mgp_lacAFTER a gap of a good two or three years, I recently played at my local Acoustic Club Open Mic Night. It wasn’t a vast audience (about six people, I think, plus the barman, plus the people who were in the other room and could hear whether they wanted to or not but who hadn’t coughed up the £2 entrance fee and therefore didn’t get to witness my scintillating performance as well as having the noise inflicted on them). Nevertheless, and despite the nerves I feel, and the performance errors, I enjoyed it.

I’m pretty introverted but can become a bit of a show-off given a platform and something to do / say / sing that I’m vaguely capable of. I’m under no illusions about my abilities, either as a guitarist or a singer; I’m not terrible and I’m certainly not amazing but I’m fairly adequate. Even with a small audience I get a dry mouth (note to self: always take a drink with you on stage), I fluff chord changes and miss beats – but, hey, the audiences I generally play to are on my side and usually kind 🙂

Anyhooo… These are the songs what I played:

So Far Away (Dire Straits)

This is from the Brothers in Arms album, released in 1985. The song is simple (hence on my “A-List”, meaning I can play it off by heart) but the lyrics have some meaning for me as they recall the long-distance relationship I had with my then fiancée in the 1983-84 academic year.

I’m tired of being in love and being all alone
You’re so far away from me
Tired of making out on the telephone
You’re so far away from me

Crazy Enough (MercyMe)

This appeal to really love each other is from the album The Generous Mr Lovewell. The reason this sort of love is a crazy idea is that it’s not generally how we treat each other. It takes divine intervention to put that sort of love inside us so we can share it.

Crazy Enough isn’t hard to play but at the moment it’s on my B-List because I need the chords & lyrics in front of me. Nevertheless, I can sing it from the heart.

Unspoken Words (Status Quo)

Taken from the superb 1973 Piledriver album, this is a ballad which most non-fans probably wouldn’t recognise as Quo. Even without any of the lovely lead guitar it’s a decent-sounding song.

Although the lyrics seem to be about a separation of some sort, it’s special for me and my wife as I used to play it to her when we were students. Just recently she told our granddaughter that “Grandad used to serenade me with this song”!

I’ll always be with you, by your side
And watching over you, feeling every pain
Hold your head high, think of me there
I’ll soon be with you once again

Oh Boy (Buddy Holly)

There’s no great story here – it’s a rock ‘n’ roll song that’s easy to play and fun to perform. If the audience is inclined to sing along, this is one of the songs that’ll do it. Even my recent micro-audience joined in with this one!


So there you have it: The latest installment in what can only be described as me playing music to a few people now and again. (I thought of calling it the rise and rise of a musical megastar but then realised that would just be telling lies.) See you at the next open mic…