Dear seven people who now read my blog,
I'm going to tell you about Wednesday night so I don't forget myself what fun it was.
I got there early so that I could eat and organise. The Betsey Trotwood does nice food, and because the downstairs was booked out for an office do early on, I sat upstairs and gradually members of the family started congregating. By sound check time, it felt half full already. A glass half full! That's the way to start a gig!
By 8 o'clock the room was full up and we were ready to go. I've never seen James do his songs live before and he had the audience in the palm of his hands and laughing (and in one case, crying) with his pointed lyrics. There's something very Ivor Cutler about the way he writes lyrics, and of course we were both brought up on a diet of Ivor, so that's hardly surprising. It was wonderful to see his first real solo gig so well received.
It was also quite hard to follow (that's when you know someone's done a good gig), but the warmth carried over and there was a thoroughly lusty singalong chorus to The Sea, which of course will soon become illegal to sing if toxic Suella Braverman gets her way. It was lovely to hear a whole room sing in defiance on a cold January evening. We don't believe in being nasty, most of us.
After another short break, we played our Chefs cover songs: Food, Let's Make Up, Records and Tea and 24 Hours. There were some original Chefs fans in the audience and it was quite daunting to play these versions to them, but they went down very well and I think the two guitars styles we have blended together to make something new out of them.
And then.... fnurrrr.... the eatroridnary piercing whine of Karine's rubberglovepipe started up, Paul Davey appeared from the audience with a soprano sax and one of those tartan hats with a ginger wig, Offspring One volunteered to hold up the huge cards with the words (I'd written out one of the verses twice by accident due to stress earlier in the day), and in honour of Burns Night we sang Donald Where's Your Troosers, completely chaotic and hilariously funny. The audience were better than us (we couldn't see the words) and would probably still be singing today if they had had their way.
What a brilliant evening. Thank you to everyone who came; you have no idea how much it meant to us to be able to do this. And huge thanks to Karina and Paul. Look at the Youtube footage (scroll down on the bog and it's there). The best overhear of the night was a member of my nephew's band saying about the rubberglovepipe: "We need one of those in [band name] Glitterwound!".
Thank you to my glamorous helper for filming it, selling CDs and doing the door. There could not possibly have been a better thing to do on a chilly Wednesday January night, and I can't imagine the gig being any better in any way!