Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Music, music and more music!

David's son Stuart (left) and Tony Keys. Rehearsing...
 What a weekend! First of all I played at a private party which was it's own mini-festival! Most of the guests were musicians and from four until late, there was non-stop live music from all sorts of different bands. There was a young lass called Sophie who composed her own songs and sang with a couple of other bands, there were the 'old rockers' and even some young lads playing Shadows' tunes.

The band I played with, the 'Two Tones' (thus named because two of the band are called Tony) was formed through a link with my work. I met the band leader, David, as he is a fundraising champion for our charity. He's done amazing fundraising work in memory of his mother, who had dementia in her later years.

We first got together to do a charity ball gig that David arranged back in June. We had such fun, that a further opportunity to gig could not be missed, hence our performance at 'Lenborock'.  The party was an all day event with a covered stage area, barbecue, marquee for audience and a 'Gladiators' bouncy. The party was in the grounds of a lovely house in the Buckinghamshire countryside - beautiful views and the most lovely house.

We played a couple of sets - one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Even though Sophie and her young friends had done their mashup version of 'Stand by Me' we still did a version with Tony keys singing. It was a really nice gig with really nice people, even though I didn't know most of them.

Rachel Sermanni and friends
Sunday was a whole different kettle of music. I went to Cambridge Folk Festival again. The Friday evening I had popped over and seen the amazing Gretchen Peters, the entertaining Lucy Ward and the great June Tabor and the Oyster Band. On the artists bus I met the Moulettes - lovely ladies. They asked if I was playing and I said yes, on the Sunday, in a duo. I happened to mention that I'd also played in a band, 'Shave the Monkey'. 'Oh,' said Ruth, 'My dad loved them!'. Time to get the zimmerframe...

On the Sunday I went with my musical partner in crime, Shani, and we mooched around the festival catching a bit of Seth Lakeman, a few others and, after our own set, watching Rachel Sermanni and her friends (wonderful!). We stayed to watch Rachel as we had come over on the artists bus with Rachel and the others from the car park. Very glad indeed we watched Rachel and the gang, what a refreshing and entertaining act.

Blair Dunlop
The talented Blair Dunlop played a great set too. Whilst walking along the boardwalk I overheard someone say 'There's all these young people in folk music now...' Well hooray I say! What's the use of a tradition if it dies out? Given what I saw this weekend, there's plenty of life, youth and imagination in the folk world still. Put away your arran jumpers, your tankards and take yer finger out your ear. Folk music is a vibrant and positive force in the music scene.

Our set was short and sweet, but went well. It was a bit of a shame that the brief but noisy thunderstorm (which included hail) created pools of water in the club tent that meant there was lots of mud, but it was still a grand craic.

Though I'd like to have stayed to see Joan Armatrading, I was tired out, so Shani and I headed back to the car park. As we walked past these two huge RVs, my digestive system decided to issue its own comment on the proceedings. With a wheel-trembling trump, I alerted the attention of Ms Armatrading's road manager who gave me 'a right old fashioned look'. Apologies Ms Armatrading for my trumpet involuntary. On our way out the car park we waved madly at the RVs and the road manager waved kindly back.

A good, musical, and varied weekend. Until next year...
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