Tag Archives: musician

Hull Talent Trail 2011 – the semi’s!

Okay…so I have to be careful how I write this lest you get the impression I am bitter or upset about the outcome.  I’m not I can assure you. However, I do think that the topic needs to be discussed as there actually were a few unhappy and confused people in attendance the night of the second semi-final of the Hull Talent Trail 2011, of which I was a participant.

So, first things first and straight to the point, I didn’t actually get through.  I was well aware that I wouldn’t though, having seen the line-up for my night.  As soon as the names were announced for my heat I trawled back through the Hull Daily Mail articles of the qualifying heats to check out the competition…as you would.  For most of  the acts there were videos available to watch.  It became apparent after watching the first the girls that it was a) a girls night and b) a cabaret/club-singer/musical theatre kind of affair.  So immediately I was concerned that I had been put in this category being the only musician playing an instrument and singing my own arrangements of fairly well known songs that were d e f i n i t e l y  n o t anything like what the other girls were doing!

The previous heat I had been in had consisted of other guitarists, a couple of people singing to backing tracks and a seven-piece band.  When I was told I had got through that round, the organiser approached me afterwards and told me I had ‘walked it’.  I should also mention that one of the three judges was a musician also who has been in bands, organised lots of live music events and could actually play an instrument so understood what’s involved in playing and singing at the same time!

So the whole time I was preparing for the semi-final heat I was constantly being reassured by my family and my boyfriend that it didn’t matter that I was an entirely different performer to the other 8 girls and that I should trust the judges.  Under normal circumstances this would be good advice right? Well that’s what we all thought.

So I turned up on the night at Inglemire Social Club prepared and not worrying too much.  Then the judges came in and were introduced.  They were, in no particular order, Kim, Mally King, Pete T, Glen and Lisa Kelsey, a cabaret singer.

 

Comments were as follows:

 

Glen:  ‘Great to see live music’, ‘Loved your voice – and the arrangements’, ‘You have real talent Claire I could listen to you all day! A very commercial sound’.

 

Pete:  ‘Lovely control’, ‘Loved the arrangement of the last two songs’.

 

Mally:  ‘Guitar played with skill’, ‘Linked songs and told us 1st song as well, not all have done that’, ‘Great vocal quality’, ‘This area seems to produce really good guitar/vocalists, Emma, Edwina, Andy, Leanne that have made it, let’s hope you follow them all the way. You have a nice touch of humour’.

 

Kim:  ‘Three easy listening songs, loved them all’, ‘Hi Claire, thanks for bringing something different to the stage tonight, loved listening to your music, lovely chill-out songs’, ‘Relaxed and confident performance’, ‘My kind of music, thanks and well done x ‘.

 

Lisa:  ‘Nice look, confident start’ (Poison Prince), ‘Very nice voice, very chilled feel to the songs’, ‘Nice contrast to all the clubland acts’, ‘Like to see you fronting a band’, ‘Very talented but lacking that bit of sparkle for me’, then she said…..of In For The Kill ‘nice version – bit long’ and of Glory Box ‘Not familiar with the song’.

 

So basically, all positive comments bar a couple of negatives from Lisa. So, as this is MY blog, I have a right to dispute these comments and will!

In For The Kill is actually my shortest song so I’m not even going to bother saying anything more on (moron) that!

As for not being ‘familiar with the song’ regarding Glory Box, well, this is also an irrelevant comment. It really doesn’t matter if that particular judge knows that particular song or not. Everyone else loved it and I’m pretty sure they weren’t ALL ‘familiar’ with it! That’s not what a talent show is about judging. All other comments about my song choices were good, including her own which seem contradictory when you read them !

The questions are did I sing it well? Did I play guitar well with it? Did you enjoy it? Do I have talent???  As for sparkle…well, don’t get me started! Hahaha. Thats was my first reaction to that comment. Sparkle?? I’m a folk/rock/pop/acoustic artist! It would have been ridiculous to add some ‘sparkle’ in a completely inappropriate way to the style of what I do!

