It’s a big deal – gig day. And mine starts much earlier than everyone else’s. As a choir. we are fully prepared -our great rehearsal last week saw to this but I still always feel the weight of the gig on the day itself.
So I’m going to share with you all exactly what I get up to! First, I find all my kit. Usually this is a in one place after rehearsals but there the inevitable ‘I’ve lost my iPod’ moment followed by ‘where the hell is that lovely little cable I use to split the sound?’ We haven’t gigged since Christmas and I use my Mac at rehearsals but feel it’s too big to take to a gig and so I revert to my trusty iPod mini (£25 on eBay about 6 years ago). This always looks like it’s about to run out of battery and so I have to find the portable charger. And the cable. And so it goes on……. I’ve decided to revert to an old trick this time and have an earpiece in as I conduct. There are a couple of songs where we lose time and if I can’t hear where we are, then nobody else can. It’s quite a responsibility being at the front leading.
So, now the equipment is all in one place (except my stage – my Dad has taken it home to re-screw all the bits and give it a good go of WD40) now I need to check it all works. It does. Of course it does but I want to hear it form myself.
Then, the set. I always conduct the whole set to myself the day of a gig. I always have. It goes me chance to make sure I have the correct backing tracks, that I can follow my own conducting notes correctly and that I actually know what I’m doing. I have conducted badly in the past and although people are very forgiving, I’m not very forgiving to myself. I want to get it right. I expect my singers to get it right and so I must too. So I look like a madwoman conducting nobody in my living room whilst my children are coming in and asking me what’s for lunch etc. I know it’s all OK. It’s going to be fine.
It then takes half an hour ti find my own T shirt and get myself ready. I try not to torment myself with things that could go wrong. Funnily enough, I’m never stressed about the singing, just the organisation, the audience, the logistics. I have a great team (my Mum and Dad who both sing) and Rich (my sound guy – quite literally!) who comes along and helps me set up and makes sure it all sounds as it should. He tinkers with the speakers when necessary and I appreciate it hugely – once I’ve started conducting, I’m off in a world of my own with my singers. And of course, my trusty singers themselves.
So, it’s 6.20pm and I’ve just finished printing the lyrics for the pub to join in the final song with us and I need to be round the corner at the venue by 7pm. Just time to read a quick bedtime story to the Libertines….