A Blog of vision – the double kind

Feeling a bit guilty for not writing this sooner but I’ve been super busy since I returned to the tiny Isle. Touring with Dave Kelly and Peter Filleul last month was, on the whole, a great delight. Though maths, I’ll freely admit, is not my strongest point I do know that a Trio consists of three people or; three chocolates; or three cocktails; or three of just about anything. However our musical trio kept on growing until … there were no less than six of us. The wonderfully enthusiastic, talented and all round delightful additions to our basic threesome were: Homer Kelly-Tarrant – on bass and vocals; Bryn Parnell – on lead guitars and Loz Hood – on drums. For those of you who don’t know, Homer is Dave’s youngest son and is attending the British Institute of Modern Music in Brighton. His good friends and fellow students Loz and Bryn are also taking the same three year course and this October sees the start of their third and final year. We were excited to find their new academic year started, 2 days after our tour ended and so … a plot was hatched.

To be truthful though, the plot began when Dave and Homer were travelling together during the summer and Toto’s Africa was playing on a ‘Trio wish-list” cd in the car. When Dave enthused how great it would be to do that particular song in the Trio line-up, Homer suggested it would be even better with drums! And so – after a little further discussion … three became six. As I mentioned in my previous Blog, I only had two days on the Island to gather myself together before jaunting off to London for a week’s rehearsals with our new band. I played the jet-lag card for several days as an excuse for not knowing what the hell was going on most of the time. Luckily no one noticed any difference in my usual approach to learning and so I was generously left to get on in my own sweet (?) way. This basically meant having lots of lyric sheets scattered about Dave’s front room floor, chairs, boxes, tables; in fact any available space had a lyric sheet or two strewn about it, even though the room was already full to capacity with people, musical instruments and bent mic stands. You had to be a contortionist to get in and out of the room! It was a bit like being on Its a Knock Out but more fun.

So … we gathered; we played; we culled songs left, right and centre; we ate huge amounts of fresh bread, cheese and ham; we wrangled with harmonies, chords, keys and arrangements and then … we went out and played our -variously aged- little hearts out.

So our first gig was held at Norwich Arts Centre and is a well known and well loved venue I’ve played many, many times. It was the perfect place to start. The show was well attended and the audience more than enthusiastic. Plus, John Kerrison, a local and very talented photographer had asked permission (well in advance) to take photos during the show. I’m always pleased when people ask beforehand … it gives me confidence that they know what they’re doing. In this case my confidence was well founded. John took some great performances shots and if you get chance to look at his other work please do – it’s all fabulous!

During the week of rehearsals I stayed with Peter and his lovely wife Sian who, very kindly, extended their generosity into the first week of gigging. It was great to drive around with Peter and have the time to luxuriate in our connected pasts. We’ve known one another thirty years this November! That’s a lot of water under a pair of sturdy bridges 🙂 I know what I mean!
After our first show, where packing, assembling, unpacking and driving the long dark miles late at night was a real test of patience, skill and spacial awareness, we got back to Pete’s place about 1.30am. Dear old granny that I am and despite the tempting picnic Sian had left for us in the kitchen … I went straight to bed. If I ever had aspirations to a Rock’n’Roll lifestyle they are well and truly over! I slept and slept …

Given the boon of a few extra days off and feeling creative, I took myself off to Bath (scene of our next performance) for a couple of days splendid isolation and enjoyed some time rewriting a book I’ve been working on for about two years now (gulp! There I’ve said it!). I really enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere Bath has in spades and truly appreciated the space to just sit and play.

When Thursday rolled round I was well rested and ready for our next performance. This time the venue was one I’ve only played once before. Bath Chapel Arts is a very well established and brilliantly run space. Though the attendance wasn’t as good as we’d hoped, the audience were fairly vocal in letting us know how they felt. Lucky for us that was a good thing 🙂 Unpacking, assemblage, packing and leaving, took fewer minutes than our first night but it was still late before Pete and I reached our Travelodge beds. Ah but check out time is midday! Hurrah 🙂

Peter and I had a fairly short drive to Wimborne the next day and treated ourselves to a really delicious lunch in a big old pub called The Fox and Hounds on the edge of town. Though the building was old the decor and food were thoroughly modern and we took full advantage of the lovely, warm, afternoon, sun and sat outside with the wasps. You can’t have everything! After a delightful and leisurely experience we parted ways before sound check. Pete went back to the car to play with the recording from last night’s show and I took myself and my trusty old camera off to the Minster for a spot of snapping.

The Tivoli Theatre is our favourite gig and scene of many a rowdy DK/CC/PF and various musical Gentlemen across the years. This night was no exception though we did miss Charlie our most fervent promoter and all round good egg, who had a date with Joe Bonamassa – well you would wouldn’t you? The boys – btw – were doing brilliantly! They really do play well and their already established friendships made for a great camaraderie between us all. I’ll leave it here for now and return – hopefully not too long – with the rest of the tour news and add a few more pics and videos for your watching/listening pleasure.

Thanks as always for your much appreciated patience and interest … it’s no fun without you!

Till soon.

Much love Christine x

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