Yi Bai, Wanda, Bex and I are now on our third gig of the weekend. After the hurly burly of the float and excess van-packing of Otley Carnival this is a very laid back affair. And for Yi Bai, so used to getting buses all over Leeds, what a change. He lives on a street next to Cross Flatts Park. We are almost in his front garden!
I am on a roll getting to the gigs first. It's very therapeutic. Last to arrive are Sophie and Bex. Bex is in a state of shock. A question of gear selection, I believe.
We use 13 of the 32 stands at our disposal and one for the banner. We are me, Bex, Yi Bai, Wanda, Vicky, Sophie, Ashley, Gig. The Pavilion at Cross Flatts Park has a lovely new canopy, under which we play [and which matches our own colour choice], and it protects us from the occasional gust of rain. We buy tea and buns and mango chutney. We play for two hours with a little break, and take audience requests (but not Banana Boat Song). Bob Marley (curiously unrequested from last week's wedding) goes down a storm, and we rock through Buffalo Soldier, Redemption Song and Three Little Birds in quick succession.
[Years ago some of played Jammin' with another band. Like Three Little Birds, it has three chords. It was boring enough to play the melody for, but the chords - OMG! You see, and I'm off on a philosophical here - we love playing local gigs; but we will never earn enough money gigging to earn a proper living from it; the good side of this is we don't have to play in Scottish supermarket all day [that was our best professional offer] in order to pay the mortgage. And when we play three-chord songs we give the chord players some bits of tune and different rhythms. Plus they make a song sound interesting. Moral is, if we enjoy it, that will communicate to the audience.]
The audience requested Tie a Yellow Ribbon. Gulp. The tune is easy, but the chords just change and change. We survived.
Yi Bai's mum was on hand again for my camera. (I love getting shots of us all in it together).
Rick and Walter unload the van (phew) and on Monday evening I take back the tenor basses from Otley and a million stands to the pan room at work. Here an unsuspecting Diane offers to help.
You may see from the pics our new tidy floor space device - aka buckets. More anon on that. Could be worth a blog to themselves!