Lucky 13 is a rock band with an average age of 14. It is made up of kids from the Ready to Rock School and they play at charity events (and presumably school concerts and bar mitzvahs). The Hampshire Guitar Orchestra is a group of guitarists who play only charity events, playing their music for good causes and rasing money for the deserving. It was the latter for whom we travelled to Petersfield this evening. The former we saw by accident. It was a lovely end to a perfect day working in the garden.
And it was a perfect day for gardening. At the beginning of the week, the weatherman said it was going to be warm and sunny all week with the temperature dropping for the weekend with some rain. And he was right. For a change.
I woke to grey skies and spitting. By the time I returned from the shops, the spitting had changed to actual rain. Safely seated at the dining table with my crumpets, the rain started earnestly spattering on the roof lantern.
Mirinda had a lovely sleep in caused, mainly, by the fact that Miss Crazy had her 16th birthday party last night. Mrs Crazy had told us it would be going till midnight. It wasn’t so much the noise in the back garden or the almost constant screeching coming from the house. No, it was the yelling and screaming in the street, almost directly outside our bedroom window that disturbed us. This was made worse by the fact that I couldn’t quite hear the conversations which would, at least have made the inconvenience entertaining.
Anyway, by the time Mirinda woke, the rain was but a memory and the sun had returned, blazing down from a cloudless sky. Naturally, we hopped into Sidney and hightailed it up to the Garden Centre.
After buying more box balls for the steps, a much needed sprinkler for the lawn and an essential bit of miniature garden furniture for the alpine bed, we attacked the garden.
While the sprinkler did its work on the lawn, I cut down the auricula theatre (it needed one leg trimming to allow for the added height of the new fence) and strung up some clematis guiding wire on the new fence. Then I planted a new clematis called Freckles (cirrhosa var. purpurascens).
Meanwhile, Mirinda entertained herself with planting up a few annuals in the Crazy Bed then preparing an old tub for a second alpine bed by the water feature.
A lot more tulips have sprung forth including, I’m happy to report, the one growing through the brick. This single tulip is a true survivor. Not only has it grown through the brick, it also lived through the fence guys trampling all over it then Chris the Gardener and Mark digging the bed near it. Even the brick was moved, forcing the tulip to rethink its decision to grow through it. But, through all of this, it is has now bloomed, glorious and hardy.
At about 5:30, Mirinda announced that we should go over to Petersfield to the Petersfield Lions Club & Town Mayor’s Concert to see the Guitar Orchestra. Only, we didn’t know it was the Petersfield Lions Club & Town Mayor’s Concert or that the programme featured three acts, the guitars only being one of three halves.
We set Linda to navigation duty and set off, across Surrey and into the wilds of Hampshire.
Lucky 13 were tuning up and sound checking when we arrived so, with the hordes, we waited in the small auditorium of the Petersfield Festival Hall for a bit before taking our (more comfortable than the Maltings) seats.
We were sat in the second row, behind a couple of older ladies, one of whom spent the entire Lucky 13 set with her fingers in her ears. Turning her hearing aid off hadn’t helped, forcing her to more extreme measures. As she explained in the interval, it really wasn’t her type of music and wondered if it was any good. She asked us because we looked more age appropriate for rock music.
And the truth is, the boys in the band (drums, bass and lead guitar) were very good. They played very well together, obviously enjoying making a lot of noise to only polite applause between songs. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the singers.
There were two, neither of whom was the normal singer with the group. This showed. The two girls (they sang half the set each) were glued to the spot, occasionally drifting off-key and never changing their expressions. To be fair, it wasn’t entirely their fault. The sound was very flat as if the volume had just been turned up to the same level for everything which drowned out the voices. The monitors could have been placed a bit closer to the singers as well.
Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s very rare I get to listen to a rock band (even a junior one) given Mirinda doesn’t like electric guitars or raucous noise. It was also great to watch three kids who were clearly enjoying themselves without having to disturb the neighbours with screaming and vomiting in a suburban street.
But it was soon over and the lady in front of us extricated her fingers from her ears, asking us if the guitar orchestra was as noisy. We assured her they were not and she shouldn’t need to put her fingers in her ears. She seemed very grateful.
And, of course, the Hampshire Guitar Orchestra was superb. The main guy, Derek Hasted, is hilarious, the guitar playing brilliant and the set delighted everyone.
The final and third half of the Petersfield Lions Club & Town Mayor’s Concert featured the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir (I thought they were called the Miniature Wives Choir but was corrected swiftly on reading the programme for myself). We didn’t stay for them, having a long trip home and having to buy dinner on the way back. Given the horridly bland Chinese meal we bought, we should have stayed for the Miniature Wives. We shan’t be returning to the Tasty House takeaway Chinese restaurant ever again. In fact they should change their name to the Tasteless House.