And welcome to the first Homesong blog. Like a lot of ideas that materialise (and like many that don’t) this one, Homesong, has spent a long time germinating inside a brain. In this case my little brain. It would be nice to think that it would jump out into the light of day fully formed and ready to rumble. When it comes down to it though, I’m still discovering what Homesong really is, and what it might become. I’m hoping you’ll be a part of helping me to find out. But first a little bit of history…
…my name is David Fee, and I live in Campbeltown, Scotland on the semi-famous Kintyre peninsula (“The Mull of…” as sung about by a certain Paul McCartney after he’d finished with his earlier misspelt, six legged, hard shelled, flying musical adventures). Here my family of five sons, and four foster sons grew or are growing up with, let’s be fair, quite a bit of help from my beautiful Dutch wife, Ineke. And it is here where I dived, a little bit later than the normal average, into my own world of musical creativity. I became that peculiar creature…the Singer-Songwriter.
While I’ve been learning my craft and writing songs over a number of years and failing to earn any noticeable recognition (boo! hiss!) the Homesong dream emerged. I came across the concept of gigs in peoples houses via the internet and immediately fell in love with the idea, long before I’d ever been to, or hosted, or played at one.
But I’ve always been a believer in the beauty of smallness. Small scale government is more accountable, small scale communities are more friendly, small scale living is simpler, small scale connections are less confusing. Songs, my passion, are small, people-sized stories put to music.
It is true that big dreams and visions can show us the direction to travel and big, very big, physical and organisational structures can be built, because human beings are incredibly capable of imagining new worlds. And, OK, we take the occasional and fantastical giant leap! Big is good too! But we are only human , we have limits, and so we take small steps to get where we’re going most of the time. We have to get the small things right for anything to last. And our lives are made meaningful and enjoyable by the small distractions and attractions we bump into along the way.
So the idea of small gigs, without a mountain of equipment, and with a local, engaged audience, seems brilliant to me. As a performer who didn’t get too much chance to perform because of my location (far from the madding crowd) and family and work commitments, I dream of a time when the kids have flown the nest and I can tour with my small songs around a vibrant network of…peoples homes.
There is in fact, as some of you will be aware, an already existing but often unconnected network of home venues around the world. In America it’s a fairly established thing in places. But for something so simple, and so easily replicable, it doesn’t seem to me like there are anything like enough of these home venues. Read The Tupperware Challenge. If you dare.
For most people I speak to the idea of gigs in someone’s house is completely new. I could have my pensioners tour at the moment (hey, i’m not quite there yet!) but it would take an awful lot of planning and organisation, and a lot of travelling to get anywhere. And yet there are lots of homes out there, and a lot of music lovers. People who have experienced home gigs are usually immediately hooked. They should be a bigger THING (in a small kind of way) that everybody has at least heard of.
So Homesong is really my way of joining in with a few other people who have got a similar vision around the world. It’s simply a way of saying “Home gigs are great! Why don’t you go to one? Why don’t you play at one? Why don’t you START one?!”
Or, to put it another way, why not help me to stay out of mischief when my kids are older, and allow me to come to your house and play a few songs. OK, it doesn’t have to be me. I’m not THAT desperate! But hopefully Homesong can encourage and inspire you to find out more. Even more hopefully I hope it can persuade you to DO something about bringing people together for music in your own personal neighbourhood.
Speak soon (I’m not going anywhere…just yet)
ps…don’t forget to join in as a Homesong member to receive news and become actively involved.