Thursday, May 07, 2009

Musical endeavours: Or how 175,000 people came to watch me play mandolin.

Ever since I first heard feedback I thought I wanted to be a rock and roller. Not a nu-waver, or landfill indie-er, but a genuine Jimmy Page, Rock and Roller. So I had guitar lessons and so on and got quite good, but found I couldn't sing, but could play a mean (ish) guitar. But I was no Jimmy Page.

Still, as I grew up and enjoyed playing music for itself, rather than as an ambitious way to make money, I became less bothered by this, and just enjoyed impressing people by playing Wonderwall by Oasis at parties*. Then the internet invented Youtube and suddenly people like yours truly had an outlet to record and share their music. I was intrigued. Around the same time I received a mandolin for my birthday. Being the sharing sort I recorded a brief ditty I had come up with, uploaded it to the Tube (as people were calling it then), and sent it to a few friends through Facebook (remember Facebook, it was really popular), and forget allllllll about it.

Then, about two months later I checked my video again (out of sheer vanity you understand) and, with my eyes shooting out on stalks like a cartoon character, I noticed it had been viewed...15,000 times. Wow. Now, that number is 175,000 and rising. It goes up about 200 - 1,000 a day, sometimes I get two/three comments a day, sometimes just one a week, and most are positive, and the average rating is four AND a half stars. FTW. Watch here if you wish.

It's bloody weird. To have played a made up mandolin piece to over 175,000 people is just bizarre. There's no way I could sell out Wembley stadium two nights running on the promise of a 1m 55sec mandolin piece, I'm fairly sure, but I've played to that equivalent number, right? It's a stretch......but the reality is true. I also think, perhaps, I should go on Britain's Got Talent and see how I do. However, I remain unconvinced that Amanda Holden, that paragon of talent dissection, is a mandolin fan.

The whole purpose of this post though, really, was to tell you that my brother, who clearly wanted to emulate big brother (emulate being the correct word), has become a guitar and piano player (show off) and can sing too. Bastard. He's starting to post his own Youtube stuff now, including an entire song he's covered, playing every single damned instrument on it. Watch below. It gets really good at 1m 45sec when the electric guitar kicks in. But then I would say that, being a flashy guitar solo obsessed guitarist wouldn't I?


*. Note, this is a joke and I have never, ever, ever, ever done this.

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