The Bling Ya Ting / Cambridge Corn Exchange Experience

Doing a gig at Cambridges largest venue was something I was looking forward to, though the fact the appearance was due to happen on April Fools Day did have me worrying that this was Cambridge City Council japery organised solely for my benefit.

The first hint that this was going to be a different type of gig happened in the soundcheck, when the 10 year old opening the night started crying as the music backstage was too loud! It was an urban/world music festival and as such there were a number of teen performers. This did cause problems for Aidy, the guy I’d asked to film the performance of me as security banned all filming due to the presence of minors.

I was more nervous than usual before going on stage – this was a yoof crowd (with probably was only a trendy way of expressing this 20 years ago) warmed up with Cheryl Cole covers. I was nervous that so many school children would be taking the piss out of me and the laughter would evoke painful childhood memories of being the sole Electric Light Orchestra fan swimming in a Smiths Morri-sea. Its always brings on the nerves playing to a sober audience – the bar was closed as there were so many under 18s there. In fact, this made it extra nerve wracking as it also meant there was a sober performer.

I went with the crowd pleasing When The Sun Comes Up, but all my nerves evaporated away as the audience grew the song, started cheering, clapping, waving their arms. The unveiling of the charango playing scissor kick worked well. Although Guinness wasn’t there to confirm I do reckon I am now the worlds highest jumping scissor kicking charango player. Its funny how I spent most of the evening feeling out of place amongst the urban crowd, but for the performance on stage it really felt like it was being at one with the audience.

The overall competition winner was another song writer who played a glorious song called Clouds. I’ve forgotten his name alas, but definitely someone worth watching out for. The first half of the show was the music and the second half of the show was the dance, though I did miss some of that as we went to the pub to make up for not having had a chance to drink earlier in the evening.

A DVD has been promised by the organisers and it looks like as a result there’ll a performance at the Big Day Out in July in Cambridge, which will have to make do with as there’s no Strawberry Fair :-(. But at least there’s some partying happening!

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