Had a very fun gig at Costello's Travel Caffe last night. By the way, for those of you who don't know I had a gig last night, be sure to join my mailing list.

I ran into James Jeffrey-West at a couple of songwriting workshops earlier this year, and then we ended up sharing a gig at the Local Lounge on MLK. Shortly afterwards, Pete and I interviewed him for Acoustic Conversations, for an upcoming episode. James has a regular gig at Costello's, and invited me to take part.

Last month I headed down there to catch a show of his - the venue is really warm. The night I was there, it was a packed house. At the time I wasn't sure about playing there, because everyone is eating dinner and I'm never sure if I'd end up being background music, sitting down behind a keyboard at floor level. And if you've read my previous blog entry, you know how I can feel a bit conflicted about a couple of my songs needing more instruments.

But one idea I've been toying with has been to play standing up. I had never done that before. I also wanted to try talking while playing a little more - I went to a David Wilcox concert a couple of weeks back and he does a lot of that, it really adds to the experience. So I practiced both this week, and then there I was standing up behind the keyboard, talking and singing. And it worked great!

I biffed the piano parts a little more often than I normally would but I think that's just getting used to the new position. My pedal was squeaky under my boot and was also trying to get away from me - I think I can solve that at future gigs with a sticky mat and a sock. And I had a great time. I have had a couple of discouraging gigs in the past, but I do seem to enjoy gigging more every time I go out. I think it's getting a little easier now.

James puts on a very nice show. He has a great set, with wonderful stories behind his songs. He has different people playing with him every time he is there at Costello's. I definitely recommend signing up for his mailing list and attending a show there.