Monday, 5 June 2023

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #94: The Youngest Person In The Room

Last Tuesday, I was randomly scrolling through my inbox when I noticed an email from the website of Scottish singer-songwriter Jill Jackson. It seemed Jill would be performing live in the nearby village of Penistone the following evening, and tickets were still available... at a very affordable amount.

An aside... it's pronounced Pennis-ton, to rhyme with Dennis. So you can stop sniggering at the back.

Now I've never seen anyone play Penistone before, but this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, particularly as it was Half Term week and I wouldn't have to be up at 6.30 the following morning. So I bought myself a ticket.
Wednesday was a busy day and I almost forgot all about the gig, but I remembered just in time to turn up at the Cubley Hall Hotel at 7.45. When I walked in, I found myself in a crowd of about 30 other people, and I was clearly the youngest person in the room. The guy who was running the gig seemed rather surprised to see me there, and I wondered if I'd stumbled into a private party.

"Is your name on my list?"

"I don't know... I've got a ticket..." I showed him the confirmation of my phone.

"Oh, right... what are you doing here then?"

"I've come to see Jill Jackson."

"Oh, good, good... how did you find out about it?"

"I got an email last night..."

"From me?"

"I don't think so. It was from Jill's website..."

It was a very confusing conversation, but in the end he found me a seat. It turned out I'd stumbled into a warm-up gig for a much bigger show Jill was playing the following evening, and she'd stopped off here on her way down to Birmingham as she was old friends with the guy on the door. But even though she was only playing to a crowd no bigger than a family barbecue (her description), she still gave it her all. Almost two hours of wonderful singing and witty storytelling, plus decent support from Kirk McElhinney, in the perfect venue. Everyone in the audience was there for the music, rather than drinking and socialising with the music as almost-forgotten aside. And so I chalked up my third gig of the year... with another three still to come. I've had to start a new scrap book! It's very exciting.

Oh, and for the record, I wasn't really the youngest person in the room. At only 44, I'm sorry, Ms. Jackson, but you're still just a lassie...

And here's the title track from Jill's latest album, based on the letters her grandfather sent home when he was a soldier in WWII...

1 comment:

  1. A great account of what was clearly a great night. I've been to more warm up/try out comedy gigs than music gigs but I appreciate how special it is to experience something in a relatively small, intimate environment.

    It made me chuckle to read that, even after showing your ticket confirmation, the guy at the door then asked "...what are you doing here then?" Priceless!

    And congrats on your third gig of 2023. I've only managed two so far...and neither of them music! That will hopefully change in July.


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