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 Saturday 4th October - The Bowhill Hotel (private function)

This gig was a private function, so I'm not going to say very much about the people or gig itself, as that wouldn't be fair on anyone.  You book a private party, and it stays private.

The only observation I have from the evening is the difference in expectations during a gig depending on the age of the people there.  I often talk about pleasing everyone, so I try to take everyone's age etc into account. 

The most challenging times for me are things like birthday parties, where you may have a really wide range of ages - maybe kids at one end and people in their 70s or 80s at the other. 

I think nowadays we have a different view of going to a gig.  We go along with a friend/partner to watch a gig, and we want the music to be loud enough to dance to, and are happy to talk louder to be heard above it.  Older people, however, expect music at a gig to be backing music for them, and want to be able to have a conversation at a normal level during the gig.  If they hear something they like, they stop talking and make a special effort to listen. 

Such differing attitudes to music make it difficult to please everyone - your younger 20/30/40ish punter may want to get up and boogie to a bit of Duffy/Amy Winehouse/disco, and need that little bit more volume to dance to.  The older generation may feel uncomfortable at this, and request that the music be turned down to suit their needs.  This may upset the younger crowd, who see that attitude as "boring" and may not enjoy themselves so much.

It's a fine balancing act, and I try my best.  That's all I can do.

Without giving too much information, I'd like to say Hi to Peter Stewart, a very fine accordion (or "box") player indeed.  Quality.

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Sunday 18th April 2005 - Bowhill Hotel (with Clark Stewart)   

I was amazed to be asked back so soon to this hotel. This week I was joined by Clark Stewart, an excellent entertainer, whose experience and confidence was evident from start to finish.

Last week I had the luxury of starting and finishing the set, but this week the honour of finishing the evening went to Clark.  

It's good to be able to see other acts, and pick up hints and tips from each one. Al, of course, is more interested in seeing what equipment they have!