Dear Debs (soon to be here in the UK in person), you will know that morning after a long pan day feeling. Bex and I took no chances and reloaded the Little Blue last night ready for this: our three gig day.
First up: Broomfield School in Belle Isle/Middleton, south Leeds. It was their Carnival day and this was a thank you to them for releasing Bex for Brum. We were (shift-changing like crazy) me, Natalie, Claudia, Katie, Yi Bai, and one other (forgot who right now!).
We just escaped Broomfield before the Grand Locking of the Gates, and headed over to Blenheim, who were celebrating their 50th anniversary. (This is a school they attempted to close/merge with Little London a decade ago, and I campaigned along with the rest of them to keep it alive. Good thing too as it is now having to expand!) We have now lost Bex, and gained Vicky, Bart, Tim and (all the way from Abu Dabi, pausing only to pick up a hire car!) yourself: Debs.
We are here because Paula and Kristie kept the pressure up for a good weeks, and it is ace. I have taught here myself and so have two of today's players. In fact Tim is here still).
After Blenheim I have dubiously agreed to Huddersfield J'Ouvert as this one of Katie and Natalie's favourite gigs of year, and I must admit once you are there, it's a laugh. (though less if you are driving)
Well, Andrew-the-Photographer calls round at 7.45 and we hit the A62. Katie and Natalie are waiting, with those now famous words, "Is this it?" "No", I say, "we have Debs and Charlotte", They reply with those ominous words, "They are in the Head of Steam, and they are drunk". Katie and Natalie are up in arms. Very amusing!
Having discovered that Caroline from South Steel was also in the pub we phone her to join us. She agrees to wear a Sparrows' hoody that happens to be in the van, but she is no more sober. Not so amusing!
Well we soldier on for a bit, variously threatening Debs and Caroline and cajoling them into remembering anything. Natalie offers to leave if we don't improve, but, over the next 30 minutes, as we hopelessly try Charlotte first on the tune [yes a great drunk tune-player], and then on the chords, leaving you, Debs [just off the plane from the Emirates, and Caroline [hasn't played with Foxwood for a year or so, maybe five!].
Fortunately what does happen is that Natalie and Katie start drinking, and the others start sobering up. As the driver, I am A, sober and B, long since past caring.
When, enter our small part of this Huddersfield street, one George the Sparrows' drummer, who has just got off the train from Birmingham Music For Youth [where we left him yesterday four gigs earlier], and who is somewhat surprised to hear and then see four people and some tunes he just about recognises.
Of course, I ask him A, if he has ten minutes and B, would he wear this red Foxwood vest as we are doing publicity photographs. The audience is scandalised. How will he know your songs? Well, we have long since had a common repertoire between Foxwood, East Steel and Sparrows for such Fine Messes. Natalie says she has never been so happy to see another drummer. She jumps onto the guitar pans and we rock.
George gives us twenty minutes, till the end of our session. Then he goes off to finish cleaning his old flat [it's uni changeover day for him], and we pack the van and then go back to Leeds.
So, disaster averted, all's well that ends well.
Tomorrow is Huddersfield Carnival Proper, but that is another day. G'night.