As a substantial tally of big tunes were metered up by my compering interludes at this week’s club like the filling of some incredibly edible multi-storey arse-burger of a sandwich, I reflected on the difficulty of being the host.
The regular compere makes it look easy. He invents little games to break the ice. He introduces a nugget here for a later comic reference there. He looks comfortable.
For me, it’s about being able to handle the verbal absence. The briefest pause and I’m ready to blurt out the first phrase making itself cognitively available, and hastily get the next act on the stage. But you have to let it breathe; inhale that radio silence. Become calm, start to flow and let the audience in. And that takes balls. I need to grow balls.
As it were.
There’s an instructive dichotomy that manifests to the performer. The performer learns that his show is justifiably termed an act. At times, you feel a unity between audience and performer (the bond of concert). At others, you could stick a whale between what they’re thinking and what you are. Anyway, I’m leaving Tuesday with the attitude of ‘job well done’, even though this last effort places in the latter category. Big shout out to the guy in the audience who prompted for me a compere’s applause at the end.
And the size of the numbers was outstanding. I literally ran out of superlatives. Songs were enormous; collaborations were colossal. The magnitude of one contributor’s effort was ‘of boundless enormity’. As one bright spark noted, this incremental trend could not continue indefinitely – still, it was indeed a pleasure to play host to such breadth, and remind myself why I love The Acoutic Club.
Which is why I’m happy to be returning next week as performer.