The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Budgie Smugglers

Last week was a bit busier for the band I’m in, Scruffy Buzzards, with 2 very different gigs.

On Thursday afternoon we played under the Midsteeple in Dumfries town centre, as part of the "In Our Town" festivities this summer.


Photo courtesy of Giles Atkinson

I have no idea what committee decided that 4pm on a Thursday afternoon was a good time slot to book a band, but the decision was clearly not based on potential audience figures. On occasion it threatened to get as high as double figures, but for the last 20 minutes we only had 3 people watching us who weren’t also part of the festivities, and one of them was Sharon, the partner of our lead singer.

One advantage of this was it was the first time we’ve played live that I wasn’t in the slightest bit nervous. Normally my heart is pounding hard when we’re playing to an audience, but the lack of spectators meant we just had fun playing for ourselves with no pressure.

However, I was able to hand my camera to Sharon and ask her to film us, as I’m aware there’s precious little footage of us online yet. So here, for your enjoyment, is “Your Own Way”. The chord structures were by me and the bass, tune and rhythm section were created by the rest of the band, but the lyrics were kindly donated by Alan McClure of The Razorbills when we were going through a blank patch on lyric writing.



On Saturday afternoon, however, we had a much livelier audience when we played in the Ingrid Pitt tent at The Wickerman music festival. I think the fact that some of them had been drinking for about 36 hours solid at that point added to their desire to join in as much as possible. All in all, the mood was great and the response was terrific.

I had another friend film our set with my camera, but the speakers were so loud, the built-in microphone couldn’t cope with it, so the sound ended up too distorted to be useable.

While there’s no doubt we made a good impression on the people there, it might not translate into extra followers. More than a few were struggling to remember our name. Scary Parrots and Budgie Smugglers were a couple of the variations we heard mentioned.

My thanks to Pete White for this photo of me tuning up my instruments just before we began playing.



Next gig is on Sunday August 5th in Newton Stewart at the Wheelie Good Bike Show.

I wonder when we’ll get discovered by Jools Holland...

12 comments

Sandy's witterings said...

Kim, you're allowed to count anything that walks on two legs in Dumfries in audience numbers - I inculded seagulls when I had my shot last weekend.

I'll catch your band eventually - it's quite amazing how much music is going on in D&G. The twice you've played when I've been down I've been playing myself somewhere. I haven't managed to see the Razorbills either since they evolved from The Geese

Jonathan Chant said...

Fine performance. Really enjoyed the video clip and the understated quality of your writing.

Rob Hutten said...

To be fair, "The Budgie Smugglers" is a damned good name.

Kim Ayres said...

Sandy - ah, well, if I can include seagulls and pigeons then we were playing to a packed town! Are you still around for the Wheelie Good Bike Show on August 5th? Although that's also the Kirkcudbright Arts Trail weekend...

Jonathan - thank you for your kind words :)

Rob - isn't it just superb? UNfortunately the domain names are already taken

Pat said...

You are getting lots of experience which will boost your confidence.
If you had to choose between photography and the band which would it be?

Kim Ayres said...

That's a tricky one, Pat. I'd hate to choose - they both offer fulfilment in different ways, and I'd feel bereft if I had to lose one of them

David Mark Williams - Poet said...

It's great the band is getting so many gigs. I very much enjoyed your set at the Mill on the Fleet. Shame The Budgie Smugglers didn't come along sooner. It's such a great name.

mapstew said...

Ha! I'm posting my photies and you're posting your band's vids!

(The bass player need to turn up a wee bit. Feel free to comment on my VERY 'point & press' pics!)

Enjoyed the performance, as ye obviously did! :¬)

allencapoferri said...

Cool photos!
Couldn't listen to the band because where I am right now The Who's being played at pretty high volume.

Kim Ayres said...

Mark - glad you enjoyed the performance at the Mill - it was another good crown that night :)

Mapstew - the sound is just coming from the built in mic on the camera, so the bottom end always gets a bit lost. I think he was fine in real life :)

Allen - it might be a while before we can compete with The Who... :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

How, when, do you find the energy to do so much, have fun, and do it well too?

Kim Ayres said...

GG - it's an illusion - I'm posting barely once per week, so you can read a month's worth of activity in 5 minutes and think I'm really busy. With Scruffy Buzzards, we rehearse as a band once a week - usually a Tuesday evening, and we've done about 7 performances in the past 4 months. So it's not like I'm expending vast amounts of energy photographing all day every day and playing all night every night... :)

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