Saturday, 20 November 2010

A Little Reunion in Huddersfield, our Steelpan Second Home

Well Debs,

We caught up with you at the Grand Opening of MacKinley's Caribbean and African Foodstore in Byram Street. Realising that your move to Carriacou was not exactly a done deal yet, I also saw a little window, which one might call your lunch break.

Amy, from the Sparrows, had spent Thursday night with her essay on French film Etre at Avoir [or Avoir et Etre, je ne m'en souviens lequel]; consequently had not slept; Georgia decided to give birth at 8.30 that morning [I guess that a fair enough reason for not coming to the gig]; Bex was still on maternity leave; and I moved a few lessons around.

The Mayor of Huddersfield was there to cut the ribbon; this wonderful foodstore was full of Caribbean and African food; people that I had worked at with Education 2000 passed through; we had a small space by the front window. We were rehearsing when we saw you, Debs, hurry past, in distracted Wonderland White Rabbit fashion, pan in one hand, stand in the other. You heard us, but didn't see us, so we had to race off after you to get you back!

We took turns holding baby Michael; and Charles had a turn and he wasn't even in the band! There was also a tricky moment with a bus and one way street while I was moving the cars from Street One to Streets Two and Three.
Byram Street took Amy back to when we played Huddersfield Carnival two/three years ago. Mary had asked for a children's band to play outside the church on the very same street the same day as the parade, so Amy and four fellow-Sparrows [teenagers, not really children] played while Foxwood and SteelRising set up the float by the Hudawi Centre. Then at precisely whatever time it was they packed those pans and folding kit away, stacked them in church and legged it over to the parade and jumped on said float.

It also took us all back to playing inside the Carnival Arts Centre further uptown for the pre-carnival launch earlier this year. We played until the rain stopped and then moved out onto the pavenment. And then. a few years ago there was the Rum Boat. And then of course there was the Town Centre static for the Carnival before the times we were on lorries. And the Hudawi centre for the After-Celebration a couple of years back. So I guess you could say that Huddersfield has become our second steelpan home. And we have stopped getting lost in the one-way system, which is a bonus.

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