Sunday, 8 February 2015

East Steel and some Steelettes play North Leeds Music Centre Concert

Okay Debs, it's seriously seasonal now.

East Steel get to play as people assemble for North Leeds Music Centre Concert. We are me, Lynn, Anne, Wanda, Kirsty, Vicky, Pippa, Sophie, Yi Bai drumming and Steelettes making their debut: Leah, Margaret, Josie, all of whom I have persuaded to play singles. On account it's me carting the blooming instruments around in my trusty blue Transit, and while everyone mucks in at the venue, at home it's a different matter!

Either I cart the lot up the garden myself, or spend time and effort into bargaining with a member of my family, or even just pleading!

Anyway, Head of Centre, Mark and I would like to offer steel pans as a class in spring [spring, I mean, late even more winter!] so we thought a little giggette would be a good place to start. And so it was.

For the record, East Steel started as a music centre class in 1999, in the actual building where I started my teaching career: Foxwood School. In 1999 it had already become East Leeds Family Learning Centre, and I persuaded whoever [Stella, maybe] to pay me to teach a class there as a satellite to East Leeds Music Centre, and I persuaded whoever was i.c. ELFLC to let me use the space at the back of the hall. This pic below is probably East Steel's first YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic appearance at Leeds Town Hall [and exactly ten years later, Tamanna, in the middle of the picture below, played at The Royal Albert Hall with award-winning Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows].

Allerton Grange Allstars at Allerton Grange

It is always a pleasure to play at Allerton Grange World of Music concerts, mostly because I get to see all the other acts, and they are, unfailingly, awesome! First off, must be three or four years ago now I was bowled over by Theo's steelband, and also indie-rockband, Glassbody [some same personnel here], a sort of mix of Cure, Bloc Party and one other that I forget now. But some of my all-time favourite bands.

Then there's the singers. There's never a year that one singer doesn't bring tears to the eye. Avtar's dhols - astonishing! Cellists, pianists, concert band, and the rest. All great, and the concert so well-paced, thanks to Mr Mercer and Mrs Casey. End of eulogy.

The other reason that I like Allerton Grange concerts is that, as the school is very diverse, culturally and religiously, there is no obligation to do Jingle Bells at the December concert. Excellent! And I don't. Also it was at Allerton Grange that I asked ArtForms colleague, Alex if he could recommend a drummer for us, and next thing I know, George is drumming for the Sparrows as well. Yippee!

So here we are,  the so-called beginners [Iuean, Alice and Polly] playing Au Clair de la Lune, and X, everybody plays Redemption song as people coming in for the second half, then the daytime class [Sophie, Josie, Kris, Findlay, Seb] and the after school club [Destoni, Sabna, Sarah] join forces to give us You Are Not Alone and Sing A Rainbow. I have also volunteered Yi Bai and Ashley to support the bands.

Which of course they were happy to do, in an arm-bending kind of way.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

East Steel for YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic Town Hall Concert

on da phones
So, it's that time of year again when East Steel takes their place on stage with Off  By Heart, Young Accord, The Yorkshire Post Concert Band, St Peter's Choir, and Diane's impromptu ensemble, and many many others.

In the afternoon Yi Bai and I load in the pans n kit, find Mavis glueing pictures back onto the display boards. As you do!

We were me, Bex, Wanda, Anne, Kirsty, Lynne, Sophie, Trish, Pippa, Vicky and Yi Bai on kit. Small but perfectly formed. You should hear the CD! And we didn't know it was being recorded!
Sophie Bart Claire

Wanda staying glued to her favourites [basses]!

in the dressing room, probably a bit late now!

Bex posing on a table top- as you do!
This year our featured tunes are completely unseasonal Viva la Vida and Somewhere Only We Know.

in da pub
We play Go Tell it on the Mountain for the prize-giving. Bex and Vicky put a great display up in the side-foyer, sold no books or CDs, but they looked good.

We packed the van, and rewarded ourselves with a swift half [well!]. Who did we find in da pub?