It’s been 4 years since Dave Kelly, myself and some fine Travelling Gentlemen took to the musical road. It seemed like a good idea to get back together again but in a smaller, more acoustic version. Cue: Collister, Kelly and Filleul – we’d make a fine Firm of Lawyers n’est pas?
Dave’s regularly asked me to set aside some time for another tour and I finally succumbed to his delightful request. It’s difficult to find exactly the right set of circumstances, where everyone needed is available, so we grabbed the chance to put a run of dates together this September – 2011.
After working out a long list of possible songs long-distance, we finally got together for a week’s worth of rehearsal’s at Dave’s delightful family home near Kingston, the week before the tour began. Fortunately for Dave, Pete and myself, Dave’s youngest son Homer, wasn’t due to start University until October 3rd, so we roped him in to play bass and add his rather lovely, dulcet tones to our collective harmonies. Hurrah … our trio became a quartet, just like that.
After such a long absence it was hard to remember exactly what it was we used to do. It took ages to whittle down the old songs to a manageable bunch of 10 and we took it upon ourselves to add a further 10 new songs to the mix! Given our gathering years, we found it hard to take on board everything all at once but somehow we managed it. It took a few gigs to find our musical stride but find it we did. We also added to the mix, a few nights with guest appearances at 4 separate shows!Bursting the seams of our 4 piece Trio to five – go figure. We like a challenge.
Our next port of call was the Tivoli Theatre in beautiful Wimbourne for lovely promoter Charlie, who has supported all our tours – bless!It was a gorgeous, bright, sunny day. Perfect for enjoying the fabulous countryside thereabouts … ah touring is a wonderful privilege. Peter Filleul and I travelled together for these first few shows and allowed ourselves a rather lovely late lunch near the theatre. Delicious on all counts.
Our first musical guest joined us for this show and we were very happy to have Richard Brunton on board. He and Pete and I go all the way back to 1986 and The Life’s and Love’s of a She-Devil! He and his lovely wife had that very day spent time with Faye Weldon no less!! She would have come to the show but for a prior family do. Wow. That would have been fabulous. The show was great fun and Richard played brilliantly on half a dozen songs. Thanks Richard – let’s do it again!
With 2 shows under our belt we were getting a little less nervous and a bit more at ease. Look out Wavendon here we come! The Stables is a favourite venue of ours and one of the 2 places our “Live” cd was recorded at, way back in 2006! It was lovely to play there once more. There were friends and family at this particular performance. Bob and I had been apart at this point for 2 weeks. He’d been out on the creative road with young Mr Knowles – who was on this side of the pond for a change, writing up a storm for his next cd, with Steve Chrisanthou. He also performed at the closing ceremonies for the Youth Commonwealth Games, held this year on the Isle of Man. I had a small part to play in co-writing the Anthem for Games with Davy. Sorry I wasn’t able to be there for the opening and closing parties but I know it was a great success. Of course it was great to see Mr Miller again too! he made sure there was some Flip taken – bless!
The next show on our first run out, was at The Mill in Banbury. Hurrah. I love it here. Our techy for the night was Carl and he did a sterling job in accommodating a 5 piece Trio! We swelled our musical ranks with Mr PJ Wright! PJ introduce Pete and I way back in 198. Thereby hangs a tale and without that meeting none of this would be possible – who’d a thunk it all those years ago eh? PJ brought along a plethora of instruments – guitars, pedal steel and harmonica … playing up a storm on loads of tunes – thank you!
Our next gig and the last of five in a row – was at the Corn Hall in Diss. I misread the information for this show when giving the details to Christy DeHaven for my website and wrote: Diss Cornwall! Oh well my geography leaves a lot to be desired but how many of you know where Ramsey is in relation to Port St Mary? Exactly – more than I’d care to admit no doubt. Anyway … Corn Hall in Diss – Norfolk – is a fabulous venue and a pretty picturesque place with only one coffee shop open of a Sunday … no prizes for guessing which chain of caffeine flogging establishments that might be – costa fortune more like. We were treated royally and with great respect by the Hall’s volunteer staff and enjoyed a fairly relaxed performance – practice makes perfect. And then 2 days off to see our glorious twin grand daughters – bless and rapture (They’re actually called Isabella and Chiara but Bliss and Rapture sound good too).
I’ll leave you here for now and return with 2 more installments – 4 shows apiece for your further endorsement. Thanks as ever for dropping by. Hope to see you soon.