Gemma Ray's Diary - Part Two
By: Gemma Ray
Posted: March 13, 2010 – Toronto, Canada
Read Part One of Gemma Ray's CMW Diary here.
Friday, March 12
Seems I tempted fate with my last entry. By mentioning ‘disaster'.
I discovered during my soundcheck that my voice was on its way to being well and truly fucked. Honey was bought, acupressure was googled and applied, cider vinegar was drunk, saltwater was gargled, but to no avail. We spent a desperate two hours back at the hotel trying to salvage it, wondering whether to cancel or not. We decided to go for it in the hope that adrenaline or something would open up the larynx. It didn't. I tried to sing but nothing came out.
I changed tack, and went psychedelic with my drone machine and effects, and stabbed at Li'l One Arm* with my knife, to mask my inner devastation. The people there seemed to get something out of it, but it was the most challenging gig I've ever done. I managed a few difficult songs.
I love to sing. So to not be able to that because of something out of my control is very scary. .
A positive was unexpectedly seeing a friend's band play in the room downstairs at the Silver Dollar. My manager, Andy Zammit, occasionally plays drums for Dan Sartain, and the occasional bass player is his b-day buddy, Matt Patton. His band proper are The Dexateens from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They are really great. Matt looks dementedly ecstatic onstage (I have never seen anything like it in fact) and manages to put a smile on my face. Albeit temporarily.
I go to sleep gutted.
* Li'l One Arm is my guitar.
Saturday, March 13
Turns out I have laryngitis.
Amazingly, some responses to my show last night commend my brand-new Joplin-esque husk.
We have to cancel tonight's Network Europe performance at The Painted Lady in order to try to rescue my voice for Rockpalast on Wednesday, where me and my band will play a 75 minute set eventually broadcast in Germany. I need that for my future grandchildren. I pray it works out. I am particularly disappointed because I'm told The Painted Lady is Lynchian in vibe. Which is where I am most at home.
This has only ever happened to me once before. Right before a gig in Germany with a band I was blackmailed into singing for. A Bavarian witchdoctor cured me on the spot, by holding my big toe and putting his hand behind my knee. True.
Does anyone know a Bavarian witchdoctor in Toronto? I am at the Delta Chelsea.
This is a long way to come for a rest.
I suppose that my blog will be pretty samey from now on. "In hotel room, silent, with book. In hotel room, silent, can hear the elevator....", so I will sign out.
Canada, I shall return. With bells on.
Continue reading with Part One of Gemma Ray's SXSW Diary here.
Video: "Fist of a Flower" by Gemma Ray