Friday, 5 March 2010

It’s The Little Things


It’s the little things:

Little things on tour are useful. Years ago it was a case full of cds to listen to, now it’s a video ipod, with all my entertainment needs in a tiny box. A way to stay sane, have room on the bus, and to grab a piece of calm and isolation, even when surrounded by others.

A travel toothpaste, a travel shower gel - stocking fillers for the world’s most practical (and dullest) Christmas stocking. All things that make being in perpetual motion more containable. We don’t even have oranges on the bus, just tangerines. It all has to be small.

Little bunks, enough space to lie down with a (small) paperback on your chest. A little light beside you, a little window to look through as the little towns pass in the night. Little luxuries.

Small is good. The same might be said for the shows. I can sense a little momentum here now, a steadily growing audience. Loyalty and your own word-of-mouth campaigns seeing the room slowly fill up – little by little. But we can still see each other, still hear the heckles, still sing to the back of the room. A little love can go a long way.


Ten years down the line, and many of you are still here – defiantly so. Still down at the front, still hiding in the shadows at the back. Bringing your friends, your children, your parents. Still bringing to the shows the same passion and energy that I hope we, as a band, bring. Still coming with expectation, with hope. Still part of this communication that is live music.

A little group of friends, playing little rooms, enjoying a little evening’s entertainment, sharing little exchanges, hopefully making a little difference to all our lives.

And that is no small thing.

Thank you.

32 comments:

  1. Making a huge difference to our lives!!!
    Writing up my PhD thesis these days, not a funny thing to do. But was at the show in Cambridge yesterday. It was magic. And it put me in such a good mood (even with all these sad songs) to hear fantastic music (Oli Kraus is a genius by the way). And the atmosphere was great.
    It keeps me going.
    So big thanks to you, the band, and Brian Wright.

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  2. And thank you for nearly ten years of splendid gigs...

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  3. From the opening band at T in the park in 2001 til now, I've managed to see you and the band as often as possible. Always an awesome performance. I hope I'm still seeing your live shows in 10 years time :D

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  4. Tom, the past 10 years have gone by so fast. Every gig is a moment of beauty. Almost as beautiful as you.

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  5. I first discovered you when we studied "End of the world news" in an English class... and now it's me teaching children. I have to drive 120 km a day to go to work, but it's a pleasure driving with your album really really loud in the car!
    Thank you for those past 10 years!!!

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  6. It is no small thing indeed when you change the life of people. You've changed my life with your beautiful music and beautiful voice. A hundred thousand thank you's

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  7. Small is Beautiful - Gigs as if People Mattered. Thanks for shaking off that sore throat and giving us two more fantastic evenings at King Tuts!

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  8. In the nicest possible way, I hope you never get popular Tom! I have no doubt you would be able to perform in massive arenas; I'm just too selfish to give up the small venues. Liverpool was brilliant. As is the album.

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  9. Great blog entry. (You should try putting words together for a living.) I'm officially addicted to the new album, and the Newcastle gig was outstanding.

    I've only been on board for five of those ten years -- I'm practically a new recruit... -- but I've seen you perform live 4 times in 5 years. That's no small thing, and long may it continue.

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  10. that post was sooo awwww. :) btw one of my life purposes is to once get a tom mcrae concert. not a very easy task from hungary, but I definitely believe that the day will come. :)

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  11. It is without a doubt the little things in life that mean the most and the things you never part with......thats the bond between Tom McRae and his family of fans.
    Like puppies, we aren't just for Xmas, we are for life!;-)

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  12. From an ever-changing stage, we may all look small to you, but it's a huge thing that binds us.

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  13. [i]In the nicest possible way, I hope you never get popular Tom!....[/i] Second that! I love little venues, having the idea one can still make a connection with the band. I love artists who are still grateful people actually show up as audience. And I love your music, your shows, being your audience. I'm spoiled, I don't wanna share you with 5000 others in one room... Thank you for all those years. I'm grateful for every note...

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  14. I keep playing "Won't Lie" in my head. Really love that little song...

