I am just back from a great show in the Porterhouse, where I play regularly. I play there acoustic sessions during the week, and with Sliotar full amplified shows during the weekend. From time to time all of us in the band need to take days off due to personal commitments, holidays, or whatever life throws at us. This is not really that big deal as we have a list of good fill in guys for when this happens.
Tonight was one of those nights. Even though all of our fill in guys are very experienced professional musicians, it can never replace the years of playing together that we have done with Sliotar, but sometimes the results can be exciting in their own way. We had the wonderful Brian O’Shea filling in tonight on electric banjo. Yeah I know, electric banjo is something you don’t hear very often 😀 And it turned into one of those nights of pure magic, where the musicians were bouncing off each others, where none of us really knew what to expect, but we all just went for it and the chemistry between us created something great .
This just once again reminded me how as much preparation and rehearsals are important, so is the chemistry between the musicians. We can plan for a lot, but we can’t plan for that. It is just magic in its purest forms. We can try to make the situations as favourable as possible for it to happen and this has lead to some very elaborate backstage setups and riders for the big stars over the years. But none of this can guarantee the magic will happen.
But that is the beauty of it all as well. When you go out to see a live show, you never know what you get. You might have a good idea of what it might be, but there will never be any guarantees. Even the best live acts in the history never had “the best show ever” night after night. Cruel, you might say, for the people who paid to see the band… But then again, whatever it is you do for a living, do you always deliver your best performance every day? Do you never have a bad day? An off day?
Besides part of the magic of music is in this unpredictability. When life stops delivering us surprises, that when we have come to the end of our road. I for one look forward to those surprises.
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get two of his free songs go HERE and click Download