Sunday, 23 August 2015

Foxwood and Sparrows at Unity at 20.

Well Debs, you will be here for Unity. Yippee!

I don't think I'm giving away anything when I declare that it was just the best Unity ever! And then go on to describe how it was exactly that.

This is the Twentieth Unity Day on Woodhouse Moor. With the various steelbands I have played eighteen of them, being away at London Festival Hall one year, and Manchester Carnival the other.

The first year was when  Unity Day was the response by my mates/neighbours: Andy, Ahmet, Katie, Alison, Chris Calendar, Simon, and the rest of the crew to the fire-bombing of the Newlands and the torching of all the streets around, missing our car by metres! They booked Panick, the Music College steel band with whom I was also playing at the time. When I discovered we were to play on the Moor opposite my house, and my own bands being so local, I was astonished.

I was half on, half off the committee, never having the time to commit properly so missed this bit of casting. It didn't happen again! It was Foxwood, Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows, Steel Rising and Royal Park Steel Pandas after that. And on the tenth anniversary of Unity I was given the Community Award myself, given to me by Arthur France [from Leeds West Indian Carnival Committee].
Besides playing 18 times we have also played in nearly eighteen different places: stone circle, on the path down to Headingley Lane, on the mainstage, in front of the main stage, near the side stage [with drummers stuck miked up on said stage!], in the first aid tent [that was a wet year]. and on various pieces of grass around the Moor.
But I always wanted to play in the World Music Tent, and so pleased when Mike Jolly asked us. What made it nicer was that, by going down next to the mainstage, that made two sets. I love a two-setter.
 Harvey J had the same outfit on as Natnat, even down to the shoes.
Chasing Cars went down so well in the Tent that we added it to the Mainstage set where we didn't play quite as well. In the tent we were me [Victoria], you [Debs], Vicky, Daisy, Georgia G2, Varshika [all the way from a night shift at a Liverpool hospital], Yi Bai, Tim, Natalie, Millie S, Chloe, Sophie, Ashley, Gary, Wanda, Kirsty.
Then for mainstage we lost Georgia G2 and gained Fehmina and Amy. Not quite enough room on the stage so me, Chloe, Millie S and Vicky took to plinths [aka speakers] while yourself, Gary and Ashley stood on grass in between.
Andrew the Photographer did some good balancing acts at the back of the stage. Don't know how he stayed upright!
Actually, surprised we didn't fall off the plinths which were 10 cm wider than our stands. Not at all surprised the scientist amongst us [yourself, Debs] declined the offer of the dizzy[ing] heights!
[When Andrew send over some of his pics there will be more of the Moor.]
[Next, Belle Isle]


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