“Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to,
Which with any luck will never come true…
“Wand’rin Star” by Lerner and Loewe
from the musical “Paint Your Wagon” 1951 (film version 1969)

DingoAt the beginning of this year I decided I would make a concerted effort to see more of the world.
I already do a lot of traveling but that’s generally in the back of the Bedlam Six van – the only things we tend to see on our trips are venues, hotels and motorway service stations. It’s a little bubble of placelessness.

I’ve been on call for a long time, never wanting to book a holiday or definitively RSVP to a wedding/birthday invitation for fear of missing out on a decent gig. When you’re an independent musician (or as some people still insist on saying: “unsigned”) it’s easy to fall into a trap of feeling pressured into accepting every little thing that comes along, never risking a refusal, deeming all incoming offers as potential golden opportunities to perform in front of “the right people” – those elusive dream-peddlers who’ll give you one Happily-Ever-After in exchange for a few drops of Youthful Naïveté.

But that way madness lies. Since when has art been about waiting for someone else to give you directions? Or, worse still, auditioning to be a piece in someone else’s puzzle? When art fits neatly that’s often a pretty good indication that it isn’t particularly good art (I’ve found this philosophy to be very comforting in my leaner times).

CONTINUE READING…