After more than 15 years since Indigo Rush last performed the original song Foreign Land, I sang and played it at an open mic night last week in Newtown.
Every Wednesday, individual artists and bands head along to the Town Hall Hotel, Newtown to sing for 15 minutes (30 minutes for bands). Last week I played Learning to Fly by Tom Petty; That's the Way by Led Zeppelin; and two original songs, The Storm (written when I was in Shiyan), and Foreign Land.
The set went down well, and it was interesting seeing the crowd reactions to each song. I was first on, playing at 7pm, and so there wasn't much reaction to Learning to Fly. Even though I like the song, in a place like the Town Hall it just didn't have any impact. I was pleased to note that The Storm had a good response, mainly because it calls for some impassioned singing and so shows off my range a bit.
I then played Foreign Land, and there was an even better reaction to that song. The intriguing minor riff, with its Eastern flavour, really comes across well in a pub - mysterious, attention-grabbing. I played the song in a slowed-down arrangement, leaving space in between the verse lyrics while I picked the arpeggio chords. It sounded great on my Ibanez acoustic-electric that was plugged in direct to the sound board. For the choruses I strummed the chords faster and then ad-libbed at the end with a two-string sequence of chords while letting the open D string ring.
After that I still had time left in my 15 minute set, so I quickly decided on a final song. I decided to do a song I knew quite well, That's The Way by Led Zeppelin. Somehow I very quickly re-tuned my guitar to the open-G tuning needed for the song and performed probably 4 out of the 6 verses - an intentionally cut-down version. I was really able to let go on the singing and it came over a real treat. I was gratified to see a member of one of the bands waiting to play, staring at the stage with his jaw dropping! I guess he'd never heard that song performed live before! :)
So it was a fantastic way to return to live performance after 10 years of nothing! I really enjoyed the night and while it was a low key, humble venue it nonetheless re-fired my enthusiasm for performance. I was lined up to play again this week but I just didn't feel up to it, I just went straight home after work, and just as well cause work has been exhausting lately. But hopefully I can do something again in the near future.
And of course it was really great to perform some originals after 15 years, and the reaction that Foreign Land got in particular was really gratifying.
Oh and another thing - the Indigo Rush song, Foreign Land, has absolutely nothing to do with the Eskimo Joe song because it was written in about 1995! Although eerily, that other song also has an Eastern flavour to some of the music, so that's a real trip. I still think our song is the better one ;)
P.S: the last time this song would have been performed to my knowledge would have been around 1996 (or 1997?) at the Workers Club at Warragamba Dam!
Link to my previous post about the song Foreign Land.