Some Advice on Performing Live

Hi Katy
I have a question for the band, particularly Simon being the singer.
Over a year ago, me and some chaps I know formed a band and we have been going to regular practices in a studio to rehearse and the time has finally come to perform our first live gig next Friday evening (26th May). To be truthful I am absolutely sh*tting it as I have never sung to an audience before.
I sing, we have a lead and bass guitarist and drummer, all of which have never performed before, so I guess I write on their behalf too.
I am really interested to know how it felt when you performed for the very first time, before and after. Did you make any howlers?

Do you have any tips on battling nerves? Do you do vocal exercises prior to any of your shows, and how?
Sorry - lots of questions! I'm just searching for some encouragement from the wise....
I do hope this question gets read and look forward to a response, but do appreciate  the guys are quite busy right now and I look forward to the next album.
Have fun in the studio, and thanks Katy,

"Dear Natalie,

I can offer you no tricks or techniques to overcome nerves.
I remember my first ever gig with DD at the Rum Runner on July the 16th 1980. The entire left hand side of my body seemed to be shaking from head to foot throughout the whole show. I felt sick to my stomach.

What's important is to accept that being nervous is a natural part of your performance, especially when you do your first ever shows. During the course of many years experience I  have noticed the nerves becoming less and less cruel to me. But they have never receded completely; indeed, what used to feel like the onset of a fatal attack to my core, now feels more like a stinging challenge to my peripheral senses which diminishes to nothing after the first few songs, something I try and use to add to the thrill of the occasion. Even though these days it may not show, that feeling never really goes away.

Recently I've been going to singing concerts at the school my two eldest girls attend. There are many who get up and sing solo, shaking away, so that their voices waver and often miss the notes they're supposed to hit. These are the ones for whom is reserved the greatest applause of the evening; it is their bravery in the face of their own fear which is being applauded as much as anything. I think we can learn something from this that helps us. That is - it's really OK to be nervous, it's normal, it's just something you have to get through to reach your higher goal.

Hope this helps, good luck with the show.


PS-Deep relaxed breathing is quite good too."