out about twenty years ago in a social club there. “Oh wow”, I said “what was I singing back then?”, “Exactly the same as you are now” she replied. Crushed.
So here I am, twenty years into my career and I am doing the same old stuff. I used to joke that if I went back to a venue I’d just do the same songs in a different order and they’d never know. That doesn’t seem so funny any more. As time goes by you find what works and after years of tweaking and honing you finally have an act. You know just where to breath in all the songs, exactly how long to wait before delivering the punch lines and when to pretend to see a familiar face out in the audience. But the comfort zone can become a little too comfortable. Suddenly any slight deviation to the “road less travelled” induces indecision and sweating
I could argue that I’ve had it right all along and that “the classics never die” but after reviewing a recent video of one of my shows, I’ve decided to mix it up a bit, and I don’t just mean the song order. I’m learning new songs. As my mother would say, I’m getting “moderned up”.
If you’re already a fan of mine, don’t worry. For me, getting “modern” means singing something post 1958. A leopard doesn’t change its spots but it can step to a different beat. As Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species which will survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” Watch this space…