When I first started out it was because I wanted to support the Alzheimer’s Society who look after carers and support dementia research (find out why in the About section). I also had to come out as a singer and guitarist – I’d been in the shed too long and it was time.
Now, I never said I was particularly good but I thought playing in the living room of some kind friends might get me sort of ‘gigged in’. I though if I could raise about 400 quid that would justify any humiliation and loss of dignity.
All that happened at the beginning of 2014 – I played 26 times and I raise just under £1000. I was ecstatic and pleased as punch to have raised so much.
At the end of 2015 I’m even happier – 30 more gigs and we raised another £7300 to bring the grand total up to £8253.23 – not including some more we raised for the Alice Gross Youth Music Fund and RNLI at some wonderful nights in Muswell Hill.
Here is a clip from BBC Radio Sheffield with the Seven Songs Story in a nutshell.
And here are some of the highlights…
This year was very different from 2014. Last year I shuffled and mumbled my way into the homes of unsuspecting but very supportive and trusting friends. It was embarrassing for me and for them and I am so very thankful for their kindness.
The one thing I’ve learned over the last 2 years is that you’ve got to give to get and this year it wasn’t just me giving there were loads of people involved and I really can’t thank them enough. I had the support of friends like Marjie, Carlton and Duncan who go me onto the radio and local paper. Colin, the First Husbands Club ( a drinking club in Sonning ) and the Cookcurry Club who helped put together the big show in Sonning.
I also played with some great musicians – my wonderful neighbour Simon who stuck with me through the year. The talented Ginny, Harman, Paul and Hannah who all played together at Pearson Hall at the biggest Seven Songs to date. The highly musical Matt who let me play on his Radio Show, The Matt Allright Saturday Solution and joined me in a living room gig too (inc. his lap steel guitar, which sounds amazing)… and we had cabbage pie (my food highlight of 2015).
There are also many wonderful hosts too many to name who went out of their way to support Seven Songs – Joern who asked his guests to donate rather than give birthday presents, my old flatmate Candice and Peter who arranged a Sunday lunch as did Jane and David, and the new friends I met, like Nick, Kersten and Manjit who let me play at their parties. And other old friend like Tracy and Mike, Wendy and Owen, Andrew and Tilly, Morty and Sarah, Damien and Jules, Giles, Sam and Adam and Hilary and Adrian who all hosted amazing evenings.
And on top of that I was invited back to play at the Ben Nevis in Glasgow and the Deli Rouge in Cardiff and I found out about the North London Ring Ding hosted by Una and Mike and saw my really really old friends Dino and Angela – the Ring Ding is quite a thing.
There are many people that supported me throughout the year and went out of their way to be special – Brian, The Maidenhead Labour Party, Sonning Tennis Club, The Sonning Regatta Committee, Unite the Union, Mark and Louise, Cathy (Battenburg Belle) and Jenny (Silver Screen Suppers), Elaine at the Ben Nevis, Mark and Geraldine, Nicola Young, Claire Scally, Margaret Gough and of course the long suffering but magnificent Mrs Seven Songs.
I know I’ve missed folk off the list I just can’t think who they are at the moment but we’ll get you all in the end.
So what next – we’re going to do it all again. It might be a bit different – hopefully more musical with more friends playing along. And of course if you are interested in hosting a Seven Songs get in touch – it’s often quite good and it is for a very very good cause.