Last Saturday, that is eight days ago, I trod on a rake in my back room; on Sunday the new marquee that was supposed to protecting East Steel from the elements. took off during the second verse of Buffalo Soldier at Middleton Park.
Sadly I have no photographic record of this disaster, only a nice picture of us all playing later, when, as it transpired, it did not rain at all. I do have a good pic of my eye one week later. I found that the bruise was the same colour as my present eye shadow, so I just exagerated the the other eye to make it match. What does this say about make-up. Should I be writing to Number Something or Other suggesting a new colour: bruise brown?
Me and the bands have been gigging around Leeds for nearly three decades now. And it has been a nice place. Life doesn't need to be about winning or being the best, getting awards or whatever. I have always liked the socialist/communist thingy - ie you get what you need , and you do what you can. But then sometimes you need a thank you. An acknowledgement.
Thirteen years ago I got a trophy for putting on the Combined Leeds Steelband on a float at Leeds Carnival. That was nice. And I was a bit disappointed not to get some more.
About eight years ago, the Wharfedale Festival asked me to bring some steelbands. They offered competitive silver-ware; I wouldn't play ball. I took the Sparrows, the Doves, Saint Steel [from St Lukes, Bradford]; I took my baby Silver Robins from City of Leeds School.
This year I entered us all competitively - Doves, Sparrows, Robins and the glorious newcomers: Cookridge Steel Band. The Doves won a trophy, a silver cup. Of course the Doves deserved it. but I think the cup was really a present from an exasperated Wharfedale festival committee. for the years of turning up in Ilkley with a vanful of pans, and a trainful of players.
And , do you know, I really, really appreciate it. So thank you Wharfedale Festival, Liz, Blanche and the crew for wearing down my defences.