What To Do When Gigging: Part 1 – Be Nice To Everyone

“This song is for the drunk that has been asking for a Van Morrison number.”

This was the low point in my musician career. I was gigging in a pub in Rugby, Warwickshire and a guy had been heckling me for most of the evening asking me to play him a Van Morrison song. He was loud, obnoxious and determined to get his request played. I knew he would keep asking but I was trying to put it off for as long as I could just to annoy him.

Over the mic, in front of a pub full of people, I dedicated a song to… ” The Drunk asking for a Van Morrison number.”

Things quickly went downhill from there.

“I’m no drunk”, he said, and then he, together with 15 of his mates, left their seats and walked up towards me on stage. I didn’t realise that “The Drunk” was part of an Irish Gaelic football team enjoying a night out.

I was stupid, cocky, and very, very lucky that they were just out for a bit of fun and they kindly decided not to insert the thin end of my guitar into my bottom.

These days I remember that we are there on stage to entertain the audience. Without them I would be playing to myself, and maybe the bar staff if they decide to listen.

As well as being nice to audiences. I am also nice to Sound Engineers… and those who run Folk Club.

These have my particular admiration and appreciation.

Week after week, month after month they keep their audiences happy and entertained.

I did this video for those Folk Club organisers everywhere.

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