How I function (band).

The leaves are turning, it's well and truly Autumn!  I love this season! 

I have been gigging loads this summer and autumn with The Timorous Beasties.  If you don't know already, the Beasties are a Scottish ceilidh band that I run with Duncan Menzies.  We have had some ace gigs the last wee while, from Alderney to The House of Lords.  Meeting tons of cool folk, and seeing couples IN LOVE!  

I had a conversation with one of my singing students recently about marriage and love.  There is something so infectious about being around people in love!  And it is fantastic, and very satisfying to be an actual part of someone else's big day.  I feel privileged to be let in to this special environment, where everyone is just pouring out love!

That said, every now and then we get clients that make the day pass with difficulty.  This is when it really feels like work!  I am contracted to provide entertainment through music, and do so in a professional manner.  I am paid to be part of the fabric of their wedding day, to make sure everyone has a good time!  I try my absolute hardest to do this however sometimes i think people forget that a band is a bunch of HUMANS playing together.  

I gravitate towards the friendly and informal.  To treat the clients as if they were actual friends of mines, this makes my job great fun as I genuinely get excited and am truly happy for them, that they have found love and are happy.  Like, I hardly know my clients really but still, there is something about my job that cuts through all that 'getting to know you' and hits straight to the heart.  I absolutely love it. 

Some muso pals of mines have a hard time understanding how I can find any joy at all from 'not playing my own music', but it's way more than that.  It's people.  it's love.  Playing in a function band is a great way for a musician to really get their craft pinned down, to keep their playing on top and for me as a band leader it's a great way of practising how to approach strangers for work, promote a band, deal with venue, be a manager, run a band and it's fantastic practise of playing arrangements on the fly - something I personally LOVE doing.  And having to do it all in as professional a manner as possible keeps me on my toes and accountable.  Also, I have hard as steel stamina.  GET IT ROON YE!

You are in control of your own life.  You can twist and bend most situations in your life to work for you, how you want them.  Even bad situations, use them to build your resistance to rejection or to practise self control when angry or frustrated.  Take the skill you need to keep doing the things you love.  If you work in a coffee shop perhaps use the time you have to get better at talking to the public, an amazing sill to have as a musician.  The public  are all potential fans.  Sell your next show with their cup of tea.  Get to know them.  

Don't complain, don't explain.  No one is special, we are all equal, made of the same stuff.

Apart for the band I also work as a pianist/singer.  I am sure I have blogged about this weird job before.  It is totally weird.  It might not sound it but it's mad the things you see and the people you meet.  Working for only two or three hours a night.  Some nights I am the absolute centre of attention and sometimes I am as important as a fucking beige wall!  Who knows what kind of night it will be?  Either way I have to bring my game.  If it's a rowdy night I have to keep up the party atmosphere, if it's dying on it's arse i keep my head still and balanced and play it by ear (pardon the pun)

A few years ago I'd come home super bummed out. "No one was listening" , " i might as well not be playing at all".  But I know now that's not what it's all about!  It's about people, and love.  And through playing some music I can silently change someones evening from bad to beautiful.  My ego has learned not to crave explicit appreciation and is happy to accept that somehow my music is making a difference.  

A few hours of teaching a week (which I absolutely adore!  I have the best students at the moment, all such amazing people!) and that is how I earn my living.  It's all about people and love.  

In the run down to the last few recording sessions of my album I keep finding myself evaluating everything.  I am in an amazing place right now.  Healthier, fitter and calmer than I have ever been.  I have a true sense of who I am. 

My current mantras are...



Thanks for reading, and for all your support.  x

Rosie x

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