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The thrill of it ...

13th May, 2016 by Connor

At the age of sixteen I was given an acoustic guitar. Naturally, I taught myself the first four chords of Wonderwall, and played them repeatedly for a week. I didn’t know the names of the chords, or the key I was playing in, but I could do it.

Fast-forward five years, my biggest and probably my favourite gig to date. I was asked to open up for my good friend Tom Walker, an Urmston based singer songwriter, at Manchester Academy 3. I have rarely played ticketed events – never mind at venues I have seen international artists play – so I was overwhelmed to have the opportunity to do so myself.

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I am always nervous before getting on stage, but knowing that over 200 people would be watching was a completely different feeling altogether. I loved it. Having played only covers for four years, I had the chance to sing the first song I’d written, still in its infancy, and still untitled. I had only played it to close friends and family at a few small gigs in the run up to the Academy – it was great to see a couple of people singing some of the words (my mum and girlfriend, admittedly). Performing for such a sizeable and appreciative crowd was an incredible experience – a step away from everyday life and normality, arguably why most musicians love to play live.

I’ve never searched for gigs – venues, promoters, and friends have always approached me. I suppose this is because I’ve never viewed it as a career, just something I really like doing. Having previously worked in a pub it was tough accepting gigs; by no coincidence prime time gig playing is also prime time pint pulling. Nowadays I can say yes to almost everything offered to me. I have recently played a mini-tour of Bolton and Bury with Danny Quin, in which we have played as much as possible over six weeks, including a date at England’s fourth oldest pub: Ye Olde Man & Scythe.

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I thoroughly enjoy gigging. Standing up in front of an audience has taught me a lot, and has helped boost my confidence massively. I still feel really nervy in the build up to any gig, but the combination of nerves and excitement create a truly unique feeling only performing provides. Whether playing to ten people, or a packed-out room, the rush is what keeps me excited and on my toes.

Long live the butterflies!

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