Forgive me for inserting that quote from Born To Run, the Springsteen autobiography. But it occurred to me how true it was as I was preparing to go out on tour and it still rings true as my head clears from the chaos of the Barrowlands.
Something happens between the time you go on stage and the end of the show which changes the relationship between everyone in that room. It changes how people feel about themselves, how they feel about those sitting or standing around them and finally it breaks down the barrier between the artists and the audience to such an extent that everyone there feels like they are part of an homogenous collective altered by music.
I noticed a few years back when I remembered standing on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall and feeling as if I was part of the audience…and I felt the audience noticed it too. The pretence had gone. There were was no fourth wall..in the course of the show, it had disappeared completely. I realised that night, that this is the test of whether any gig has worked for me as a performer. All the usual stuff has to be correct and the test is that we all feel we are part of the one thing.
I’m probably saying this to explain the gap in the blog for the last few weeks. If you were not aware of it, I have been out on the road with my band mates from Deacon Blue touring the British Isles, north, south east and west and now I am home. It’s always slightly odd getting back. People assume touring is enormous fun – and bits of it can be – but for me it’s also a mountain to climb, and you have to climb it again very night, so there is a deep sense of relief to be on the other side of it all and look forward to a warm AC studio and a pile of fine records.
I’ve missed being able to play music the way I like to. I quite like being driven around but have no idea how to access all the home entertainment on the tour bus so I ended up just taking my trusty ipod to my bunk and losing myself in old favourites. This has meant that I’ve had to catch up with many lovely new things since my return. The good news? We have some new names for you. Be prepared to be wowed by Holly MacVe, Flo Morrisey and Matthew White (together) and Courtney Marie Andrews.
We’ll also have some lovely new things from Tift Merritt, Gillian Welch and our continuing love for Michael Nau.
However all of that will only serve as an opener for tonight’s main event: a session from Austin Lucas backed up by his own touring partners The Dreaming Spires. Austin came in to record this for us back in October when he was visiting Scotland. We’ve loved Austin’s recent album, Between The Moon and The Midwest and you can hear the painful story of that record’s difficult birth. The rejection that Austin faced has, no doubt, made him a stronger artist. You can hear how the story unfolded and the songs that came through the fire on this Tuesday’s Another Country.
We will be on air from five past nine on BBC Scotland FM. Join me if you can.
ps I’m back this Sunday morning too when I will be talking to comic God, Gregor Fisher and playing some fine songs too.