When I was at the Laugharne Weekend (music & books festival) earlier this month I had a lovely conversation with the very brilliant Robin Ince about a load of things, including book writing, crime book writing, politics, arts, diversity, inclusion and Fun Palaces.
We recorded this just before I did my gig in the gorgeous chapel at Laugharne and the audience were splendidly welcoming of my choice to do the gig in Open Space. Instead of second-guessing what people want to hear/know about, I now prefer (if the festival will let me) to v quickly tell the audience the kinds of things I do and care about and then ask them what they’re interested in, responding to that and finding a narrative in their suggestions. It means they get something that is more like a show, but it’s also led by them, and it also means they get a more authentic me, because I’m choosing to respond to them, live, rather than just give them a rehearsed reading* and a bit of Q&A.I’ve done it several times now and it’s always worked really well. Not surprisingly, audiences are far more interested in something they have input into, and I’m far more interesting when I’m being genuinely live. We all win.
The image above is the blue/green/blue of the Sunday morning.
(* authors, rehearse your readings! edit them, make them work for reading aloud not just on the page – it makes SO much difference. I always rehearse, even for gigs like this, so I have readings ready if audiences want them.)