Picture the perfect English village on a beautiful summer's day. The green, opposite the pub, is filled with happy laughing people as the Villlage Fun Day enters full swing. And this afternoon's entertainment will feature a barn dance - on the village green. This is where the village idly dissipates.
We set up whilst a blues player twanged the afternoon away, and once all was plugged in and Mr Punch had finished demonstrating wanton puppet violence, we were ready to go!
But, of course, our audience was spread over a field. At one end, a football match, next to us a bouncy castle, ahead of us (some way off) the steps up to the pub. And scattered around was the audience. Ready to Dance?!! No way. They were ready to drink and probably to snooze. In the three and a half hours we played our caller managed to get enough people together for just three dances. All of which were a complete shambles - I've never seen such bad dancing!!
We sang songs, played a few tunes - made the afternoon pass. But one chap did want to dance. There we were in the midst of the Suffolk countryside and this man, in his shorts with his baseball cap on, spoke pure Estuary. He was a little drunk and decided that he and the children should have a dance competition.
I have played to some odd sights - three men, two goats and an inflatable doll, even to strippers (see previous posts), but this is the first time I've seen a grown man in competition with 8 year old girls by doing headstands and trying to 'teach 'em rock'n roll' (to the sound of a country dance band).
Ah roll on winter - when the audience are trapped in the hall and can't wander off.