Last year I got myself into a routine of writing up every gig twice. Once before, and at least once after. I'm probably not going to do that for the next few months unless something out of the ordinary happens, because we're gigging more often than last year and the lineups and formats will be more consistent.
Our main emphasis for the first part of this year is a run of ten fortnightly Wednesday evenings at Ember in Farringdon, starting on 16 January 2008 at 7pm. If you've been to our gigs before, beware that we're starting an hour earlier than usual, as Ember tends to get busy relatively early in the evening. For these gigs we've settled on a core lineup of Mike, Os and me, with Simon Laffy on bass as often as he can (he looks set to be out touring with Man-Raze later on), and possibly the odd guest performer. Because those are happening every two weeks with more or less the same people, pretty quickly I am going to have even less to say about them than usual, so I'll save the blogs for random topics or special gig details. Random topics such as
The day before the first Ember gig, we have our last scheduled appearance at the Plough on 15 January 2008. In this one we'll be joined by Nick Cottam on bass and Scott Davitt on guitar, both Improvizone veterans. Also, we welcome two newcomers, Oli Mayne and Peter Sellars. I've been meaning to get Oli and his Roland SH101/Kaoss pad devices involved for several months. He's also a gifted vibesman, but those are too big for us right now. Imagine we ran over a church organ with a lorry and then wheeled the flattened corrugations into the gig on a stretcher. There wouldn't be much space left for the rest of us. The vibes would sound a lot better than a squished pipe organ, of course.
Peter turned up at the second Ember gig last November and told me he played the electric violin. I love the electric violin, so that pretty much sealed it for me on the spot. Peter will be trusting his luck, and his sound, with my own barmy configuration of commonplace low-quality effects.
Having two gigs next to each other is already taxing the tiny organisational regions of my brain when it comes to straightforward matters such as submitting the right listings for the right venue. In the right year. It's amazing how many listings sites with date dropdowns allow you to enter 2007, or even 2006, for the event date. Last year I dutifully submitted as many listings as I knew about. The evidence from last year's gigs is that they don't really work. The ones I know work for sure are TimeOut, the Metro and Lite listings and the LondonFreeList. In theory submitting listings is good for web presence, but in fact all the content is basically the same, because I wrote it. This is why, when you Google Improvizone and get close to a thousand references, the most it will show you is about 60, before dismissing all the rest as merely different prints of the same photo. Other people writing about us would be so much more valuable.
But it's nice finally to be listed in the West Essex Life, a pleasant A4 glossy magazine shoved for free through 32,000 letterboxes in my locale every month. Only took me three attempts. What you need to do with these is get a copy of the publication and look at how their listings appear, then try and mimic the format as best you can with yours. The less anyone has to do to include your listing, the better. Their description appears almost exactly as I wrote it.