It’s happened again. When we were gigging in Australia earlier this year, one of the venues we played was a jazz club, and described itself as the home of jazz in Melbourne. Upon arriving, the venue had a big poster outside, listing all the performers who’d appeared at the place, and they were all names from the jazz world. Upon entering the venue we saw a programme for the week’s events. For our bit, the writer explained that they were departing from jazz for one night, because it was Saint Patrick’s day, and so they’d decided to have a traditional Irish folk night instead, which was why they’d booked The Young’uns, who are a folk group from Ireland. Except, we aren’t. Fortunately, despite the confusion, our none-Irishness didn’t seem to dampen the night too much, and it was a really good gig. See this Dollop for more on that.
But it’s happened again. One of the venues on our Canadian tour claims to host the best in Country music. What are we to do? The gig is a week away. Should we spend the next few days learning a Country music set to try and avoid embarrassment? It might be a bit of an ask. Maybe it would be more conducive to rework some of our actual songs, singing them in American accents and changing certain words, putting in references to pick-up trucks and cowboys.
Unfortunately, even this might not be enough to save us, because the venue also describes The Young’uns as Celtic. So it’s not just Country music they’re expecting from us, but Celtic Country. We’ve got less than a week to invent a genre of music, learn an entire repertoire of songs in that as-of-yet non-existent gentre, and somehow pull it off. I need to get my hands on a harp from somewhere, learn how to play it, and Michael is going to have to learn the slide guitar.
But Canada manages to trump Australia in the weirdness stakes. This is a write-up about us for the Vancoover Festival, which we play today:
“Though the Young’Uns have been around since 1989, this may well be the first introduction to the genre-bending English trio for a more recent generation (or, ahem, young’uns).”
According to this write-up, we’ve been a band since we were four-years-old. I have no idea where they’ve got this information from. Google The Young’uns and there are loads of websites that will tell you that we started in 2005. So it’s not as if this is even a typo; none of the numbers are the same. I like the fact that they then make a little joke based on their massive mistake: ““Though the Young’Uns have been around since 1989, this may well be the first introduction to the genre-bending English trio for a more recent generation (or, ahem, young’uns).”
Maybe the person who wrote this realised after writing it that they’d got the facts completely wrong, but was so proud of their joke that they decided to sacrifice the facts for the sake of being able to keep in the hilarious joke.
And they describe us as a “genre-bending English trio.” Today’s gig is just going to be our normal stuff. If they came and saw us next week doing our Celtic Country set, then they’d see a band that is truly worthy of the label “genre-bending.” But today we’re just going to do our usual stuff, maybe throw in a few of our old hits from the eighties. I can’t remember what they were; probably an unaccompanied medley of nursery rhymes or something.
This particular write-up comes from the Daily Hive, and the title of the piece is 5 emerging artists to watch at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. So we’ve been around since 1989, but we’re also emerging? The blurb at the start of the article says: “The Vancouver Folk Music Festival, with a diverse lineup that includes many up-and-comers whose stars are rising. Here are five.” And we are one of those five. The Rolling Stones are also on the list.
All this confusion and weirdness does nothing to temper the strange feelings that are naturally occurring due to Jet lag. Anyway, must dash, I’ve got harp practising to do.