Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sparrows play Harrogate International Conference of Festivals

Dear Debs

When Blanche [from the Wharfedale Festival] phoned me up earlier on this year and asked if the Sparrows would play Harrogate for above-mentioned conference, I was so proud. Year after year this was The Festival that gave us the confidence and courage to carry on.

The year that we went on to win the UK World Music Award it was Wharfedale adjudicator, Steve Roberts, who was happy to advise us that we should drop Pachebel's Kanon, in favour of 10cc's I'm Not in Love. And again, it was Steve who said who said he knew he was in Leeds when heard the mellifluous way our bands played.

So, Debs, it was no contest. Whatever Blanche was asking, I was up for it.

However, life offered us a few challenges first. Firstly, I had to acknowledge that I was ill. You know if breathing in hurts then something is probably wrong. I even went to the doctor with the feeling-illness. Before my appointment we had a chat at work and decided I probably had pleurisy.

The doctor was not over-impressed with our collective diagnosis and discussed inflamed muscles with me, and advised this and that. This involved rest, and time off work. "Well", I said, "There's Harrogate tomorrow".  He looked at me quite seriously and said, what is more important - this concert, or your health?

Secondly, on arrival at the Cedar Court Hotel we discovered 1. that I had forgotten to pack any cymbals, and 2 that our drummer was poorly. All hands to the deck, not that Vicky and Bex were letting me carry anything. I drummed Jar of Hearts, and Peter and Bex shared the other numbers between them. Without a hi-hat! And without a murmur.

This band was Chloe, Millie S, Millie C, Peter, Claudia, Georgia, Bella. Plus me, Bex and [a rather surprised] Vicky. And we were massive!

I got invited to set up and teach steel pans in Sri Lanka. Oh my goodness, I hope that one comes off! I only just cured myself of my fear of flying, and part of that was having to stop and change some passengers in Colombo. Weird!

We had a great crowd invasion after a little demo from Steve, myself and the band of "technique".  [Chloe and I compared pinks.]

[Anyone with any better pics, please send.]

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