Our fledgling Trio had been rehearsing boldly for a year now, though early days had been hampered by Covid, and the difficulty of playing with our guitarist, who lives 70 miles away: the lag on Zoom is problematic when trying to synchronise rhythms.
Eventually, though, we felt ready to play to the outside world, away from our little studio in Chester. Taking a leaf from King Crimson, who started each tour with a ‘Friends and Family’ gig, we decided to do the same. Following a useful practice session at Hoole Community Centre a few weeks earlier we booked the hall again for our gig, and invited a goodly number of good folk – most of whom turned up!
We arrived at 12 noon to a locked Hall! Soon someone arrived to let us in and we began to set up. My drums are less bulky than a real kit of equivalent equipment, but they still take time to set up. Russ and Helen busied themselves with their gear and we were soon ready to go, running through a couple of numbers before we had to set out the chairs and food tables. (We were offering wine and nibbles to try and tempt people into coming! And cake … Gluten Free, of course!)
Once guests started to arrive everything moved so quickly and before we knew it it was time to play.
Our first set went really well, including a few unpractised moments(!). We each did the introductions to the tunes and the vibe was relaxed and friendly.
At the interval many folk chatted to us and – I think without exception – the feedback was very positive. My e-drums attracted attention and I delighted in showing how they worked. The EZDrummer software is superb and allows me to tailor my sound in many ways.
Set 2 is trickier and has more of the numbers we added recently, so it slipped in a couple of places, but I suspect people may not have noticed that.
And then it was over! By all accounts it was a success and it has given us the confidence to tighten-up our act further, ready for the Buxton Fringe in July.
Our hall booking ran from 12 until 5, and we packed the last items in our cars with ten minutes remaining. A fabulous and exciting afternoon – and so good to see everyone again after the restrictions of the last two years. It’s beginning to feel a lot like ‘normal’.