At the Megamike there were about 30 performers, 2 of them women, one me and the other a singer called Lisa Paton with an exquisite poised voice and delicate, lyrical songs. I don't know why females are so heavily out-numbered in the music scene. It can hardly be because women don't write songs and don't want to perform them. Perhaps it's fear. I notice that guys who can barely play don't mind taking the risk of making fools of themselves but the women I see at open mics are mostly pretty accomplished (I'll exclude myself from that as I have been practising live and falling on my face for years).
My favourite performance of the night was by the political satirist Tommy Mackay and his topical song Big John Smeaton:-
Forget about your Robert Bruce
and all the men he's beaten.
The hero of the Scottish now
is a man called big John Smeaton
Big John, Big John
Big John Smeaton
The terrorists they came
to strike fear in our land,
but a big man stood before them,
a suitcase in each hand.
The flaming jeep sped onwards,
but John was in no doubt -
he took a last puff on his fag
and stamped the fucker out.
He saw the polis getting punched.
He saw it as his duty.
The mighty man called Smeaton cried,
"I'm gonnae set aboot ye."
A satire not so much on the world's greatest baggage handler but on the media and the populace and their desire to find a hero. I could quote Brecht here about "unhappy the land who needs heroes" but I don't think we're that unhappy, just mightily relieved, to the point of elation, that the London attack repeated itself in Glasgow as farce. Anyway, Big John seems to have handled his circuit round the celebrity carousel with equanimity.
Update:- photos of 35 guitarists and one keyboard player put up on Flickr. An obscurity of singer/songwriters. . .