Perk Acoustic @ Oakford Social Club, January 2017
When I think back to my favourite gigs over the last year, almost all of them are labelled ‘Perk Acoustic’. My first gig in Reading was at Perk Acoustic back when it was still in Mojos bar in Reading University Student’s Union and I have remained loyal to Perk since then. Everything about it is exactly how I like gigs to be. As it is a monthly event, there’s a real community feeling about it, from getting to know the wonderful organizer to the people who perform there regularly.
Having said that, I love Perk Acoustic for more than just the community feeling. Whilst I love that the other performers sing along to my songs because they know the words by now, it is as good as it is because it is run by someone who knows what they’re doing. He is the organizer, sound technician and everything in between, and somehow, on his own, he manages to create an amazingly professional-feeling event. Even better, he does it all with a smile and immense kindness.
Last month’s Perk Acoustic was one of my favourites so far. Being my first since the change of venue to Oakford Social Club, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a new venue and off-campus so I had no expectation that people would turn up. The venue was lovely and I was wrong about people not turning up. 7 of my lovely friends, 2 from my history course, 4 from my German course and my endlessly supportive boyfriend, spent their Thursday evening coming to see me sing, and I will never be able to explain to them how happy that makes me.
With so many people there to support me, this gig just felt like it meant something, more so than others have. Each one of those people who came to see me were in that room solely because they care about me enough to be there. As someone who really struggles to get to grips with the idea that people actually like me (I won’t go into it now but I can do another blog post on that another time if you’d like more on it), I had no choice tonight but to accept that they do. I left with this overwhelming sense of love from them and its really come at a time when I need it. It also means a lot that they would be interested enough in my music to not only come tonight, but to say they’d like to come again in the future. I’ve spent the majority of my music-making life having to fight what other people tell me and keep playing anyway. I started singing seriously rather than just as a hobby despite the fact everyone in my school laughed at me for it, telling me not just that I wasn’t good enough, but that I wasn’t good at all. I kept posting YouTube videos of me singing when I was 14 despite the fact they would be met with sniggers and snide comments when I then went into school. Going from that to having people come and see me sing just because they want to is incredible.
It’s also such a lovely feeling to look around a table and realise that you care very deeply about every single person there. So to my lovely friends who spent their Thursday night listening to me singing songs I wrote in my bedroom in a crowded bar, a million thank yous. And I would do the same for you in a heartbeat.