    See you at La Maroquinerie!

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  15. I'm walking hand in hand with your own ghost9 March 2010 at 02:14

    How can I sleep when I only think of....you?

    The colour of your tour bus reminds me of this strange green used for a bathroom in kubrick"Shining",this green makes me feel uncomfortable.
    But I hope that your new tour is cooler than this colour and that you have some"fun",that it's like a party all the time in stage and backstage.That you have a lot of hysterical groupies tearing your shirt out.Becareful the colour of the bus can make them run away or vomit if they are drunk...or not.
    I continue to be a living advertising for you in France but it is not my fault.You tend to do THE songs that I become easily addicted and like a junky i need my dose wherever i'm.And this time your album is one song.
    But my addiction made me realised that your music does not work in every house,for exemple,i put your cd in the house of "roots reggae" friend of mine and you were not "raggamuffin" enough for them.They were surprised that I needed "that depressing music" to feel good.

    It's ridiculous I bring your fucking "Alphabet of hurricanes" everywhere.Soon you'll make me become a sort of itinerant salesman or a Mcrae's witnesses.

    Don't be surprised if one day I rang without knowing your own door to ask you to buy your own cd.
    Don't be surprised that I don't manage to sleep after that...

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  16. Hi,
    I'm delighted you're on tour again, but do you propose to visit Centre France (as in Clermont-Ferrand, for instance).

    I know you've come to "la coopérative de mai" twice, will you again this time? If you need any contact for another venue, I could give you a hand there. I would SO love to see you perform live!

    Enjoy your tour (and tangerines)!

    Love,

    Gaïl

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  17. How can i sleep when i only think about....no just kidding this time.Im not Mcraetized, not completly but yes i almost speak like an AA.
    By the way, at least i made it!!Put the alphabet out of my bag and try to forget it for a while.I made a wonderful trip in normandy far far away from home.And there i found a small supermarket like the apu's kwik e mart in the simpsons and guess who faced me suddenly?who?who?YEAH!!the.....alphabet of hurricanes(-_-)your cd quoi!
    But it's ok, it was actually a good surprise.
    This beautiful cd in this little little town in this cool normandy.coooooolll.
    Hey I'm healed!!yeah positive stuff mean i'm healed!!

    bonne nuit and good tour continuation in the green bus!

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  18. Tom - I brought my girlfriend to see you when she'd refused point blank to listen to your CDs. She watches Glee ... a lot.

    She fell in love with your songs, your voice, the music, the lyrics, the way you interact with the crowd, the heckles you both give and take (you couldn't always do that - think Glasgow QMU on the Just Like Blood tour), and of course, the merchandise...

    I was trying to think of a suitable drink for you to add to the line-up...something like Tom-Bongo (instead of Um-Bongo): main ingredient hemlock ;-).

    Take care and Thanks to you.

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  19. Thank you for another fantastic gig in Bergen! :) Great band!

    It`s been approx. 10 years since I was introduced to your music when the man in my life gave me your first record for Christmas. I love your music, it has given me so much joy and happiness over the years!! The new record is fantastic, and the additional "Recorded at Gunpoint" is highly appreciated. Please come back to Bergen and play for us again soon!

    Berg(en)

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  20. Tom and the band saw you at the Brudenell in Leeds. A fantastic night as always but I think sneekily even better than before. Love the variety on the new CD set and piping it into the rooms of my sleeping children to indoctrinate them. Keep keeping on. You're a great place for me to go and revel in good music.

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  21. Dear Mr. McRae, you and your band ruled last night in Utrecht (Holland). We first got treated to a very pleasant support act by Brian Wright, who turned out to be awesome not only by himself but also as part of your band. He sprinkled 'fairydust' on your songs with his guitarplaying, at times giving them quite a big boost.

    You are right: this music communication on a smaller scale in smaller rooms with an audience that is right there in the moment with the artists is something we should cherish.

    I don't know how you do it but every time I get to see you in concert I think afterwards "This was the best gig I have ever seen from Tom McRae and band".

