Sunday, April 27, 2008

Time Traveller

An unscheduled party and some old times revisited

In the late 1970's B and I played in a folk trio with a chap called Ted. We played quite a few clubs and got bookings, and built up a good repertoire. Things changed, Ted moved away, and eventually left the country. We moved on to Aardvark & No Money (when will we ever choose SENSIBLE band names?!).

But here we are, 30 years later, and Ted is in our front room singing those same songs with me and B, and it's like it was yesterday! The occasion was an impromptu party, decided the previous night at around quarter to midnight.

But, to start at the beginning (which is out of character for me, I know, but may help in this instance). Ted contacted us by phone about two years ago, and came over one Christmas to visit his family and fit in a flying visit with us. This time, he came over for a longer visit and though his family were stricken by a sad bereavement, he reached us eventually for the Friday night.

Friday we went to the folk club, the Red Lion, and played together the old songs that we'd sung 30 years ago. It was - it was the same. Yes, we are all older of course, but the music, the naturalness of playing together was simple, comfortable.

Following the folk club, the 'gang' went to the petrol station and had late night coffee - this is when the party plan was hatched.

Ted came and stayed with us, and he and B stayed up till 2 talking (I can't do late nights, which is pretty useless for a musician I know) and the following morning it was food preparation time for me whilst B and Ted spent the day recording Ted's songs.

About 20 people (including us) plus two toddlers turned up. It was a lovely evening - talking, eating, drinking (no body drunk, just all relaxed) and playing music together or listening to each other. A highlight of the party was Mr & Mrs Potato Head, brought by the parents of one of the toddlers. It entertained the adults equally as much as the children.

But having Ted with us was like having a time traveller in our midst - here he was 30 years on and it was like it was yesterday. Maybe we were the time travellers?

The party was deemed a success though (they ate all the food which I take as a good sign) and everyone seemed happy. Ted stayed over again, recorded a couple more songs in the morning, then went to take a coach to visit more friends, this time in Birmingham.

They say 'you can't go back' - and yes, that's true, but you can keep some of the good bits from the past, and they can still work in the present and maybe even in the future. Nostalgia seems to be in the air at the moment (hence the new site for a band that has been disbanded for over 20 years). We even bumped into the drummer from Aardvark last weekend (first time in 20 years).
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