I may give up on this and go to bed, but I wanted to try to write something tonight because it's good to write straight after whatever happened.
In this case what happened was the youstage festival/gathering. I've been to quite a few gatherings over the last nine months, but this one was particularly important to me because I put a lot of work into organising it and I was playing at it.
Having a three day event really made the mood fantastically relaxed - nobody was worrying about catching trains on time, there was no 'where should we go? What should we do?' talk, it was all so chilled out. The event itself was alright, there was some decent sounding music but nothing that really excited me. In fact the festival wasn't geared so much towards the music, that was just a part of it. There were more people wandering around the various other sections than there were in the crowds at the stages for the majority of the time. That's cool, I mean there was lots going on that you could enjoy, but if you took the gathering out of it I don't think I'd have enjoyed it as much as other festivals I've been to, ones that were more focused on the music.
But the gathering part was brilliant. We had our own camping section, and our own little area at the arena where Paul's art stuff was happening.
Anyway the first two days were just spent hanging out, talking, drinking, generally having a very good time. Then on Sunday we had a stage, which was indoors, above the bar in this 400 year old building - it was a pretty incredible setting. Tom and Ed played before me, both of whom I love and both of whom were fantastic. We weren't very good at keeping to a schedule so I rushed into my set after Ed's to try to make up the time. I was sat in front of the equipment, which is unusual but it was really good because that put me only a couple of yards away from the audience, which was the first I've played to that was so vastly made up of people who know me and the songs so well already. That was an incredible feeling, to hear people singing the words you wrote, loud enough to be heard over the big speakers.
Garnet, who had come over from Canada, played Alone Again on the guitar for me. He does it way better than me! We didn't practice it once, in fact I only heard him play it one time the night before, but I think it worked out really well.. apart from me knocking over me drink while making room for him on stage. I say stage... floor would be a more accurate description!
I was going to do 'Only Human' with Ed, I thought he was going to not do it in his so we'd play it in mine, but he did so we didn't. But I did get Miss Mhairi up to sing 'First day of my life' with me, which was nice. I really want to see some footage of the set because it's a bit of a blur. I get, as I assume everyone does, some kind of natural high (for which I don't know the term) from performing so I don't always remember it that well. Plus I got very, very drunk as soon as I had finished.
Mhazz said she was nervous singing like that - with mics and an audience - as opposed to the usual gathering style where the audience is whoever is within earshot. I've just been thinking about it and I think I'm the opposite. I was more comfortable on stage than I am in a random crowd. I think it's because you know they are there to see you, they can leave if they want. If people are just playing songs in a group sat on the floor I feel strange grabbing everyone's attention, don't get me wrong I love a good sing along session, but I'm more comfortable on a stage. Though I'm not that good at the in between song talking part. Tom went off talking about all sorts and had everyone laughing but I never know what to say. I always think of things I should mention before hand, for example this time I thought to myself that I should mention Tom and Ed, and also the bands that were to follow... totally forgot. I also missed the opportunity to make a joke about the lack of trock in my set. But yeh still, the gig went well I think. I got loud cheers from all the lovely people, one time it was so loud it broke the mic in tom's camera! It did fix itself somehow if you were devastated by that news and needed closure.
So yes, basically I very much enjoyed playing to such wonderful people.
Later on 'What is Echo' played who are pretty much the nicest bunch of guys you could hope to meet. I enjoyed their set, as I did the final act which was Myles' band, 'Down Within'. Seeing a bunch of drunk youtubers do the macarena to a heavy metal band was a special experience.
Our stage finished fairly early so we just went out into the festival and enjoyed the rest of the night.
This morning, goodbyes were longer than usual, which is saying something. And driving home was not a fun experience. I've never driven when that tired before... Well once when I went to Myles' house, didn't go to bed, then drove up to Glossop to play a gig, and drove back to Derby at 1am, over 40 hours since I had last been asleep. Good times.
But anyway, got home alright and hung out with some scottish people at my house until their bus came at 8. Gathering over. Best one ever.