On Wednesday July 9th the Rest of the Best [Leeds ArtForms mixed instrumental band] started its 2013-14 tour of Leeds schools.
This year we are me, [steelpans], Diane [keyboards, accordion], Fiona [violin, guitar], Bart [kit], Mary [saxophone, clarinet, tin whistle], Janet [flute, clarinet], Tim [kit, steelpan, clarinet-nearly], Melvin [steelpan], Dan [classical and electric guitar] Naomi [steelpan] and Mike [guitar, vocals].
First we rehearsed, or rather ran through the new tunes, then we played at City Of Leeds School. Then we took lunch at LS6 café Hyde Park Corner [delicious].
Then we did two performances at Brudenell School. As we touring educationally we can't show the audiences, enjoying themselves or not, but actually they were, and one foolish boy even agreed to get up and dance with me.
Our new tunes this year are Redemption Song [Bob always goes down well], Daisy, Daisy [homage to the Grand Depart starting in Yorkshire], and 500 Miles [can't remember why Diane chose this]. Then all the instrumentalists do solos to highlights our various sounds.
It is, as ever, a privilege to work along with such a group of talented instrumentalists, who put aside the comfort zone that is their normal manner of gigging and working, and play along as part of the Rest of the Best.