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Saturday 10th October 2009 - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

Local gigs are great.  they're just down the road so there's no long journeys, service station sandwiches and overpriced coffees at 2 in the morning.  There's also less stress about forgetting something when you can just nip up the road for it. It's even better when your venue is a welcoming, warm and friendly pub like the weavers usually is.

I say usually, because I found this particular gig a bit harder than usual.  The crowd seemed hard to please, and rarely applauded throughout the first and second sets, despite me going through every musical style and genre I know! This is very unusual for the Weavers, and I reckon it was mostly down to the owner, Marie, being away on holiday.  Usually she and her friend Sharon keep the evening going.  I felt for the most part I needed a set of jump leads for the crowd!

After having a wee discussion with Al during the second break, I decided to stick with music from the 60s.  Now I don't mind the 60s as an era, but song after song of any genre can get a bit tedious.  So after about 20 minutes of my best hip swinging 60s hits I decided "The hell with it" and did some rock.  "Sex on fire", "Ruby", Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and "Black Betty" seemed to be more their cup of tea (or the crowd were maybe getting a bit more `relaxed` - ahem).

I was asked for more once I had finished for the night.  I can't win!!!

Saturday 27th June - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

There was a big crowd of people in the pub when I arrived, and the numbers grew as the night went on.  There was a group of revellers out for a birthday party, and quite a few new faces from other pubs in the area.  They were obviously out to have a good time, and the general level of noise was amazing.

The birthday party were rarely off the dance floor during the latter half of the night, and had a lot of enthusiasm for my ABBA and disco music, which they seemed to prefer. 

You know, as a singer you can be prepared for many things.  You can have lyrics books on hand in case you forget the words, you can even have a back up of your backing tracks on an mp3 player or phone just in case your laptop/mini disc player goes down.  What you can't plan for is what happens mentally when your equipment fails.  You may have all the necessary hardware in place, but it's amazing how unsettling an experience it can be when everything goes quiet and the crowd all turn as one to see what's going on. 

That's what happened tonight at the Weavers. 

Al worked really quickly (thanks Al) and gave me sound again within minutes, but without the backing going through my new compressor.  No problems, you might think.  Sorted. Carry on.

Well the sound was sorted but my `flow` had been interrupted, and the sound coming through my in ear was now vastly different than before.  And each track needed levelling.  Now it's not been that long since we bought the compressor, but I was used to it, and now felt a bit lost. 

These reasons all sound like excuses, and to be honest I have to admit that there was really only one bit of kit not working properly on the night - me.  My lesson to any would be singer out there?  You can plan for everything but the way you react when things go wrong

But hey, no one is perfect - alas not even me.

I spoke to Marie and Paul, the owners, at the end of the night, and began to apologise for the sound and my finishing on the stroke of twelve, but they both admitted that they hadn't noticed anything wrong.

So there's another lesson - if you smile and be as professional as you can during any sound problems, you can just about get away with it!

Saturday 27th December - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

The Weavers.  What can I say.  Quiet at first, then cries of "More, More" by 12am.   

Saturday 1st November - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

As the owners were off gallivanting again (god do I need a holiday, I'm jealous), I expected a quiet evening. It was slow to start with but there are quite a few faces who are always present in this lounge and they did not let me down. As well as the usuals we had quite a good number of people passing through which meant that all night I had a reasonable sized crowd.

This is good to see in these days of dropping crowds and venues closing. I can always rely on the Weavers for a friendly greeting and a night of banter

Saturday 16th August - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

I wasn't going to schedule a gig tonight because it was Al's birthday, but as I missed so much work (and cash lol) over the last wee while I thought I'd take any work that came my way. 

Marie and Paul run a fabulous pub, with a great atmosphere (that's £5 you owe me, Marie!), and they are really on the forefront of live music in Kirkcaldy.  I hear they are starting to do karaoke on a Friday too, so the more music the merrier! 

Tonight was quite quiet, but as usual the people who were in were up for a good time.  They seemed to enjoy every song, and I could see them singing and foot-tapping along. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see my good friend Steve, with whom I am currently rehearsing with a view to doing an acoustic/electric/band act.  NB - WATCH THIS SPACE.  He had come along with a few pals to see me in action, so to speak.  I hope they were - as the rest of the audience seemed to be - impressed with my act.  I have to admit to being a little nervous about him seeing me perform for the first time, and my hands were shaking a bit when I was operating the laptop.  Silly, I know, as most musicians make good audiences, as they understand what it's all about.  Still, I couldn't help it.  It didn't help that I couldn't have a bit of liquid courage (Bad for the vocal folds anyway), as I had said to Al that it was his birthday, so I would drive home. 

