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Saturday 20th September - West End Bar, Lochgelly - Last Minute Change

A last minute change saw me enter the comfort zone that is the West End Bar. I say it every time, but it's like going home.  I am always greeted with a smile, and quite a bit of banter with the locals. A few of the people in the pub had obviously been out for a good bit of the day, and were in need of a bit of R & R. 

The night went well, and I had a great time.

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Saturday 26th July - West End Bar, Lochgelly

Hi to everyone at the West End Bar, and most of all my good friend Lou.  She runs a tight ship, does our Lou.  You can always be sure of a good reception (I always get a hug), and she has filtered water behind the bar - saves me buying bottled water or drinking tap water.

I am still taking it relatively easy - only 1 gig this weekend - and coming to the West End is like going to "yer auntie's hoose" as they say. 

The pub was quiet, but Lochgelly is such a small place, that when there is a wedding in the village everyone is invited. So a quiet pub is not a reflection on the acts in Lochgelly - don't worry if you are playing here to a smaller crowd than usual.  Just ask what's on elsewhere.  The people who were there were very appreciative, and I even took a request for a ballad at the beginning of the night. I usually keep my ballads for the end of the night, when my voice is at it's best, but you gotta keep the punters happy!

Saturday 31st May 2008 - The West End Bar, Lochgelly

A last minute change of venue (the original venue cancelled me on the day) meant I was at the West End Bar in Lochgelly.  Sorry to any of you who headed down to Kirkcaldy to see me.  I always say - check the website before you go out..

Anyway.. going to the West End Bar is like going to your auntie's house.  You always get a big hug and feel at home straight away.  Lou, the owner,  couldn't be nicer. 

The pub was relatively quiet for a Saturday night, as is always the case in a small village where there are parties/weddings etc going on the same night.  Did it put me off?  No it didn't.  A lovely lady called Isobel and her company kept me going all night with a bit of banter and a couple of Jack Daniels! 

I struggled a wee bit with whatever is still "hingin aboot" me - my voice was fine, but my breathing was a bit dodgy, meaning a simple night's work was a lot more tiring than usual.  Let's hope things are ok for next week...

Saturday 26th April  2008 - West End Bar, Lochgelly

Going to the West End Bar is like going to your auntie's house.  By that I mean you are always welcome and feel comfortable in your surroundings. Lou and Steve always make me feel welcome, and are happy with my performance. 

I did quite a few new tracks on the night, and they all went down a treat!  It can be easy for an singer to get stuck doing the same old same old every gig, and injecting a few new tracks can make all the difference to everyone's enjoyment of the night.

I did my usual rendition of "That flaming Titanic song" for Lou, but I didn't realise she wasn't there!  She had gone upstairs!  D'oh...

I hope I am back soon.  Thanks to all who were there.

Saturday 25th August 2007 - West End Bar, Lochgelly

Why am I never invited to the parties and events that always seem to be on at other venues in the towns where I am booked? When I arrived at The West End Bar I was informed that there was an 18th in the town so I should expect a low turnout. Despite this we seemed to have a steady flow of customers coming and going during the night. I think I influenced a few to stay put, and seemed to have people singing along for most of my songs. At times it was quite busy and we even had a few dancers, but the best thing of the night was the quality of the banter...

My pal Jean, who last time fired her false teeth towards Alan and me, was on form again... When I announced I was going to do some rocky songs she couldn't think of any except "Eye of the Tiger"... bless.

Again I recommend a visit to this pub if you're in the area, you must expect a down to earth atmosphere, but with a good and friendly but firm control from the staff. The customers can also be down to earth but always friendly. All in all, nice people.

Saturday 12th May - West End Bar, Lochgelly

Last week, Al, in al his wisdom managed to destroy my computers windows installation. He did the necessary repairs and in the house all seemed fine, but as soon as we started doing this gig it was obvious to us that we had problems.  We soldiered on though and by the second of my three sets had managed to get it together.. but Mrs. Cranky was in da house.

During my last set I had a youngish chap who asked several times for the use of my microphone.. i don't know if he can sing, but I do take it personally that he thinks he can do a better job than me.  No one uses my kit.  I have had to cancel many a gig through a cold or flu I have picked up from somewhere.  Don't share your germs with me please!?

