Today was another wet one though it started off beautiful. I walked to the gym in just a t-shirt and jeans it was so nice. By the time I returned from Farnham, the rain had started. I quipped to a young mum “It’ll only last a few seconds,” as she buttoned up the plastic cover on her stroller. The ‘few seconds’ lasted until 5:30.
Following the pressures and tensions of yesterday, today was a bit of a hiatus. For what feels like ages, I spent most of it doing housework. Then, I did some research until it was time to leave for my Cansfield Date Night.
Ages ago I’d organised with Dawn to get tickets for Show of Hands, a folk band of great reknown. We’d previously seen Steve Knightley doing a solo gig and figured he’d be just as good if joined by his partner in crime, Phil Beer.
Dawn agreed to drag a screaming and kicking Nicktor along and I promised that Mirinda would make it after work. And tonight was the night.
The plan had been to meet at the Queen’s Head for dinner but, upon arrival I had to report it was full of annoying students with not a table in sight. We went to the Wheatsheaf instead. Of course, Mirinda was going to be very late and didn’t make it for dinner but we had a lovely meal (and beer). (Nicktor even had a Bear Island Pale Ale which he tried to justify by saying the TEA was ropey and Spitfire is a bit strong!)
We met Mirinda at the Maltings and took our seats among the very old audience. We figured Dawn was the youngest there until we saw a tall, skinny guy who appeared to be in his teens and decidedly uncomfortable. It’s lovely to point out that the elderly patrons were packed in. I think the gig was a sell out.
Unsurprisingly, there were quite a few people forced to leave their seats for the loo every few minutes. As I explained to Dawn, this is one of those annoying things about growing old and drinking beer at folk gigs.
The show was…let me start off by saying that Steve and Phil are brilliant musicians, entertainers and all round lovely chaps. Their songs are all excellent as well. But, and it seems churlish to include a but, the playlist could have done with a bit of light and shade.
I know I’ll probably be slated for being too harsh but the selection of songs, while all great in isolation, put together, created a bit of a sad fog over me. Nearing the end of their set, I kept muttering to Dawn sitting beside me “Happy song! Happy song!” but it never happened.
I guess Show of Hands has been around for so long and have reached such heights of fame that they can choose and play whatever they want. And well done to them. For me though, and I’m not being frivolous, a ‘happy’ song thrown in every now and then points up and improves the sad ones.
Apart from that quibble, I have to say I very much enjoyed their American guest performer Richard Shindell. He looks remarkably like Max in Homeland. (I thought he looked like Chandler but then Dawn said it was Max and she was so right.) Whoever he looks like, I really enjoyed his songs particularly the rather surreal one which included nuns changing tyres on a bus on a highway.
I do have another complaint but it’s one I usually make about live music acts. Why do they complain about people taking photographs? Particularly when the quality is going to be pretty awful and it’s just for a few memories rather than any form of exploitation. Okay, I understand banning video taking but, seriously, I like to take a couple of photos to include in the blog and also to post on social media. Surely that’s just publicity for them. It really makes me want to NOT say anything about them.
So, it was an excellent night, with excellent music and even better company.