Back in 2007 I was asked to perform at a one day event for Impact Theatre Company in Acton (West London). The following year I did the same, however this time I was asked if I’d be interested in teaching some music/songwriting lessons.
So from time to time between touring commitments I have been involved in working with the service users to write songs and hopefully find enjoyment in music. One of the songs was used in a theatre performance the company performed together back in 2012. I attended as an audience member to that and found myself beaming with pride as the chorus belted out the words and melody we had written together.
However this year upon returning from a long stretch of solo shows out in Europe I was asked if I would be interested in working with the company for the music side of their next show ‘I shot the Sheriff’. A Reggae themed western. Together with another musician Sam we would put together a band which would then perform live as a part of the performance which would include acting, music, dance, puppetry & animation.
Rehearsals took place over April with 4 performances in May. We worked into the set some Reggae classics such as ‘Bad Boys’, ‘No Woman No Cry, & of course ‘I Shot the sheriff’. But it was the original compositions we composed as a group which I believe brought the most joy & pride to the process. Some songs were there to emphasise the story line while others were incidental pieces interweaved with the dialogue.
All in all the experience was a pleasure for me. A chance to step out of the ego bubble that I can find myself in after months of touring and also to feel like I can be useful and productive elsewhere has done wonders for my confidence. Between all of this of course I have kept up the gigging with short tours round England. But I can say with certainty this experience has brought great positivity to my world and emphasises the importance of music and art to all of us.
I will think of these times with great warmth and when I return to London following my next European jaunt I will hope to work with these guys and gals once again.