Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lukas Drinkwater

"Take the road to St. Agnes and turn right at the seven mile long garage!" It was the deputy bass player and I was baffled. A seven mile long garage!? That's enough to house The Odd Folk's entire fleet of cars I thought as I sped along the B9000 to St. Agnes. After the right at the longest garage in the world I pulled in and waited for the deputy to appear. He did just as soon as I'd cut the engine; a bespectacled man with dancing eyes and a carefree manner.
 "Follow me" he said and disappeared into a blue transporter.

We wiggled further along the Cornish country road taking a blind left down a bumpy track and scrambling down the lane. The bumps increase; large parts of the once concrete surface had fallen away leaving potholes the size of surfboards. It was like driving on the threads of a screw! No wonder they have a seven mile long garage here; it must be to house all the cars in the village when they break every morning!

The deputy bass player stopped ahead and waved for me to follow suit. I pulled in, narrowly missing a pothole the size of my car. "It gets a bit bumpy now, you're better off coming with me!" he says, leaning out the window. "You don't say!" I answer as I clamber into the blue transporter and we undulate down the lane.

The road leads down to a beautiful old cottage clad in ivy's and wisteria's with a little stream running along side it. Large trees lean in from both sides of the valley and the sun streams through the foliage. "Welcome" says the deputy as we disembark.

Lukas Drinkwater has very kindly answered our plea for a bass dep or understudy as our very own bass player has a boxing match he simply can't miss! Sod's law, but we've done pretty well to get this far without a clash and we're looking at it positively. It's great to meet fellow musicians who can slip in without too much fuss when that big thing called life gets in the way of music! Lukas is a very experienced player, a multi-instrumentalist, a finger picking songsmith, who currently plays with 3 Daft Monkeys. Although our paths have crossed on a few occasions this is the first time we've really met and apart from the bumpy ride down here, it's been better than expected. But I still hadn't heard him play!

We bundle into the old cottage and after a quick cuppa we're away. I stumble through the 10 songs, and without even breaking a sweat he's straight in, playing away as though he been here for months, and by the end of the two hour session he knows the songs better than me! "Morgan, It changes after the second chorus, we drop back down again." he points out after I plough straight on oblivious!

I'm feeling more and more assured that he's going to do a great job and more and more worried that we're going to screw it up! Perhaps I'll tell the audience that we're all deps and that Lukas Drinkwater is the only true member of the band! That way we'll cover our mistakes!

Drinkwater and I...
After the session we clamber up one side of the steep valley and peer down to the sea, "the garden runs all the way down to the ocean, and there's a beach too!" he smiles. We pause for a photo before departing back up the fractured lane to the relative safety of my car. We wave goodbye and I scramble further up the rutted road, connect with the country lane, which seams as smooth as silk compared with what lies below, and pull into the garage for a much needed service! I'm missing two wheels, both headlights, the passenger door and half my boot. "You've come away lightly!" says the weathered mechanic with a grin.

Back at HQ and we're preparing for our gig this friday at Port Eliot Festival worrying mostly that we'll let Mr. Drinkwater down, well that and all the usual Odd Folk misadventures; like the piano player having gone to the wrong festival 200 miles north with no tent and sleeping bag, the guitar player's ticket having disappeared and the drummer's car prone to breakdowns! So perhaps it really will just be Drinkwater and I. At least he can teach me the songs!

Come and watch us; friday night, Port Eliot Festival, Ace of Clubs Stage, 8pm.

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