Throwback to my first gig as a singer. An hour before this picture was taken I was a total nervous mess. Pretty much paralysed in a ball of doubt and anxiety. I had thrown the towel in.

This was 2012, an event at St Mary’s Church in Penzance, and my slot was only two songs. It was a pretty low-key thing. Still, it felt like a mountain to climb.

While I had played many shows as a guitarist in rock bands, singing in itself was completely new territory for me at the time, let alone doing it in front of an audience.

I had decided I wasn’t going to perform. The nerves were too much and I called it off. I’m not sure how I then found the confidence to turn it all around but I’m glad I did. I played John Martyn’s ‘Bless The Weather’ and Nick Drake’s ‘Place To Be’.

In the gigs that followed I developed a technique where I imagined I was someone else prior to going on stage, to try and trick my mind into ditching the nerves. I remember a show at The Acorn theatre in Penzance, not long after this, staring at myself in the mirror backstage trying to imagine being Bruce Springsteen 😂 This is a technique I have since used in all aspects of life.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is you can achieve anything you want if you put your mind to it. Even if you are an introvert like me. Don’t let nerves get in the way of things.

I still get pretty nervous from time to time, but as soon as I start performing I enjoy it more than anything.

dan aston performing at his first gig