Wednesday, September 5, 2012

House Concert Hosting

Last Saturday evening, I hosted a house concert at my place. As I am planning to tour "West Brunswick" to houses and tiny venues, I thought I should host a concert myself to see what my hosts may experience and to find out if there are any drawbacks or inconveniences to hosting. One of my biggest fears is to be an inconvenience or a nuisance so to ask people to host my latest work is accompanied by deep fear as well as great hope. Best to face some of those fears head on to clear the path.

So this is how my house concert unfolded:

I invited Luke R Davies to come and play a couple of sets at my house and we set a date.

I sent two emails, a facebook event invitation and one reminder and I had a full house. Easy!

Everyone prepaid which meant they turned up on the night and Luke got paid well. I kept a list of audience members so I knew who had paid. Easy!

Because it was so easy, I really looked forward to the evening and having all my mates over to share what I believed would be a lovely experience.

The day came, Luke, his partner Cassie and all the instruments arrived from Wangaratta. While they popped out to do a little sightseeing, James and I set up the loungeroom as a theatre - it looked brilliant -  some guests remarked that it looked a little like The Butterfly Club, nice one!

My gorgeous friend, Jeff, called in the afternoon and offered to help with catering. He picked up the delicious turkish breads and sweets from a local Sydney Road bakery that I had planned to serve. He also accommodated my mum who'd come down from Warburton as a surprise guest.

As guests began to arrive, James sat in the kitchen picking tunes on the banjo, he was joined by Silas Palmer, Chloe Hall's partner, who plays stellar violin. The fellas ripped out some classic Australian folk tunes while guests mingled, cracked open the drinks they'd brought and found their seats. It was a welcoming, wonderful way to begin the evening.

Guests seated,  Luke entertained for the next two hours (with a break in between to refresh drinks and eat) with his mix of classic old time country blues tunes, his original Wangaratta songs, played on both standard and homemade instruments. Each of the homemade jobs came with a story.

In the kitchen, James danced with Rose Turtle Ertler  and my mum to the more foot stomping tunes and Silas joined Luke on stage to add some amazing jazz fiddle to some of the songs.

It was such a great night I'm going to host again in a couple of months.

And now I feel very comfortable asking people to host a house concert for my "West Brunswick" tour. I reckon the hosts of "West Brunswick" will enjoy their experience every bit as much as I did mine.

There is something magical about having a performer come and enchant the house and its guests for an evening.

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