Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Welsh Academy of Memory and Remembering

It's been a while, perhaps the longest between blogs since blogs began.
4 months; which considering we average a blog a month means that this one should be 4 times as long, and 4 times as interesting. Well it won't be 4 times as long, and interesting? I'll leave that up to you.

It has been an interesting few months for us though. The Odd Folk Trio took a residency at Nancarrow Farm, a fortnightly gig for a series of functions; almost like large auditions to attract potential couples to wed at the sprawling idyllic organic farm. The first one was certainly interesting, the piano player forgot his leads (again for the 100th time) despite having two pairs, and so the trio became a duo; myself and bass player trying our best to sound professional. We had to take a hard stance this time, refusing to pay mr. forgetful, hitting him where it hurt, and perhaps that's the wake call up he needed. He hasn't forgot them since. 

Back as a 5 piece we traveled up to a gorgeous festival in Wales called Fire in the mountain. En route we stopped off in Bristol to rehearse, having not played together for an age. However the piano player had booked the rehearsal space was for the wrong day so we played hacky sack by the side of the road instead and left the music to chance.

The festival had long been recommended to us; a nice small one at the foot of a mountain; the kind you don't need your phone at (not that we had signal anyway). There were 3 stages; a big one, a medium one and a small one. There was a sauna, a river to dip in. Lots of crafts, lots of busking and the quality of music was amazing. We played twice, at the medium stage (powered by people riding bicycles) and then on the sunday at the small stage while 100's lolled around in the breezy sun. Having all of us together again was nice, the guitar player slotting back in with all those sweet notes that makes him almost irreplaceable, the drummer, with his son perched on his lap, tapping away like he was giving a drum lesson. And the people, the 3000 that populated that festival really are the trump card. We made so many new friends and fans. With smiles as constant as the sun.

Back to Nancarrow, this time with piano leads and then on to Ale and Anchor Festival in Mousehole; back on demand, headlining to a capacity crowd and with a brand new member, young Jack Watson who learnt 14 songs in a day to become the guitar player's latest replacement. He's a talent this one; specialising in desert blues and the highlife licks of African music.

In the meantime I took a theatre job, became bumble bee busy for 6 weeks and found out it was suddenly August! The piano player went up to Cardiff and enrolled in WAMAR (the Welsh Academy of Memory and Remembering) and the bass player went off to Berlin. The drummer completed the finishing touches to the the van that he'd bought for the Canceled Tour of Northern Europe back in March, including the installation of a 2k soundsystem that he purchased when he was pissed! The guitar player did stuff with a shovel and built fences, and rebuilt his house again. Oh, and Louis Gulliver King, our honorary member, still doing Bear Hunt in Bahrain and Bognor and Basingstoke.

And what's next? Another 4 month absence? Another new member? Another tale of misplaced leads? Largely, yes. Having a newborn means free time is scarce; I am writing this on a crowded train back from an audition for Dawn French's new TV show and any other spare time I have is used up (you guessed it) rehearsing in 2 brand new members for the upcoming gigs at Shambala Festival. And as for the curse of the missing leads? Try as I might, and despite all he's learnt up at WAMAR, I think he is fundamentally incapable of remembering things, and so another episode of sitting in a field contemplating just what he's done is only an adventure away.

Thanks for bearing with us and we'll see you soon, either at Shambala or in Portugal, or we'll be touring again in autumn no doubt, with more new members probably, perhaps we'll even replace ourselves and let younger blood take our songs out on the road ;-)


1 comment: