Sunday, 31 July 2016

Foxwood and Sparrows at Leeds Unity Day July 2016

We are now van-free so with an anticipated twenty-one-piece band, it's a ferry service with the Skoda-tardiss, Vicky and Wanda's cars, from my house to Woodhouse Moor and back, and to, and back. 21 people, 21 pans, 28 separate old oil-drums and 28 stands. The evening before I have colour-coded the stands to make reassembly less daunting. We have lost 4 of our 10 London collapsibles so that 28 stands coming in 3 separate pieces . That makes 94 separate pieces of metal plus the accidental ancient spare stands that I took as I lost count.

The stage was small, but it wasn't raining so we put Sparrows and some taller Foxes on the grass and three melody players on the speakers again at the front. They were still sound checking small parts of drum kit when we arrived, and then the sound engineers played some loud music over speakers to "drum up audience". I advised against as it was mind-blowingly difficult to plan and execute it all over the noise.

We were to start the day off, so not expecting a big audience, but can't complain. We had mid-afternoon slot last year, plus a session in the World Music tent.

Anyway at 12 prompt we started our half hour set, a mix of the Common Repertoire and two songs for the other band to sight read. After the set, a friend said to Katie "Rolling in the Deep" sounded good, but you need to work on "Hold My Hand".

As Foxwood was sight-reading both, we took that as a compliment. Maya [aged 5] and Stella [aged 14] played the Little Pink and the Panda Pan. Maya played the right changes of rhythm for Give Me Hope; Stella sight-read anything she had half a chance with, and, like a true pro, mimed any chords she couldn't find in time. Yo! [Who knows if anyone can see/watch the little video clip above!]

We were me [Victoria], Bex, Varshika, Sophie, Katie, Vicky, Natalie, Fehmina, Georgia, Ash, Gazza, Wanda, Emilia [Millie S], Claudia, Wanda, Owen, Kirsten, Alice, Stella, Maya.

This is our first attempt to get the Foxcubs in action. On Friday evening I fashioned a vest for Maya out of a teeshirt, and Maya and Stella learnt the two three or four chord songs [Give me Hope and Boardwalk]. Patrick modelled the t shirt but didn't contribute meaningfully to the sound.

After the set it was a massive five trips back to my house with pans, now also in Matt's car. After that all the players had scattered so not able to take tea and beer and tell each other how good that was.

Emilia and I took tea and buns in the Swarthmore tent, and then with Gig and kids watched the dogshow, at which almost no dogs could do any tricks and two dogs had a skirmish.

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