Joanie Blogs... Joanie's Home Page
Joanie's Diary Page
J's Samples Page
Joanie's Gallery Page
Joanie's Past Blogs Page
Joanie's Past Gig Page
Joanie's View Page
Joanie's Facebook Page
Joanie's Twitter Page
Joanie's Reverbnation Page


Back to Area's

Saturday 2nd June 2012 - The Firs, Polbeth

It's been a long time since I was here - 2007!  I read my last review on the way there, and hoped for a different kind of night from the one I had 5 years ago.  Nope. 

I don't like banging on about applause, as I realise that not everyone claps after every song, and I don't want to sound like some diva who craves attention.  However, I sang the whole night in this venue and can count the applause I had on one hand.  I was in the lounge area at the end of the bar, and the people in the pub were all at the bar or along in the pool room.  The only time I saw anyone up close was on their way to the loo.

So an entire three hours with pin dropping silence between songs can get to you.  To be totally ignored by the general public makes for a hard night.  I tried every genre and style of song I could think of, yet nothing.  When you throw everything at a crowd and get nothing back, it's hard not to get despondent. 


Saturday 15th December - The Firs, Polbeth, West Calder

I had to call off the last gig I had here due to ill health, so it's been a while - last time I was at the Firs was July! 

This was a strange gig then, and it was a strange gig on this night too.  Two 45min sets and a helluva lot of music to fill in.  I felt a bit guilty as I usually do a lot more for the same money. But that was what was on the contract, so so beit.

It was a quiet night all round, and I was competing with the TV coverage of the X Factor.  As I was not deemed good enough to get through even the first round when I auditioned, i was obviously no match.  So there you go.  I started at 9.30, and stopped the music during the break so the punters could hear who had won.

The pub had a raffle too, in aid of something or other (sorry I didn't find out), and Al was less than pleased that, when I won, I chose a Bailey's Latté set instead of the bottle of whisky he had his eye on. 

Before this gig I had a terrible chesty cough, and went down to the local health food store, came out with £20 worth of potions and pills, and I must thank the very nice lady who served me.  She suggested Propolis lozenges, which are very very good. 

 Saturday 28th July - The Firs, Polbeth, West Calder

I am never very sure of what to think about this venue.  It is a nice place, and very well turned out, but I find the lack of feedback from the audience quite disconcerting, save for one or two punters who just kept me going. 

The times for this gig are unusual too - 2 x 45 minute sets and just music for the rest of the night.  The shorter singing time is always good, especially if I've been working the night before, but I find that the long periods of music seem to confuse the punters into thinking that I am on til 1 in the morning!  As usual, people did not come to life until around 11.15, and then expected me to keep going after 12. 

I'd like to suggest that the owners/managers book an act from maybe 9.30 til 12.30, and then maybe people will not be disappointed when I have to stop at 11.30.

Saturday 5th May - The Firs, Polbeth, West Calder

This was my first visit to the Firs, and I was expecting a wee pub in the middle of a wee village.  Wow.  This place is huge! I suspect there is more to this pub, as it looked a bit smaller on the inside - there must be more rooms, or a huge kitchen.

They were still serving meals when we arrived at 7.30, and were clearing away the menus around 8pm.  Susan and the other girls couldn't have been more friendly and welcoming. 

I set up at the far end of the bar, around the corner from the main bar area.  Susan tells me that people sometimes like to sit through in this area, and sometimes prefer to stay in the bar area.  So I thought I'd give them maximum `boogying` room.  This proved to be the wrong decision.  I should have set up so the bar area could see me!  I have a sneaking suspicion (without sounding too big headed) that a lot of the time the punters thought I was playing a cd, not singing the songs myself.  I only had to do 2 x 45 minutes, and fill in the rest of the time with background music.  No problems for me - I have an excellent dj program that, once a play list is made up, goes seamlessly from one track to another.  Braw.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the bar staff were hinting for me to stay later and do more work.  The bar is open until 1am, but I was booked to finish at 12.  If I was booked to finish at 1, I would finish at 1.  I don't tend to do more than a couple of extra songs each night, as my job is quite tiring.  You wouldn't think it, but I am usually pretty knackeroonyed when I get home.  Al reckons I hibernate on a Sunday. 

Are there many jobs where you would continue to work even after your shift is up?  I would say no.

As Wayne said in Wayne's world (paraphrasing) If you book me, I will come. 

All in all, this was a good gig, and a shorter one singing-wise for me.  See you in July!