Most of nearly anything we do that is new has a fear factor attached. A homesong gig can and should be a relaxing and wonderful experience. But that doesn’t meant there won’t be nerves. In fact some people are more scared when faced with playing the up-closeness of a gig in somebodies home. The simplest way to get over the fear is, of course, simply to do it. What are you waiting for? But before you do here are a few reasons to feel very positive about playing a homesong gig:
You will have been asked to play. We are encouraging a model where the hosts are, usually, the ones who make the initial contact. They contact artists who they think their audience will like. Therefore, you are wanted! What a privilege! It’s not like a gig where you’ve begged some pub owner to let you play for an hour to a friday night audience, who are there mainly to get drunk with perhaps a few songs (songs that they know…not your songs) being played by some incidental stooge in the background. (“Can you play Sweet Home Alabama?”). So when you are going to perform at a Homesong gig, revel in that knowledge. You are playing to an audience who wants you to be there.
You will be listened to. This is really a follow up to the previous point. You will be playing to an audience that is paying full attention to your words and music. Some of those hidden gems and layers you sneak into your songs (you little genius!) might finally get appreciated! You won’t be competing for attention. You can give your performance the kind of nuance and attention to detail that would be impossible in the above pub scenario. It might even feel like you are communicating with folk.
You will be paid. Although Homesong works on a donation basis in order to keep things simple and prevent legal complications, people who come to a Homesong gig tend to be generous. For a start you’re right in their faces for an hour or two. You are giving them a chance to chill and listen to some great music close to where they live. They can bring their own booze! They would love to give you some money for helping make this happen. It would be rude not too…
You probably won’t have to worry as much about technical hitches. A lot of home gigs are totally unplugged. Obviously this isn’t alway possible or preferable, but for these kind of gigs the simple intimacy of a performer and there acoustic instrument without the distraction of mics or amps can be a magical thing. And potentially a lot less stressful.
There is human connection to performing at these gigs which means a warts and all performance can actually be better than highly polished perfection. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be professional and prepared. It simply means that you can be yourself and concentrate more on enjoying making those connections and less on demonstrating your impeccable technique.