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Saturday 31st December 2011 - The George Hotel, Montrose

Well what can I say?  A good paying gig, there's no mistake - and goodness knows we need more of those at Christmas time.  This was my third year in a row here, and I am still confused. 

I know these are nice people - the same families book the hotel each year - and I have a good bit of banter with them now and then, but they simply do not respond as you would expect.  Last year I wondered if it was something unique to the area, and I must admit I may have a point.  The other gigs I do "round these parts" follow pretty much the same pattern - nice people, good comments afterwards, but very little response during the gig. 

They did come to life between 11.45pm and 00.15am, but then sat back down again, leaving me wondering what to do next.

Gillian gave us two songs this year - "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone like you" by Adele.  I hear she's at university studying music, and would like to give her my best.  She's a talented young girl.

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Friday 31st December 2010 - The George Hotel, Montrose

I was booked to come back to this club a week after Hogmanay 2009!  I was delighted to be asked back, and took it as a huge compliment to be booked for 2010 so quickly.

We received a very warm welcome from everyone in the Hotel, and I immediately felt right at home.  Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and I knew what went down well last year.  Some of the same families were here this year again, and I had a good bit of banter with them, which put me at ease right away.

I must say a big Thank You to Tracy and her team, who worked hard through the night, serving a beautiful Hogmanay Dinner to the guests, and clearing everything away in time for my 9pm start.

I was a bit disappointed  to see my spoon playing friend, Rab, wasn't here this year - I was ready with a couple of spoons for him.  Ah well. Maybe next year, eh?

I must say a big Hi! to Gillian, who once again sang a beautiful "Snowbird" and charmed all who were still around at the end of the night.  I'm just sorry we had switched off the PA before she asked to sing, although it was a beautiful a cappella version. 

Well 2010 was quite a year for us, and we had to borrow a car to get to the gig after our crash at the beginning of December.  It did a good job though, and we were home for 3.30am just in time for a wee cheeky New Year drink before bed.

Id like to wish a Guid New Year to ane and aw!   xxx Joanie

OOH! They've booked me for next year again!


Thursday 31st December 2009 - The George Hotel, Montrose

I seem to have had a lot of new venues in 2009, and this was one of them.  New venues are a double edged sword though - you are new, so they don't know what to expect, but you also don't know the venue or the people, and don't know what to expect. 

I'm not sure if it's an Arbroath/Montrose thing, but the crowd at the George were very much like the previous crowds in the area - a bit reserved, but they seemed to enjoy themselves. I didn't get much applause, and the silence between songs was a bit off putting...

I must say a big Hi to two special people, who kept the audience entertained - Rab Crozier, who played the spoons (a very rare talent), and a very talented young lady called Gillian (hope I spelled your name right) who enthralled the crowd with an a cappella version of "Songbird". Her beautiful young voice shows a lot of promise, and I hope she has a good vocal coach. I'd like to hear her when her voice has matured. I wish her all the best - remember me when you're famous...

I had a good app on my phone to give me a countdown (after missing last year's countdown!), and played some Scottish country dance music until about 15 seconds to go.  Afterwards I played a few more Scottish dances, and then went on to do my newly-learned rendition of "Loch Lomond", which seemed to go down well.

The manager, Tracy, seemed very happy with the night, and told me that everyone was raving about my act on the way out, so that reassured me no end.  It can be a bit of an ego-basher when you don't get any obvious feedback from a crowd, and choosing the right genres to suit can be a challenge when you don't know what they like. Even "Big Fish, Little Fish" failed to rally the troops to begin with.  I must say thank you to the few young lassies who got up and saved me. 

I'd be interested to see if the next crowd in this neck of the woods is as reserved as the last few. I find that in different areas of the country, audiences react differently. Maybe I should do a study.....hmm.

Oh and it turns out I did 47 songs that night - value for money or what?  I rarely do more than 30 on a normal night.

UPDATE - I'm booked back at The George Hotel next Hogmanay so I must have done something right!!!