A good few people went home around 11.15pm, and I was faced with the prospect of performing my last set to only a few punters.  Luckily enough, a group of around half a dozen people came in at that very moment, and they seemed intent on having a "darn good time", even asking me to do a Bon Jovi song for an encore!  I was happy to oblige (Slippery When Wet is one of my favourite albums) with a rendition of "You Give Love a Bad Name.

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Saturday 10th May - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

Wow, what a night!  What a weekend!  I am pretty much shattered after the last two gigs!  I know it's not working down the mines, or working in a shop 40 hours a week, but gigs can fairly take it out of you!  Most people will never understand how much energy and effort goes into each performance, but can I ask that you pay a little more attention to the work we do next time you are having a drink down your local.  We are much underestimated, believe me.

Anyway - Saturday night was another good 'un.  I was forewarned about a 21st Birthday Party that was taking place, and I had time to get together some appropriate music and songs, as well as having a good rest during the day.  Thank goodness I did! 

The birthday girl, Kimberley, arrived at around 9.15pm in a limo (I think she had been told she was going to Dundee), and proceeded to have a flaming good night.  If anyone has any pictures they would like to share, please send them in!  I did 2 great hours of dancy and rock music, and I seemed to please everyone, young and - erm - more mature, as the dance floor was filled all night.  I then had a wee break and went back on to play til midnight.  I had rested well during the day, but still needed a wee can of Cola to keep my energy levels up.

I am finding that I can perform at my best without drinking any alcohol, and keeping myself well hydrated during the night.  Occasionally I might sneak the odd Jack Daniels in, but I make sure I have enough water to compensate.  I know it sounds boring, but water really is the best thing when you are singing for a night.  It also means I am not dried out the next day, and, given enough vocal rest, I can perform again the next night to the same quality.

Saturday 12th January - The Weavers, Kirkcaldy

I really like going to the Weavers, but I must admit to not being at my best.  I have yet another viral infection, and I apologise to Marie and the rest of the staff for my illness.  I didn't want to let them down again, so I bit the bullet and went along.  I am quite the perfectionist, and to say I was not a happy bunny at the start is an understatement.

After giving myself a severe talking to in my first break, I soon settled down to do the best I could given the circumstances. Much pineapple juice, Echinacea, water and the odd Glayva  was had during the evening, and I just about pulled it off.  I made a joke at one point that whoever had stolen the low note in The Carpenters' `Close to You` should return it asap.  Things got a bit better and I was able to do most of my regular set, perhaps not putting as much into the performance as I usually would.  NOTE TO SINGERS - SOMETIMES MIC GAIN IS YOUR FRIEND!

I hope to shake this off soon - although the doc seemed to be quite unconcerned about me getting virus after virus, putting it down to the fact that I am around so many people each week.  Think I'll invest in a mask!

I hope I am better for next time, Marie!

Saturday 8th September - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

First the formalities - happy birthday to Frances who celebrates her 75th and to G, who turned 21. I was more than happy to sing a ballad for Frances from her husband and to do "Celebration" for G. It was lovely to have a well mixed audience who were out for a good night. I noticed when G's party were toasting the event with some wine that G took a couple of glasses over to Frances and her man, I thought that a fine gesture.... what a gentleman!

Hello Sharon

On to my review... Because of the mix of ages at the bar this time, I felt it necessary to do a few "younger" type tunes like "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and "Dakota". I hope that it was ok for the more mature (age rather than mental, Marie!) punter. My act is usually quite mixed but I normally keep the rockier stuff till later, but I didn't want all the youngsters getting bored and moving on.

I always enjoy my visits to The Weavers, it has an excellent atmosphere, excellent staff, excellent clientele and some 'no bad' entertainment. I urge anyone in the area to come along and have some guidnightsoot.

Saturday 7th July, Weavers, Kirkcaldy

I wasn't performing tonight, but I went along to one of the friendliest pubs I know on my night off.  My throat has become so dry lately, I couldn't have sung if I wanted to!  i have the docs on Monday by the way. 

Anyhoo - I saw an amazing singer!  his name is Kenny Lees, and his voice is so rich and controlled I was amazed to see him in a pub - he should be on a big stage somewhere.  he even knew all the words, which I can't say I do lol.

It is very rare that I come on here and review someone else's act, but I do love this venue, and could only think of a couple of places to come on my night off where I would be made so welcome.

