Monday, 15 June 2015

Four steelbands, two pan workshops and a guitar duet

Saturday 13 June 2015 and I have three gigs in three separate venues with four bands, a workshop [later turned into two!], and Jordan's first public performance on guitar. I have already taken pans, stands and chime bars to Shire Oak for the workshops, Little Pans Plus and Sparrows. And the basses and kit are at the back of the van ready for the evening.
 I have invited all Year 6 from 3 local schools to play as Little Pans Plus, but I do know that, without providing transport etc it is just too hard for ten year olds to move off their own patches. One year I did Kirkstall Festival with three children from Sacred Heart; one year, Unity with one girl from Quarry Mount. I wonder who will come to Headingley Festival?
Twelve noon. I bobbed into Shire Oak en route for NLMC, left the guitar and established a parking spot for the van. Met James from Springbank and his dad, caught his rehearsal, took a photo, and left.
Twelve Thirty. It is end of the year at North Leeds Music Centre and 1.we are having our second mini-gig and 2. I must collect all the pans and take them away.
My plan is that the weather forecast is wrong about it raining all day. It was. So we play in the courtyard - good for audience but also conveniently near to where the van is parked.
Well our lovely North Steelettes only had nine lessons [and two were mini-gigs!] and were amazing [and thanks especially to Wanda and Pippa for their support when I could and when I couldn't make the lessons]. We played twelve tunes. The players were Annie, Victoria, Isha, Kurum, Dan, Delaney, Nyal with support from Julie and Pippa. The audience was a proper clapometer. Loud when we played well, soft when it wasn't so good. [Thanks to Mark and team for collecting all the detritus that we left in our wake - bits of kit, trolleys etc.]
One Fifty-five. Got to Shire Oak School just before two o'clock, met Vicky, Ash and Julie. We set up ready for the first workshop. Jordan appeared. He and Ash went off to rehearse.
Various members of the public appeared, as did Eve and James from Springbank and Razan from Quarry Mount. Then we went for the world record of soft toys in single seconds for no reason at all.
Two thirty. We whip the pans to be used for the performances over to the stage tent.
Two forty. Jordan - grandson takes the stage for Apache and Eye of the Tiger. Ash "volunteered" to playing backing chords for him. I thought I have had to listen [and play along] to these tunes for so long now. . . Time someone else had to!
Two fifty. It's Little Steel Plus at which point Razan and I discover that we have left all the Aflats in my car. We are Eve, James on pans, me and Razan on chime bars [minus Aflat] with support from Yi Bai, Sophie [still wondering what she had let herself in for this time!*], Tim, Vicky, Georgia and Julie.
Three Five. We get the tenor basses out of the back of the van, but forget the guitar pans, play with one set of bass, two sopranos, kit and three single seconds. Sparrows were Chloe [taking an A level revision break], Ash and Georgia supported by Yi Bai, Sophie, Vicky, Tim and me. Messed up a coupla tunes, had a laugh.
Three Forty. Well, just as we thought it was safe . . . . Lizzie, Daisy and Cherie appeared with Tau, Annie, Maeve and Lola. Time for Workshop Number Two. Did this picturesquely under the trees at the front of the school. Some more people turned up.


Four o'clock. We came to a halt at four and then Vicky decided to accept the challenge of packing an already disorderly van through the side door [I was backed up to the espaliers] while trying to keep workshop and gigging pans apart. I was beyond caring!

[Thanks to Jane Liz, Alun, Mike and their teams for it all.]
Four forty-five. At home Rick and I replaced workshop and NLMC pans with Foxwood ones.
Six o'clock.  Tim appeared and we all went to the Woodside where by now Jason seemed to have told the surprise to everyone except his bride! 
We sneaked a nine piece steel band in through the back doors of the big room, and played very loudly for nearly an hour! The wedding had a Disney theme. Fortunately Peter had written out Under the Sea. We were me, Bex, Georgia G1, Katie, Vicky, Charlotte, Yi Bai, Sophie and Tim. Foxcubs, looking cute curled up in the banner were James and Mikey. Rick appeared and took the pans away, and some of us settled down for a debrief. [Thanks to Jason and Catherine for letting us gate-crash their wedding.]
 Then just as I thought Katie was ordering a taxi she came back with another couple of pints!
Sunday didn't happen, and Monday Rick and I swapped the pans back over.
[* Sophie, it's another fine mess]
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