On the topic of house concerts, I’ve been reading about Jane Siberry and her European tour in The Globe and Mail. The 54-year old Canadian singer is performing in private homes and other small venues – this weekend in Stockholm, then on to Finland, Norway and the Netherlands before finishing up next month in London. She travels light, takes buses and trains. Her only requirement is a meal and a night’s lodging at her hosts’ homes.
During one monologue, she even explained to the audience why she stopped doing big tours. In an interview before the show, she had elaborated on that theme: “I would play at clubs and we’d go there and people wouldn’t be prepared, or the dressing room would be filthy once again. So I’m standing there and these people have come from far, Detroit or whatever, and security guys are walking back and forth as if people are going to shoplift. It’s so rude. Promoters are looking at the empty seats and waitresses are so bored, cash registers are going and it’s against the force of music.”
Siberry came up with the idea for the tour after receiving e-mail requests from fans in out-of-the-way places. “I don’t have a promoter that’s interested in bringing me over, and I thought, ‘Am I just never going to play there because someone’s a gatekeeper, but people want me?’ So that moment I wrote an e-mail and said, ‘If you miss me, invite me to your living room and find, say, 30 people at 30 dollars. (read more)
Pianists take note. If you want to perform, you can. It’s all about branding, making connections, administrating…and of course, practicing.
www.janesiberry.com for more info