I reckon Kenny has something missing though - a Lee for his Peters, a Mags for his Tam, a Dolly for his Kenny, a Schnorbitz for his Bernie Winters (Too far?).  I reckon there is money out there for duos HINT.

Hope to see you again!

Saturday 30th June - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

The Weavers was not at its busiest this night, but the audience did seem to be enjoying themselves and we did exchange "a fair bit o' the banter". Mind you, the weather outside was wet and foggy, that's June for you.

Inside there didn't seem to be a want for the dancier tunes although they were greeted with a good amount of applause. Even though the dance floor remained mostly quiet, the small but perfectly formed audience seemed to enjoy themselves and the usual friendly Weavers ambience was there and I enjoyed myself as usual. It'll be interesting to see if the Derren Brown style subliminal messaging I was doing means I get web visitors. If you were there, you'll know what I mean (fantastic singer, book her again).  Marie and Sharon say I mentioned www.joanie.co.uk six times... I must be slipping, I'll make sure its sixteen next time.

Oh and I must mention - HELLO SHARON!!!!

 Saturday 21st April 2007 - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

Phew!  After a week off to recuperate, I was understandably nervous about what was going to come out of my mouth.  Al always gets nervous when I have been ill - he is most afraid of having to cut a night short (as I had to do at the Burnfoot a couple of weeks ago). 

i warmed up well before I left the house tonight, and warmed up again in the dressing room (Toilet!).  Taking it easy, I soon found my voice.

We had one problem though.  Al has a bad head cold - not ideal if you're the sound man.  I was having problems with both my foldback (knackered earphones) and the output from the speaker to my right.  I felt the sound was cutting out for the most part, and the volume was going up and down.  I may have been a bit unprofessional, but I get really annoyed when the sound is not right, and Al got the brunt of it when he suggested that I was wrong.  I don't like being told I am wrong - it's a redhead thing, I reckon.  Or just a woman thing.

Anyhoo, it turned out I was right.  A very nice man in the `front row` told Al that there was, indeed, a problem.  After a bit of jiggery pokery it turned out to be a lead causing the problem.  I thank you.

Saturday 10th February 2007 - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

This was an unbelievably quiet night at the Weavers.  This could have been because I forgot to send them a poster, so nobody had any idea I was on!

The night was being used by a chocolate fountain company to promote their business too, and I must admit the marshmallows were very distracting.  I finally gave in after my first set.

After much alcohol and chocolate, I saw the place get busier, and began to tell a few jokes, mostly about my new bra!  (You had to be there).

I enjoyed myself, but must remember to send a poster for the next gig.

Saturday 2nd December 2006 - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

My Gig on the 1st December left me feeling so far down that I was doubting my act.

How wrong I was.  The crowd at the Weavers launched me into orbit after some of my songs. The rest were greeted with warm applause which made me feel so good that I would have done anything to please the audience. It feels so good to not have anything to moan about.

I can only say that all bar managers around Fife should look in on this place and take a sample of the attitude/ambience/or even the air, back to their pubs or clubs.

It is so unusual to play to a packed room of punters who want to enjoy themselves and will do it at any cost.

I thank the Weavers soooo Much! for letting me feel good again,  I also recommend you visit this pub and enjoy a good night out.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday 11th February 2006 - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

My first gig here was excellent (see below) but I was unprepared for the welcome I received this time!  The lounge was packed - standing room only at one point - and everyone enjoyed themselves.  So did I!

A big Hi! to Marie and Paul, who run the pub, and to Nicola behind the bar.

This is a good family place, with a good trouble free atmosphere. 

This pub has now applied for a children's certificate, so it is only a matter of time before your whole family can have a great day out at the Weavers. 

Saturday 26th November 2005 - Weavers, Kirkcaldy

I know I say it quite often, but WHAT A PLACE! 

One of the owners, Marie, had seen me perform in the Top o The Toun a while back, and had asked Alan for a card.  She must have liked what she heard, as I was invited to her own pub!  I felt immediately at ease when I realised I knew her, and that paved the way for a great night.

The `audience` were very appreciative and very responsive - something so lacking in pubs and clubs these days - and enjoyed every song.  What a difference it makes to a singer's attitude to hear a round of applause.  This is definitely the best way to ensure you get the best out of an act (owners/managers please take note).  I, of course, did a fair bit of dancing about, and am now feeling the aftermath!

I am back here in 2006, and I am looking forward to it immensely.

I will soon be adding a map to this beautiful pub, so please find it and go in. 

You will be pleasantly surprised.