Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Blenheim Leavers Concert and COLS Leavers bbq

On Tuesday morning I went down to Blenheim Primary |School for a final farewell concert/assembly with the Year Six Pannistes. Found out that Will's mum's mum [Sharon] was one of the original Unity team, and someone I remember working with.

In the afternoon just had to go say goodbye to Carrie-ann, wonderful colleague of many years, leaving for pastures new in Bradford. Also to Levi, long-term stalwart caretaker at City of Leeds School. Will miss them both. Decided to drive in order to obviate the possibility of alcohol-induced tearfulness.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Foxwood Steel play Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Well Debs, You were there, so you know how good. 

What's really nice about the Sculpture Park is how welcome we are made. eg. from Damon W [programme and events co-ordinator]:

The event was fantastic and your input was a huge success on the day, I love the band, it is always my favourite part of the day to hear you guys play.


Thank you all very much for all your help. I am very grateful. The visitors I spoke to said they had a lovely day and really enjoyed the music! And you guys looked great playing around that sculpture. 

And it was great, the acoustics inside the centre surprisingly good. Well the whole day was great; nothing went wrong, so this blog will just be all great pics. And the pictures around the sculpture were great and indeed led Austin to uploads 27 to Facebook.

Come on Austin, that is beyond the call of duty!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

It's Friday, it's Sacred Heart

Well Debs

After managing two gigs on Wednesday, I was now in the realms of more gigs played than days lived. So thank you Sacred Heart for wanting me at your assembly. Springbank has Owen now to lead and conduct. There I have rendered myself redundant. No bad thing, unless you are going for a record of gigs/concerts played.

No pics, too busy counting to four.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Foxwood Sparrows at City Vibe

Well Debs,

This is the first City Vibe ever since I started teaching there in 1999 that a steelband didn't play the concert proper. So, when Carrie-ann asked if we would play pre-Vibe and during the interval I just had to say yes. And, as it turned out, Ashley, Bruno and Antonio joined us on  the day. So, City of Leeds students did play in the end.

First off, Lola and I dropped off another couple of bags of topsoil [still smoothing off the ex-hedge area in front of the school]. Then we set up the pans in the old girls' quad.

We were me, Bex, Vicky, Sophie, Tim, Georgia E. And we were also joined by the new Music teacher [Ms Sharpe], We played before the show itself, then we hit the Hyde Park Pub before our second set.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Bankside at Chapel Allerton, and Foxwood Sparrows at Hunslet Moor

Debs, I was very proud that Bankside decided that they would play a gig. They were going to Chapel Allerton Children's Centre Carnival. I agreed to go with them. I went to a very surprised Chapeltown Children's Centre. Then I went to the right one.

We played Merrily we Roll Along, Skip to my Lou, Frere Jacques, Skip in a different key, Dvorak's Largo [in F]; I brought my parasol and golfing umbrella out from the van; then I skipped to Hunslet Moor for the retiring head's surprise leaving do, via the Harolds to get Tim.

Debs. you had come all the way from Dubai and you were first there. Vicky brought Georgia E, but was delayed by dropping her keys in carpark; Sarah arrived with baby Daniel [his first gig], collecting Georgia W en route.

Both Georgias had the same handbag and same shoes, as if we weren't confused enough!

A man from sound system asked if he could sing with us. Then I discovered he planned to do this through the microphone set up at the opposite end of the playground. I warned him it might not sound so good.

We set playing Under the Boardwalk again, as requested. Debs, you were, I think you'll agree, it worked really well. What a hoot!

New Dazl

Ian was there from Dazl. You taught him many years ago at Merlyn Rees. Hugs all round.

Leeds Silver Steel Sparows Open-Rehearse at City of Leeds School

Well, I am in the mood for gigging. There's enough pans still in my van to make this manageable. We unload under the trees at City of Leeds, as it turns out the heat and the sun have not yet abated. It's five in the evening, but still too hot for open country.

We are Natalie and me, Tim, Amy, Georgia E, Naomi, Claudia, Rameice, Bella, and Cameron [guest]. Not a bad turn out for the last practice of this school year.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Foxwood Steel at Beechwood

Debs, While you, no doubt. are having a lie-in after your own weekend gigs, I find that me and the gang are now treading the boards on Monday morning at Beechwood Primary School.

First off, Natalie's wonderful Beechwood Primary School Steel Band play, and then we hobble on stage. Sarah [newly made mum] has left Daniel with her mum [newly made grandma] who conveniently lives almost next door to the school. Bex has brought Mikey with her, but she shouldn't worry - Beechwood is getting used to Smalls on stage. My own Small is now in her early twenties, but she has left her own Smalls at school and nursery.

Anyway, Debs, this blog is meant to be about the gigs I play, not how many children we manage to farm out first! On the other hand, it's the only way we manage to play these gigs, so all power to all our elbows. We were me, Bex, Gig, Sarah, Natalie and Cameron [hitting the ground running on work experience][and turns out played with us for Grand Union gig two weeks ago]. 

I love the pics we get from Beechwood because of the background. It gives a proper alternative experience to a performance. [Also Beechwood has its own pans- standard layout, and drum-kit, so we can play what there is on stage already.]

Foxwood Steel on a roundabout on the Kirkstall Raod

We have barely recovered from Kirkstall Festival than we are standing, the following early morning, on a newly-formed and rather natty little traffic island on the Kirkstall Road, near the viaduct.

This is for the Jane Tomlinson 10k race. Half of today's band lives within a mile from said traffic island, so this is not altogether inconvenient.

We are Amy, Varshika, Sophie, Tim, Lizzie, Gig, Vicky, me and Bex [and the boys]. We play continually, constantly and without a break for nearly two hours. What a marathon! What a 10k!

We feature Chariots of Fire amongst our repertoire, and play it especially for Wanda in her new caterpillar suit! Also see Anthony zooming past. He will be relieved to know we missed photographing him. Also my friend, Joanne from the Russian class. And Christine and chums from the Leeds College of Music, running on behalf of YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic [and we'll need it now we don't have our West Park home anymore].