17-Jun-2012 Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It’s…

Ah, yes – according to last week’s blog this was to be ‘a restful week’… from a performance point of view that has indeed been the case as we’ve only played out twice this week and both on the same day too!

We did see the Olympic torch thingy, but only sort of… we were booked to play at Eastgate Manor (Mickley Square) where they were having a bit of a do to celebrate the Olympic torch passing by literally just outside their front lawn.

Getting there proved a bit tricky – we’d timed our route to avoid all the advertised road closures and to get to Mickley with an hour to spare. But good old British organisation ensured that the journey was not exactly trouble-free. The Ovingham bridge over the Tyne was temporarily closed just as we got there, and so we had to make a lengthy detour along the north side of the river avoiding motorists, pedestrians and cyclists driving, parking, pedalling and walking to catch a glimpse of the aforementioned flame as it would pass through Prudhoe, Mickley, Stocksfield et al on the south side.

In spite of all this we still managed to arrive 45 minutes early and were set up to play in good time as food and drink were consumed in anticipation of the torch passing by. And sure enough, early would you believe, Police motorcycles and cars heralded the arrival of the convoy… and the torch?… and the torchbearers?… inside the bus! As one sprightly chap put it, “If you blinked you missed it”. A bit of a disappointment.

So we started to play to raise spirits and, another would you believe it, in the middle of the first song Jimmy’s ToneMatch mixer/pre-amp decided to power down! Undeterred we finished the song as more sirens and police vehicles passed by with some hoping that the previous convoy was just clearing the way for the real thing – but no, there was to be no actual running with the torch held aloft through Mickley. And so we switched off our gear, fiddled with cables, switched it all back on, and it behaved for the rest of the show. A good time was had by all and the torch disappointment was put behind everyone.

By the time we got home there was barely time to have a bite to eat, a quick check of emails and a scoot around the internet before heading off to Netherton Folk Club. This is a lovely club, held in the village community hall, and run the way folk clubs used to be – as usual we had a grand night. We closed the evening’s proceedings with genial host Jack Wilkinson joining us for ‘One More Song’ – one club regular told us that it has become a sort of club anthem, and we’re thrilled to bits. Good on yer all!

There’s more to tell, but that can wait until another day – hopefully next week we might find space in the blog to introduce you to Barry (or ‘Baz’ as he’s affectionately known).

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