Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Anniversary

It never ceases to surprise me how often people come up to the band and say, fervently, 'You're playing my kind of music!' The surprising bit is not that they like what the band plays, but the fact that they range in age from twenty-somethings to the over-eighties. (The under twenties just dance and smile.) Earlier in the year, at a function at the Norfolk Showground, we gave away a card to an enthusiastic music-lover. A week or two later he contacted us to ask if we would play at his Golden Wedding Anniversary party.

A fortnight ago the big day arrived and the band set up in a chilly marquee in the blue heart of west Norfolk. That's Andy in the picture, giving guest bassist Dave Pullin (right) and myself a master class in putting together the PA.

The tent soon warmed up as guests moved, sometimes in spite of themselves, to the infectious sound of Eastern Straynotes. It was an audience that knew the genre well, making the compliments we received all the more welcome. However, I think that must really must mark the end of the summer season. My fingerless gloves are at the ready but I make no secret of hoping that the nation's marquees have been retired until next spring.

Every so often someone takes the trouble to write to us after an event and this was one such occasion. Identifying marks have been removed but if you double-click on the letter it should open up big enough to read.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Urban Straynotes

On Saturday, Eastern Straynotes took part in the Magdalen Street Celebration in Norwich, organised by the Transition Norwich. In case you don't know, the Transition movement explores ways of coping with a post-carbon world: lots of discussion, education and experimentation. The reason there is someone on a bicycle at the front of the stage is because the PA was powered by pedalling. No mains power required, even to charge the battery. And the sound system was perfectly adequate.

The singer/guitarist in the final picture is Tom Foxe and it was he who devised, built and provided the PA. So it looks like amplified music will survive after the oil runs out. At least for a while. And while we waited for the end of life as we know it we partied on the October sunshine beneath the Magadelen Street flyover.

Despite the sun, the hand-warmers came out and I have a hunch that this was probably our last outdoor gig of 2010.