Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows play Awards Ceremony at the Headingley Experience

I had to go to an MU conference in Cardiff, so, I left the Sparrows [Leeds ArtForms city-wide steelband] for the second time ever just with Bex [with support from Tim and Y Bai]. Rick, Y Bai and I took the pans over [that's shorthand] to the Cricket/Rugby Ground at lunchtime; I left Y Bai there to set up on his own, and satisfied that I had facebooked, phoned and hassled everybody as much as I could, I had to leave them to it. Though I was still arranging a taxi for Claudia with Josie and Annette as |I was leaving  .  .
I managed not to text them at all that day, but just kept saying, I wonder how it's going to Diane every so often.
Y Bai is ex-Sparrow from the Albert Hall days, back from his three year holiday in Scarborough, I mean his Music Technology degree from Hull, Scarborough campus! He is doing Work Experience with us at ArtForms, yippee!
Sparrows were Claudia, Millie S, Chloe, Millie C, Ash, Georgia [G2]; staff were Bex, Tim, Y Bai. The event was organised by Josie and her team, and was an Awards for Excellence Ceremony for Children's Services. I'll put up the pics as soon as I get them. Meantime here's Claudia with some balloons.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Foxwood Steel play Metropole Leeds

I love city-centre venues, especially Leeds city-centre. Wherever you live everyone can get a bus to the centre, walk, cycle or even drive - but parking is sometimes a hassle, or expensive. And I love early evening gigs at the weekend because there is just the possibility that we might get together socially afterwards for once!
So when asked would we like to play the Metropole, yes we would. And it was a late enough start to get us all from our daytime jobs, and an early enough finish to get Georgia up to her evening one. Yes, Debs, we were thirteen Foxwood players! Imagine that!
We were me, Bex, Daisy, Sophie, Stewart, Katie, Vicky, Natalie, Tim, Georgia, Fehmina, Charlotte and Varshika. The room lent itself to some lovely pics, and we had moments of four soprano pans at the same time.
Then we went out for a "debrief" at Carpe Diem. I walked home in the rain, and Tim left his new bike chained up in town. Some of them had to get up early the next day for music centre, and some of us didn't!


Sunday, 19 October 2014

This week I have mostly been playing Redemption Song

 It's Black History Month, and Mr Stewart wanted some steel pannistes playing all the different year assemblies at Allerton Grange School, Leeds.

So we did. We played Redemption Song [one of my favourites] every morning for four days. At first it was just me and Claudia, then fortunately Josie and Sophie appeared and we were a quartet.

Can't show the audience as this a school assembly, but I can assure you there always was one.

By the end of the week, we had got quite good, and received our first round of applause [thanks, Year 11]

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Leeds Pan Central play Little London Community Centre

Now then Debs - not in Carriacou, not in Dubai, but here in Leeds, and what's more right in the middle of this excellent "another fine mess". Yippee! Not only that, Debs, coming here today from Huddersfield you were here first. Ever thus.

When Lisa asked me to play Culture Day, celebrating the Day of the Older Person [actually October 1st], it was because she had seen Foxwood and Sparrows at Unity, and when I heard the good cause, I knew I wanted to do this one. Gig and workshop for older people with dementia, or with learning difficulties or with none of the above. And in Little London. Inner -city, local. [And it appears that the centre is soon to be demolished! Hmmm!]

Just needed to find a bandful who were part-time, flexi-time, out of work, on holiday or, in your case, Debs over here for some medical treatment. In the end we were me, you, Trish, Wendy, Georgia and Tim. I collected a few spare pans for the workshop; Little London Community centre was in the middle of a massive great building site; parking was tricky and limited; Wendy and Tricia agreed to meet up earlier and come down in the one car; I grabbed another pan from Sacred Heart, called in at home to pick up Gig, who wasn't there; found you: Deb; we unloaded, then I spent sometime parking in a tight spot.

When Tim texted to say he was at the Children's Centre Meanwood Rd, I read that to say Community Centre, Meanwood. After the parking and discovering that you and I appeared to be a duo, my stress levels rocketed. Then Trish and Wendy appeared; it turned out that Tim was at Little London Children's Centre, Meanwood Road, and then Gig appeared out of nowhere, but all too late. Set list! Never!

Debs, as you know, we went down a storm. The audience were enjoying the tunes so much they didn't want the workshop. We found as many songs as we could, that we all could play, or in some cases, couldn't! It was a success; I was proud. We didn't play every note properly, but we played as a team. People danced, clapped along, asked for an encore.
Leeds Pan Central is the name we have given to when our three Foxwood Panyard steelbands play together, and Foxwood Panyard is our Leeds Centre of Steelpan excellence. Foxwood Steel is private semi-pro, and Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows and East Steel are funded by Leeds ArtForms Music Service, but they all help each other out all of the time. And they're all great [not that I'm biased]