My Face Hurts.

I’m generally quite a smiley person.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not always happy.  In fact, sometimes I’m not happy at all.  But I’m one of those people whose emotions tend to be quite obvious, and if I’m enjoying myself, it definitely shows.

This week, I’ve not been very well.  As much as I’d quite like some sympathy, I think it was probably brought on by my own actions, having extended my birthday week further than even I had intended and partying with Voices of The Day in the Wardrobe on Tuesday.  I’ve been struggling with a sore throat and failing voice ever since, and spend the majority of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in bed, wishing I was out enjoying the beginnings of Spring but not mustering any energy to do so.

But then, I dragged myself out of bed, and took myself off to Lindy Fridays (on Friday, surprisingly) and then my smiles started to reappear.  The folk there must just think I’m constantly grinning goofily (- it’s a reflex, I think, to hide my fear/embarrassment at my my dancing. hehe.) but it really does have a knack to put me in a good mood!

My lovely friend Miles picked me up and dropped me home as I was still buzzing from all the social dancing.  He was in need of a sofa to crash on, on his epic journey North from London to north of Edinburgh to do an Opera.  And so the night of smiling continued, aided by a crazy kitten and some reminiscing.

On Saturday, after getting up early and making breakfast for me and Miles (I’m such a good hostess! 🙂  ) I wandered into town to go to the Adelphi’s Acoustic sessions, as an old friend of my cousin’s was playing a gig there (another guy up from the Big Smoke).

I don’t often go to acoustic gigs, and although I very much enjoy listening to new music and a good singer-song writer bearing their soul, I’m afraid I rarely find one that finds a nice balance between meaningful lyrics and emotion-full songs, while still connecting with an audience during singing them.  Controversial I’m aware this may be, but my limited experiences of acoustic gigs finds that the artists are usually very well equipped at talking to the crowd between songs and explaining the situation of composition, but then go really inward and closed during the song itself.  Not something I am exempt from, I might add.  Nor am I particularly adept at the talking bit either.. hmm

Anyway.  There is no such thing from Antonio Lulic.  He is able to both connect through his spoken word and his wonderfully characterful singing – sometimes even mixing the two..  He looks around, he smiles, he conveys his lyrics and looks to have a lot of fun, whilst at the same time playing as though he was the only person in the room and his existence depended on it.  It was a beautiful thing to observe, and as he was joined on stage by two lovely ladies and  a harp(!) his set was only enhanced.  This song was a personal highlight – love the 3-part harmonies – and I have to admit to having listened to it quite a lot since!   I would urge you to listen to him, and catch him live if you are able.

And so my smiley face broadened as I headed home.

Sunday is Lounge gig day.  This week, I had mentioned the gig to the Lindy folks and asked Mr Kev James to accompany me, as I knew he was practised in playing for their social dances.  I skipped into the bar to see which manager was on, and to brief them that there was a possibility that a few dancers might come down and potentially have a dance.

It was quite nicely busy when we started at 2pm, and unsure whether the dancers would turn up or not, Kev and I started with a few numbers that were unfriendly for lindying, so as to keep enough tunes back.  About 15 minutes into the set, some faces I recognised arrived.  Slowly but surely about 12 dancers from the Friday classes came through the doors to support me and my gig.  I can’t tell you how happy and overwhelmed I was that they had turned up to see me! – Some of my good friends that I have known for years have not been to Lounge yet, and these people, who I’ve known for a matter of weeks, turned up en mass! 🙂

And then they danced!

It was so much fun and enjoyable to watch.  I think some of the regular punters were a little taken-aback at first, not really knowing what to make of it, but it didn’t take long for their smiles to appear too.  I actually think the applause after each song was mainly for the dancers to be honest!

The majority of the group stayed til the end of my last set (6pm) and by this time my smiling face was starting to ache.  It was such a brilliant day, and I’m so pleased that I have the support of some new friends.  I even got an invite to sing at their massive social event (which was sold out before I even started dancing!) in a couple of weeks, so I feel very lucky!

Then it was a quick stop at home to drop off my amp and back out to The Grove to watch ‘Seven Pieces of Silver’ play the music of Horace Silver and keep my smile going a little longer.  My favourite was the gospel-style tune (John tells me it’s called ‘The Preacher.’) that ended the first set.  Brilliant.

And so now I’m home.  My face hurts in that brilliant way that tells you that you’ve had a good weekend, and my eyelids are growing heavy..

Good night all, and don’t forget to say thank you over the next week. 🙂

Tessa x

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