So basically, I wasn’t what they were looking for. Fine. Having seen the other performances of the night I don’t WANT to be what they were looking for.  As I was told by a few people on the night, I could have got up there, in a sequined dress, danced about like a lunatic singing to an imaginary moon and belted out some show-tunes (this is an accurate description of what I saw that night – ask anyone that was there!)….but that’s not me. I love what I do, I love playing guitar and I love singing songs that I feel and am sincere about. Thats my style and until I want to change it that’s how it will always be.

I haven’t taken it personally, I’m more than happy with the outcome and it’s been an experience.

I think the most fitting words to finish on are those said by my boyfriend before I even went to the semis which were ‘do what you enjoy doing and don’t try to be someone else’s idea of perfect’.

P e r f i c k  

p.s.  I will be posting the songs I performed for both heats of Hull Talent Trail 2011 for your anticipated opinions for me to completely ignore! ;)

 

 

 

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Pernicious Anaemia – part 2

…and the not so good part?

Well, about 6 weeks before my Pernicious Anaemia diagnosis, I started experiencing numbness and tingling, like pins and needles but not quite that, in my finger tips.  As it was only in my left hand initially I (stupidly!) put this down to excessive guitar playing.  That’s really quite terrible terminology because as any musician knows  there is, of course, No Such Thing as ‘excessive’ guitar playing! Pfft!

Anywho… despite finding it really strange I actually just ignored it for a couple of weeks.  Until it spread to my other hand.  Actually, I would have probably ignored this too if it hadn’t been for the horrendous neck and back ‘clicking’ that I’d been experiencing for a number of months as well as the interference with guitar practice.  Now, I don’t go rushing off to the doc’s for the slightest ache and pain (childbirth with no pain relief gives me a pretty high threshold for deciding whats painful and whats not!) but when there are multiple symptoms cropping up then I want to know what’s going on!

I went to my (excellent by the way – I’m very fortunate!) doctor and explained my concerns.  The excessive tiredness alone is what he seemed to be most concerned about.  He booked me in with the nurse to have my blood tested for, well just about everything.  I used to work in Immunology within the Pathology department of NHS hospitals and occasionally spent time in Haematology and Biochemistry too so I was satisfied that this was a thorough list of testing!  However he spotted my expression and asked if there was anything else concerning me.  So I said ‘well, yes. You haven’t mentioned the tingling in my hands’ (which was after all why I was there!).  However he didn’t seem concerned at all and said we’d look into that following my blood test results.  So, fine!  Who am I to argue?  I went away a lot less worried and just got on with work.

Work was turning into a nightmare by the way.  I work as a Laboratory Manager (immunological and genetic analysis – I won’t bore you) but it’s a very hands on role.  Y’know, pipetting and stuff.  My confidence started to ebb away very quickly over a period of about 6 weeks, probably from around the same time as the tingling started.  This was down to a combination of things but mostly:  forgetting simple names or jobs due out, making errors due to inability to concentration (I HATE making mistakes), and clumsiness.  I was desperately trying to hide all of these symptoms, putting it down to tiredness but secretly questioning what on earth was wrong with me? 

So a few days after my blood tests the results are in and, as you may have already seen (in Pernicious Anaemia – part 1… ahem!) I had low B12 and following further tests Autoimmune PA was diagnosed.  This did not explain the tingling however and I was once again sent home to see if it would just disappear.  It didn’t.  It got worse, much worse.

The tingling spread to my upper arms and back and by now was really concerning me, particularly as my back was affected and this was clearly something to do with my nerves.  You don’t spend 4 yrs on a Biomedical Science degree without learning a thing or three about the Central Nervous System!

So I went back to the doctor.  Actually I was sent there by my colleague JT in the middle of the work day as the strange sensation had me in tears and he was very worried.  I made an emergency appointment and went into the surgery (still crying!) telling my doctor something was just not right.  He checked me over with Babinski’s test - which I passed and then….get this….went on Wikipedia (I love Wiki!) to try and work out why I was having this strange symptom which to him could only have been one thing.  There it was in black and white, the Lhermitte’s sign that he thought I was describing was also associated with B12 deficiency!  News to both of us!

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