two gigs in three days with Hamlet

On Monday I played at The Song Room with Hamlet (which is sadly having its last session next week – hopefully an appreciative venue can be found soon). For the first time we had Barry playing double bass with us, which is a great addition to the tunes. I brought my beast of a keyboard along and played that, the piano in the pub being unplayably out of tune, unfortunately; I also played cajon and clarinet and added some harmony vocals.

I’m really enjoying this multi-instrumenting at the moment. We played:

  • Sunshine
  • Mr Slim
  • El Capitane
  • Street lights
  • I am a man
  • The Una Molloy hangover song
  • Hey girl
  • Boogie man
  • Perfect day

‘El Capitane’, ‘I am a man’ and ‘Hey girl’ are all new since the last gig. ‘El Capitane’ reminds me of the Gorillaz a bit with its lazy groove, semi-chanted confrontational lyrics, and “…da, da, da dada dadaaa…” refrain. ‘I am a man’ is a down and dirty bluesy slice of masculine proclamation that is great fun to play: I switched to the electric piano 2 sound on the P200 for the punchy, descending chords of the riff. ‘Hey girl’ is an out-and-out pop song with Hamlet’s characteristically charming lyrical style painting a delightful, carefree picture of a ‘Before Sunrise‘-type relationship. This one we played totally stripped down, Hamlet playing and singing and me singing, humming and clapping.

Hamlet kindly let me do a couple of my own songs and I did ‘Make it home’ on the piano and ‘Face in a frame’ on the guitar. Franzi got some good shots and I got a warm round of applause and some nice compliments. These are my two best songs, I reckon, and it’s been great to play them a good bit over the last few weeks. Next thing is to record them…

I was impressed by the band on after us – Lisa McLaughlin and a couple of talented chaps on guitars and assorted other instruments: flute, melodeon, glockenspiel. They created a variety of really effective accompanying textures for Lisa’s vocals using an impressively portable setup. I envied them somewhat with my gargantuan keyboard.

Wednesday night was Hamlet’s gig in Whelans Upstairs. Barry joined us again and we played a good set – more able to settle in and enjoy the music now we were more familiar with playing the songs together.

  • Is she real
  • El Capitane
  • Sunshine
  • Mr Slim
  • Street lights
  • Canary in a coalmine
  • I am a man
  • Buy this song
  • The Una Molloy hangover song
  • Perfect day
  • The boogie man
  • Why must love die
  • Hey girl (ooh la la)

The new songs went down well, and the crowd enjoyed the night. Great fun!

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