Don't get me wrong I like this venue. I recommend visitors to the area to go there. Lou runs the bar strictly and fairly and I think the punters like that.  I'm sorry the sound wasn't at its best for the first set. It's live so things sometimes go wrong - but we got there and I don't think you noticed the problems. I sang lots of songs and was greeted with the usual Fife silence. Its demoralizing when this happens but I didn't let it get me down. 

As always I wish the best to Lou and her crew and look forward to next time.

Saturday 3rd March - West End Bar, Lochgelly

I enjoy visiting this pub, its always fairly busy (this night there was a party at the Minto).  The staff and landlady are nice people who seem to enjoy what I do and overall it always has a good atmosphere.

This is your typical working peoples' pub - the punters like a drink or three and are out for a good time. The crowd at this gig were a bit younger on average than most of my gigs so it was a good chance for me to give "Blanket on the Ground" and "Paper Woses" a miss.

Lou, the landlady made me do "My heart will go on" even posing  on the bar with arms outstretched (no doubt longing for Leonardo). This is the only time I do this song as it is difficult to do well, but I think everyone in the pub paid attention, which was nice. Apart from that at the end of the night the rest of my set was upbeat pop or rock.  It's so unusual to do "I Predict a Riot" but I did and it went down well.

It's terrible what you have to do to earn a few quid these days lol.

If you're in the area then visit this pub, say hello to Lou and enjoy a busy, down to earth pub.

PS  I must apologise to Lou, as I didn't realise until the end of the night that I should have started at 9.  We arrived around 8.30pm and I then realised that I had forgotten the lead for my laptop.  Knowing (thinking) that I had until 9.30, I thought I had enough time to go home for it.

As it turned out, Lou was looking expectantly at Al around 9, and at the end of the night I actually read the poster!  I had been given the wrong time information, and immediately apologised to Lou and the team.  She said it was fine and that it had been a good night.

Friday 1st September 2006 - West End Bar, Lochgelly

What a strange night!  There was a really mixed crowd in the West End Bar on Friday!  They all seemed to be enjoying themselves, but as usual it took about an hour for them to be relaxed (or drunk!) enough to show it.  Why is it that we are all so reserved??

I took along my new secret marketing weapon - a wee scrolling message tag.  I have three messages on it so far..

  1. See joanie.co.uk

  2. This is not a bl**dy karaoke

  3. Feel free to clap

The first and last are self-explanatory, but there is a good reason for number two.  Every time I visit a pub or club for the first time, I am asked for karaoke books ( I have sooo been there and done that) or people ask if their "pal" can sing.  I avoid being too sarcastic and I try not to be offended.  I must admit I get strange looks from pub crowds the first time they see me.  I mustn't look like a singer at first glance.  You can decide for yourself.

Please note - I do not allow anyone to use my microphone.  This is not because I am a snob or don't want to be `outdone`. 

There are three reasons really -

  1. My microphone was very very very very expensive.  Dropping or swinging it is NOT an option!

  2. I lost a lot of work at the beginning of the year due to throat infections, colds and flu.  I don't get paid when I don't work

  3. I am here to entertain YOU.  If everyone who wanted to sing was allowed, I wouldn't be able to!  Please let me do my job, or I won't get paid!

Saturday 29th April 2006 - West End Bar, Lochgelly

Yet another good night in the West End Bar.  Nice people, nice atmosphere, but a bit quiet tonight.  I was reliably informed that it was quiet all through the town tonight. Why is it that there always seems to be a party in the town I'm playing?  I must be thankful for the couple of dozen or so customers who were there till the end. My voice is still not quite what it should be, but its getting back to normal. I quite often criticise Fifers as being the least likely to put their drinks down and clap but I received lots of applause at this gig so gave as much as I could. The feedback from the audience does make a difference... keep it up, and thanx.

A big HI!! to Lou and Stephen, who made me feel really welcome. 

Saturday 11th March 2006 - The West End Bar, Lochgelly

It had been a very long time (a very, very long time!) since my last visit to the West End Bar in Lochgelly, and I must admit I wasn't sure if I'd be allowed back!  The reason for this is that Alan lifted one of the speakers last time without looking, and smashed a glass lampshade!

I must say a big HI! to Louise, the new owner.  She made me very welcome, and seemed impressed with my act.  She opened the door for me too, as there was too much smoke in the pub - you could almost cut it!  I'm looking forward to the smoking ban. 

My chest has been a bit wheezy since Saturday, and I'm putting it down to the smoke.  Thankfully I seem to be okay today, and I'll be fine for the weekend.