Waaaah! I’ve spent the latter half of today shivering in bed, trying to ignore a rotten headache. This makes me sad, and also makes the prospect of late night stand-up slots and early morning train journeys from Manchester to Glasgow that little bit less appealing.

But then, maybe that’s part of what this pilgrimage is going to be about. Do I only want to perform when it’s easy and arranged for me? Or is there something about it that transcends all that? It certainly seems like there are plenty of musicians, stand-ups and poets out there who can’t possibly be in it for the dollar, what with their diligent giggery at unpaid slots up and down the country. The lovely chap who drove me to my first stand-up open mic in Nottingham told me that the guy he lift-shares with has done about 120 unpaid open slots in the last year. 120! That’s 3 unpaid gigs a week! Most of them would have been about 5 minutes long, and to rack up that many, you’d have to be travelling some distance to find them. And this is fitting them in around a full-time job! He couldn’t be with us that evening because he was ‘picking up a delivery of bolts from Wrexham’.

Over the next few weeks, the format of this blog is going to shift a little towards a kind of ‘what I did on my holidays’ affair where I talk about the open mic gig I did the night before, and probably embed veiled appeals for help as my mental state deteriorates. I’ll chat about the people I’ve met and the performances I’ve seen, and my thoughts on this whole business of getting up in front of a room full of strangers and saying ‘look at me’. I’ve pencilled in a cheeky epiph for around May 15th, so the busy/impatient amongst you might want to check the blog some time just after then, to find out what it all meant. The rest of you will get to see my (hopefully increasingly competent) photos of the evening and a bit of commentary. Naturally, the performance poet interviews will continue as usual. Hooray!