Saturday, 30 December 2017
By Sunday the temperature had been plummeting to the point of widespread snow being forecast. And I was not recovered from standing on Brudenell Road in the cold and dark for two hours.
Plus I hadn't been able to do a reccy for this gig [parking- loading that kind of a thing], and we had originally agreed to do one set outside!
So on Sunday [December 10] I went over early to Temple Newsam; the staff carpark gate was being opened. Finding the organisers was easy; they were amenable to anything I suggested; we could do both sets inside; there was a green room in this fabulous old building with tea bags and urn; I could bring the van right to the door.
In Temple Newsam heaven.
The players were Kirsten, Annie, Owen, Karam, Isha, Ella, Esme, Alice and myself. We were joined in the second half by Wanda and Vicky. The two latter were being generally helpful in the first, Wanda was supporting our newest Sparrow; Vicky generally putting things in alphabetical order.
Apparently it [the room] had been rammed in the morning. Thankfully it wasn't in the afternoon and there was just enough room for the band, the parents, the organisers and a few strays overstaying the morningfest.
It had been a long and stressful weekend: three gigs, three separate bands, plus the YAMSEN: SpeciallyMusic Town Hall concert on Wednesday, and then another one at Royds coming on Tuesday that makes five gigs in seven days - just thinking about it makes me feel faint!]; massive snow warnings.
But it was great! The Sparrows sight-read their way through one seasonal song after another. How Kirsten and Owen got their way through the first line of Magic Moments I'll never know, but they did! Woohoo!
[Now who are these characters let loose with my camera!]
Thursday, 28 December 2017
We were at Allerton CE School where the music centre is based. We are inside and it is warm. We were on last and we followed Amy's lovely violins and also the adult singers [these made Georgia cry].
After three years at the music centre, we now have more beginners than pans. And we are outgrowing our room [which point I make regularly to Mark!].
This year we have also been able to include some Foxcubs [in the shape of James, Lola and Maya], and the concert we have an average of two parents/carers per cub.
The North Steelettes are Niall, Harvey, Lola, Darcy [only there for the rehearsal], James, Lola, Maya, Theo, Julie, Lucy, Ginny [also only at rehearsal], supported by Satinder. They play African Noel [wouldn't be a Christmas concert without a beginners' class playing it] and Au Clair de la Lune.
North Steel took on We Three Kings, which according to Jackie [Luke's mum], was a massive raise on last year's standards, and then Kylie's entirely unseasonal Can't Get you Out of my Head.
We were me Sylvia, Satinder, Kurum, Ella, Julia, Luke, Isha and Theo, and I really enjoyed the challenge of playing both songs myself and was really proud of North Steel.
PS: They were allowed to wear antlers or Christmas hats as long as no one tried to invited me to do the same! Lol!
Sunday, 24 December 2017
When Holly asked us if we would play outside GoFood for her craft fair I thought, that’s nice, early evening, after work, let’s just hope it doesn’t rain! What was I thinking. It is December; the sun sets at quarter to four, and then it gets cold;
and then this week it is unusually cold.
and then this week it is unusually cold.
With an unexpected dearth of the usual suspects, and because Diz and Gig were playing I invited Lola and Maya to play and carted down two more pans for them. This was my second mistake (after agreeing in the first place).
In the end we should probably draw a veil.
The craft fair was a successful event and stall holders (inside in the warm) all sold their wares; teas and pizzas were consumed, and the most amazing mulled wine briefly warmed the cockles.
We were me, Diz, Gig, Vicky, Holly with guest appearances from Mole, Comrade Moochenko and Jermaine.
Charlotte turned up as we were putting away, fresh (if that is the word) from playing with South Steel in Cross Flatts Park. She was inquiring which of us had ad the better fine mess. And Vicky had been down the bus station with Wanda’s Fledglings, still laughing about repeated lines that not everyone played.
Saturday, 23 December 2017
At TJs we set the pans up on the stage so they would dry out over the next few hours, and left the cases open as long we could.
In the evening we were joined by what was left of Gary who had spent the morning flying back from the continent, and what was left of Fehmina who had spent her morning on Pontefract Train Station until a friend brought her to Leeds in a car.
On that occasion, between our three Foxwood Panyard steelbands [Foxwood, Sparrows and East Steel] we mustered about twelve players, and we have been friends [understatement] ever since.
We played for three more Donovan's Days: one in the Roscoe Carpark, one in pouring rain in Potternewton School Playing Field, one in howling gale at the Caribbean Cricket Club. A small group of us also played in Harehills Cemetery when John erected Donovan's beautiful new headstone.
Donovan's song is "You'll Never Walk Alone", hard not to play it without tears; I think we did special justice to it this evening. It was already in our repertoire when we met John and his family, but it now has added meaning.
[Apparently the whole party was live-streamed to St Kitts. Can't wait to see the DVD!]
What was left of Fehmina called a taxi from her mum's home and collected me en route for the gig. Here we found the snare drum had not survived the hasty packing from the Mansion House.
My phone call started, "Ri-ick . . " Rick successfully found Millie S's snare drum and met me outside TJs with ten minutes to go. [We are back on speaking terms.]
Well it all ended in drinks. Excellent. We were me [Victoria], Bex, Daisy, Vicky, Gary, Natalie, Fehmina, Sophie, Bart, Sheeks, Gig, Lola [briefly], Charlotte, Wanda and Vicky.
Lola, Maya and Patrick wore the reds, and attempted to steal the show. Lol.
Next day we cleared up. Much better than loading up straight after playing.
Saturday, 21 October 2017
|setting up beside the House|
We were me, Bex, Vicky, Daisy, Lola, Sophie, Natalie, Georgia, Charlotte, Sheeks, and for the last two tunes, Bart [much teasing ensued].
The weather held until suddenly it didn't. In the meantime we included the song that Sophie had requested, Bex had arranged, and we had sort of learnt. We don't think that Sophie [bride] was around to hear it, and we think that that is probably no bad thing.
Well, after that, the deluge. As Louis XIV once nearly said. The banner that Trish had originally made for us in the 80s took the brunt and consequently was too wet to use at John's fiftieth.
|If It's Raining . . . .|
Vicky and Daisy did insect impressions as they carried their pan loads from gazebo to van.
Thankfully we were able to set up immediately for the next gig [at TJs], and the pans dried before we returned to play on them.
Friday, 6 October 2017
I can't believe it is nearly a month since our last gig, Leeds Carnival on Chapeltown Road. That was in summer, and now it far from that.
Now it is Saturday night in downtown Roundhay. Not sure the others know what they have let them in for. Do I?
|famous impressionist picture|
No room, says Marcele. So we are an acoustic four-piece, i.e. four pannistes, no drum-kit. And we just fit in under the gazebo with its lovely fairylights. In the Roundhay Steelpan triangle with students Bella, Judy, Julia, Satinder, Ella, Isha, Kurum, Theo all living in adjoining streets. Wow!
I had hoped to meet her son who I had taught way back when at Moor Allerton Primary. He keeps out of my way opining that I would make him play on a pan. As if!