The first few gigs of the year are done and dusted so now is a good time to recap on our outings in 2012 so far…
Our first gig was on Saturday 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day!) at Orchardleigh just outside Frome - lovely place, set in a secluded location a good quarter-mile into a golf course, and super-friendly (and pretty!) staff; but something of a trek if you’re coming from Bristol! Nevertheless, we got there in good time and got our set-up and sound-check sorted well inside our time window. We’ve recently splashed out on a new mixer and powered monitors to improve our sound quality and set-up times, and this was the first gig we’d used them at; but the configuration was so similar to our old system that it was no problem getting things up and running and sounding great. The evening itself was a breeze – the room at Orchardleigh is one of the better ‘country house’ venues for live music as there’s plenty of soft furnishings, which really helps to even out the sound and get rid of the annoying reverb and crispy high-ends that can be problematic in an unadorned room.
The following Friday (23rd March) saw us at Wick Farm for the first time; really, really great venue in our opinion. Fantastic grounds, decent acoustics and easy enough to get to. However, the evening was not without complication; speeches overran (as they ALWAYS do), and we were sharing the playing area with a (very accommodating) DJ, which made for a challenging set-up. Then, we got surprised (as did the bride and groom) by the arrival of a troupe of Morris dancers just as we were planning to sound-check. So, no sound-check, which made for a slightly-stressed Sam and a massive howl of feedback during the Morris display. There are two lessons to take from this: 1) always give your band time to sound-check (after all you’re paying for them, and you want them to sound good, right?), and 2) Morris dancers are scary. Still, once the bells and hankies and sticks and shouting were out of the way it was down to the important business of rock, funk and soul – ahhh, that’s better…
Finally, a couple of weeks off before April 7th found us at Great Barrington Village Hall in deepest Gloucestershire. We like village halls, we really do; they often have stages, and we get to play on them and feel like we’re Bon Jovi or something. We also like it when Pie Minister do the catering, as their pies are truly to die for. We understand they’re catering at Glastonbury in 2012, and as we’re playing there(!) at the same time, we look forward to eating their goodness again. The evening itself was…interesting; we were expecting to go on about 8:30 but ended up starting at 10:00, and we weren’t entirely sure our fairly raucous second set was going to quite hit the mark, from a first glance at our audience. But our fears were unfounded as the wedding party gave a sterling account of itself ’on the floor’, especially when The Killers and Kings of Leon came around. And, they had tons of candy and some truly smashing brie that was much-appreciated.
So, looking forward – May 2012 is a stunningly busy month for us, with six gigs in five weeks; not so bad if you’re a professional band, but we’re merely amateurs of an Olympic standard with day-jobs so we’re going to be flat-out and ready for the long weekend at the beginning of June…during which we’ve got another gig! It’s also Steve’s birthday on 26th May, which is the day after our road-trip gig in Bedfordshire, so when you see him he would be grateful for birthday hugs and kisses (nothing too raunchy though, he’s married!)
Peace & Love,