I am squeezing in this gig in Morley between teaching at North Leeds Music Centre at lunchtime and Charlotte B's big birthday bash in south London this evening. I must be mad! In the morning I pack Bag A for the music centre, Bag B for the gig, and Bag C for London
Anyway Wanda come to the rescue with extra transport, and the rest of the band these days mostly own and bring their own pans. I go home, then Rick takes me over to Morley. I am already in East Steel polo shirt and leave the music centre bag with himself.
I don't quite get over feeling guilty about not setting up; it's weird seeing and hearing your own band playing as you walk down pedestrianied Queen Street. They are concentrating so hard on the song in hand that they don't even see me slip in behind a pan until the end of the tune.
Players today are Trish, Wanda, Vicky, Sophie, Pippa, Victoria, Bex, Yi Bai and surprise appearance by Katie [who even found her old East Steel t-shirt]. We are bedding down this and last year's new tunes: Somewhere Only We Know, Soca Junkie/Matilda, You Raise Me Up and Maria.
Then there in the audience are the bride and groom from two weeks back, and Maddie joins us again for You Raise Me Up. After she texts me: Lovely to see and hear you. Had a gin and a dance with Rosie outside Cucinas while you played . .
We pack up our ludicrously heavy but stable and rain-proof gazebos, and Bex and Yi Bai do the comedy moment.
Trish takes me to the station and while the rest of the band are settling down to a cuppa or a glass of chilled white, I am still waiting for the 8.40 on Blackfriars Bridge Station. Another hour I can raise a glass myself to one of the bestest gigs. Cheers!
East Steel is a Leeds music centre steelband run by Leeds ArtForms Music Service, leaders/teachers are Victoria Jaquiss and Bex Ainge