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  • Gary @ BootsofUK

‘Thirty Minute Star’ by Guy Surtees review

They say write from what you know, give it authenticity and then it becomes relatable, and that’s certainly what Guy has done when writing ‘Thirty Minute Star’. The song was released 10th May 2024 and is available from the usual music platforms.

Guy tells me how the song came about whilst he was reflecting on the previous night performing at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. It was a sold out room and he was opening for Laura Aston. As he pushed his trolley around the supermarket, it struck him how no-one recognised him, or knew who he was, in contrast to the previous evening.

“Thirty Minute Star is basically about me, the person who travels the country, promoting the artist, waiting around for hours to hit the stage and be a star for thirty minutes. It’s also about the effects that this dual life can have on a person mentally, how it feels to tread the line between notoriety and obscurity. This is a story that will resonate with all who have trodden, and driven this road”

“There’s a man inside the mirror, and he’s looking back at me

His eyes are tired and blurry, so there’s something he can’t see

A world outside the window, where a million others live

They’re the people who believe, he has so much more to give.”

The first verse recounts a reflection from a mirror, one of a tired figure, so fatigued perhaps by the multiple setbacks, disheartened by the lack of opportunity, or just from his dogged determination to appreciate where he is on his journey. Nothing worth having is ever easy. The last line is interesting and can be taken two different ways, one, that they’re filled with self belief and carry out courage in their convictions, and the other, belief in the individual that is standing before the mirror.

“And he knows this time tomorrow, he’ll be climbing in his car

Heading ‘cross the state line with some clothes and his guitar

Ready in his mind to be a thirty minute star.”

The chorus is somewhat optimistic, looking to “this time tomorrow” and looking to all the achievements that’ll be made tomorrow, whether it’s going to a gig, crossing state lines to broaden horizons and opportunities, or simply getting up and surviving the day. Everything you do is an achievement and is working towards our end goal. “Thirty Minute Star” is another take on the saying “five minutes of fame” but equally can carry the sense of imposter syndrome, and self doubt.

“He takes stories from his memory, and he turns them into song

Telling tales of his weakness, hoping they will make him strong

But he knows no-one could ever be as critical and grim

He don’t care for all the praise, every performance is for him.”

I really like this verse, it’s portraying how relatable the songs are and equally how simple songwriting can be. It shows great strength to be at ease with your weaknesses, and able to be self aware in order to develop. Ultimately the last line of this verse should be everyone’s mantra in life. Regardless of what other people think or say, do it for you!

“Only those who share the same road, can feel the pain and see the scar

Those who are searching for fulfilment, and always push themselves too far

Know exactly what it takes to be a thirty minute star.”

The bridge details how only those who share the same road can feel the pain and see the scars, yet the songs are relatable regardless of what roads we’re travelling. We’re all searching for fulfilment, and pushing ourselves, perhaps to the point of burnout, but our strive for success (of whatever form) should never sacrifice our health and wellbeing.

“There’s a man inside the mirror, knows exactly who to be

Yeah he’s someone quite familiar, and he looks a lot like me

But it takes him all his courage just to walk outside the door

‘Cos the million other people always want him to be more.”

This verse shows the growth in the man in the mirror. No longer seeing a tired man, but a confident one, someone who knows their purpose and identity. Calling him ‘familiar’ is perhaps referring to how our confidence ebbs and flows; a sentiment further substantiated by the lyric ‘takes him all his courage’ . The lyric stating ‘other people always want him to be more’ could be seen either as others jeering him on because they can see his potential, or the man is deflecting his insecurities of not being enough.

“And I know that you’ve all seen them, you know exactly who they are

They’re the ones who hang around at the merch stand and the bar

Waiting for their chance to be a thirty minute star.”

The second chorus finishes the song documenting both the highs and lows, standing at the merch stall interacting with fans and other artists, to the bar either celebrating a drowning sorrows of a poor attendance, or celebrating a great show!

Every aspiring artist follow a similar trail, some have the strength to tough it out, others, perhaps the fire recedes, succumbed to the pressures of the industry. Either way, if it’s what you want, know that there are people out there willing to back you, supporting you to achieve your goals and fullest potential.

This song serves as an inspiration to everyone, regardless of occupation. If this song can help ignite the spark within you to achieve what you want, to live the life you want then it has done its job. Whilst sometimes it may only be for ‘thirty minutes’, other times it can last for years, ‘Thirty Minute Star’ is available now from all music platforms. Be sure to check out Guy’s social pages to see where else he’ll be playing and performing, as well as when his upcoming debut album will be released.

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