Archive for the guitar Category

Martha Wainwright…

Posted in Foy Vance, friends, gigs, guitar on August 14, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

I’ve no idea if I’ve even spelt that right… but ah well…

I went to see Martha Wainwright tonight (after finding the site to link to I see I HAVE spelt it right!)
I had never heard her own stuff before, rather I knew her as the girl who sang with Snow Patrol in their ‘Set fire to the third bar’ song that my friend Marc hates… Anyway, I had thought she sounded ok on that, so when my friend Jeannie (who is a fan of hers) asked me to go along with her and a few other friends to a gig she was doing in Lisburn, I happily agreed. After all, it had been her who had introduced me to the magic of Foy Vance!
So, I was reminded last night (sunday night) about the concert (‘oh crap, i forgot!!’ was my first thought) and so tonight we set off for Lisburn, my hopes high of a good gig. After picking up Sonya, Dave and Connor (all of whom I hadn’t seen in a while, so I was glad to see them) we set off on an interesting route to the lyric arts centre in Lisburn.

The support act was a local band called The Winding Stair who I have to say I really enjoyed. They were very Irish in their sound, and yet kinda modern too – I loved it… although I am sad to say I don’t really feel their myspace recordings do justice to their live performance.
So after the support and a short interval was Martha. She came out to applause, and I was shocked for a moment into thinking she was wearing nothing from her waist down (but then noticed she was in fact just about wearing a pair of shorts, lol). She began to play acoustic guitar (I was under the impression she was a pianist, but seemingly either I was wrong or she had gone for a change tonight), and I have to be honest and say that I was quite unimpressed with the first song. Or even to go further, I wasn’t so much unimpressed as I was disliking it. It just wasn’t my kind of thing at all… I can’t even really try and describe what it was like, but it didn’t appeal to my tastes at all…

She spoke to us (the crowd) a few times throughout the performance, and revealed that a lot of the gig was new songs as she has just finished work on a new album. To be blatantly honest, I found the entire gig average. It’s kinda hard to describe… I thought it was good in that I appreciate the talent she has – she has an incredible voice, and used the guitar very well to accent that. However, her style of music I found to be very unappealing to my tastes. Also, her songs all seemed to be very depressing and hopeless… and it didn’t help that she seemed to forget her lyrics a lot.
All in all, I stand by what I told my friends when I left. I thought it was good, yes, but I didn’t really enjoy it… I won’t be rushing back to see her. Good thing the next two gigs I’ve got tickets for are The Rolling Stones and Foy Vance!!



Posted in christianity, guitar on June 29, 2007 by Phil Alcorn

I’m sure I spelt that wrong… ah well, not to worry!

I was just watching a video on youtube of this guy playing guitar… and it made me feel completely inadequate with my own ability. I mean, I know that I’m by no means as skilled as a lot of my friends, but watching this video just made me feel like… bleh… about it all. I don’t know how much this guy had to practice to get that good, must have been a heck of an amount. But that in itself got me thinking, I don’t practice as much as I should if I wanted to be that good because I have other priorities. There are other things in my life at the moment which are more important. Like sorting out visual things for Exodus at summer madness, helping out at the 5th year bible study, sorting out publicity stuff for CU… these things take priority for me at the moment, and I practice guitar when I can. So I start to not feel as bad about myself… because I’m achieving what is set by the priorities I have chosen…

It also got me thinking about the danger of comparing yourself to others. I believe God has gifted me with some musical ability, and has gifted me with the ability to lead worship. And yea, sometimes I don’t take time to, or even get the opportunity to, refine those gifts. But I believe they are there, and that they are being refined as I use them. I can say with utmost confidence that I am nowhere near the standard of many of my friends, but I am happy with that. I’m happy with that because I know that God has given me these gifts for this time, and He has given my friends gifts as well. And He gives us these gifts for us to use, for us to enjoy, not for us to compare with one another and complain about who is better at what. I truely believe God has given me all the gifts He has granted me so that I can complete the tasks He has set for ME. Not so I can complete the tasks He has set for others. He gifts others in their own was to accomplish that.

I guess a summary of that messy paragraph is this: don’t compare yourself to others. It just leave you open to become either down about yourself, or big headed. Be happy with what you have, and do your best with it. Treasure it and use it. Because there is never going to be another you.