Sunday 29th November 2009A bit.
So the tour's over; we ended in fine style at the Gulbenkian in Canterbury in front of an audience whose enthusiasm rivalled even that of the London show's crowd (and considering how many ringers - erm, I mean, Close Friends And Relations - we had in at the Bloomsbury, I think we might even say that the Canterbury crowd "won").
The show was recorded "off the desk" - it's clear as a bell but since there were no audience mikes in operation the laughter and applause is only barely audible. It might be possible to tweak this and make the recording available in some form in the future; obviously I'll announce that if and when it happens. We stuck the freshly burned CD on in the car on the way home, ostensibly just to see how it had turned out quality-wise. We ended up listening to the whole thing. I'm pleased to say that, experiencing the show for the first time as a listener, I was struck by how well it flowed and held together. I think this was our best show so far and it sets a high bar for next year.
And one way or another I'm fairly sure that there will BE a next year. At the end of the last tour I was pretty content but knackered, and decided that unless there was a marked upswing in attendance for THIS year's tour, I probably wouldn't bother touring again. Now, despite the fact that there hasn't been a particularly obvious advance on last year numbers-wise (maybe a slight increase on last year; we await the final scores) I'm now of the opinion that even if I only ever tour at this "level" it's still a worthwhile exercise in itself. I've enjoyed ALMOST every show (not naming names) and the camaraderie between myself and Ives & Kirst has been better than ever (unless they're REALLY bottling it up), making even the long hauls entertaining. It's been noticeable that we've done best in places we've played before (The Bloomsbury, the Gulbenkian, the Cambridge Junction, The Dancehouse in Manchester), so the trick is obviously to keep returning to the scenes of our greater triumphs and build upon them.
I'm glad I'm feeling this way; not because I've completely given up on the idea of Doing Bigger Things (I haven't), but because I'm no longer allowing my desire to Do Bigger Things to distract me from appreciating the worth of the things I've done and am still doing. That's a good attitude to have when you're about to turn 40, I reckon.
When you're young you do rather live in the future all the time. Your mind's full of what you're gonna do, and where you're gonna go, and who you're gonna be. When you get to my age, and you notice that your past is now at least as big as your future, you start to realise that while it's always good to have one eye on the future, the present is where you actually live, and if you're not paying attention you might miss it.