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  22. What a great moment in the Docks-Lausanne tonight, it was just amazing. Thank you very much to you, your band and Brian !!!

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  23. Ooooops,

    Just realized I did not give you any contact, for the help I proposed. You can get me through myspace under the same alias as here.

    Enjoy your tour! We'll always enjoy some music (i.e. yours;))thanks to you

    Gaïl



    Hi,
    I'm delighted you're on tour again, but do you propose to visit Centre France (as in Clermont-Ferrand, for instance).

    I know you've come to "la coopérative de mai" twice, will you again this time? If you need any contact for another venue, I could give you a hand there. I would SO love to see you perform live!

    Enjoy your tour (and tangerines)!

    Love,

    Gaïl

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  24. Hi Tom,

    I went to your show in the Melkweg (unfortunately no concert in Rotterdam); but it was worth the effort. Even more, I loved your performance; all the old famous songs + new nice ones. Keep on listening to the John Wayne and the title song alphabet of hurricanes...splendid!

    Enjoy the rest of the tour and hope to see you soon again. Coming autumn, Rotterdam? :)

    PS1 I reckon it is true that more and more people come to the show; I also added 2 more to the 'fan share'. You are like a virus, slowly affecting everyone!
    PS2 One for your show: Tombola (not sure if it is an English word or not); in Dutch it means a lottery in which everybody wins. In your case everyone would loose :)

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  25. Hi Tom,

    I've been listening to you for 7 years now. It started when i heard Karaoke Soul on a french radio and from that moment i've never stop listening to your amazing music.
    Last night I was at the Maroquinerie in Paris, it was the first time i saw you and your band on stage and it just blew my mind. It was exactly what you desribe in the last paragraph of this post, and it indeed made a little difference to my life. So thank you...
    It was a fantastic show and i'll be there in october to see you again.

    Take care,
    Aurore.

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  26. whispers in" for the restless" are bewitching8 April 2010 at 02:21

    You're all so lucky.You saw Tom on stage.October is far but perfect,i quite like summer.
    Just a suggestion to wait like a big girl i'm,sent like prayers."LINE OF FIRE","mermaid blues","LINE OF FIRE","hidden camera show","LINE OF FIRE"amen.Ok,it is the last album so "won't lie"?if you have no clarinet I can play flute à bec...

    Like already tired to wait,I read reviews of blazé people,saying Tom played too much "boy with a bubblegun" in Paris blablabla but they are still happy to hear it blablaba(am I an informers there?).They have the right to be blazé or anything else it is not the point,but I envy them.They have that sort of intense opinions which mean they often see Tom on stage.
    Damn,I wanna know if I can be blazé too...

    "x" is "kiss" in english right?but it means something else not really elegant in France.

    So, bisous

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  27. Tom, a thousand thank yous for still being there, still doing what you do, still reaching out to those of us who feel a little bit like you do in this crazy life.. with your voice, your words and your music. Long may you keep sharing your unique gift. J

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  29. Just found your music! Sifting threw a Fringe fan video or two... That Show is just perfection. Anyway, if you could hunt that vidder down; You should thank her.

    I'm telling everyone I know about you and now have one of your songs featured on the site Jabberjays.com. Love the music, I can't stop listening to it!!

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  30. Tom i loved your shows in the joogleberry in brighton. Those intimate shows are so full of atmosphere. I love the big ones too, can't wait to see you at Shepherds Bush. People love you because you value what is real emotion between people. Clumsily put i know but in a world of bullshit your sentiment and amusing wafflings really stand out to those that care about the good things in life that really matter. Nice. Party on!!!

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  31. I found you in a bookshop in Glasgow, maybe 8 years ago, just by chance. I was browsing and was drawn downstairs to listen to your set by the very individual voice that I still treasure. Saw you later at UEA; I play the albums often. May interest you to know I am coming up seventy...so, see, your appeal is pretty wide spectrum. Thanks for the quality and the emotional depth of your work.

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