We're over half way through the current round of shows which started back in January with the surprise 60th birthday party for our friend Stevie Poole. He plays mandolin, accordion and various other instruments with his band The Old Speckled Men and also hosts the Open Mike night at one of our favourite pubs the Dukes Arms in Woodford.
His wife Carole asked us to play and on the night in question we turned up really early, hoping to set up in relative peace and quiet. No chance. The room was full of people before 7.00 and we managed to play a rushed sound check before waiting in silence for the special guest to arrive. It was a great night. The pub was absolutely jam packed full and everyone really enjoyed themselves.
I picked up a cold.
It laid me low for a couple of weeks before we returned to the Dukes again, this time it was a regular Friday night's entertainment. Once again, we played well and everyone enjoyed them selves. I managed to keep from coughing long enough to sing the songs, but I was laid up again for a couple of days afterwards.
Then we played a pub in the centre of Kettering- Watercress Harrys. They'd just started having bands on a Thursday night and the town was very quiet as there was live music in three other pubs within a few yards of each other. We kept a small crowd entertained, and picked up a couple of potential gigs for when the weather gets a bit warmer.
Once again I was laid low for a couple of days. I hadn't realised how weak my immune system is, and how much this chest infection is taking out of me. As long as I rest up in between shows and don't try to play too often, I should be OK.
On Monday night Chris, Dave and I played an acoustic show for a local WI group. That's right- no microphones or amplifiers. There were about 40 or so in the audience and no-one complained they couldn't hear, so that's another first. We also gave away a host of business cards, with many ladies enquiring whether we could play wedding anniversaries (yes), birthday parties (yes)and garden parties (yes.)
Roll on the warmer weather. We have a couple more shows to play in the next couple of weeks, then it's back to the studio.
Ah yes, the first album (Dave's gospel album) has been recorded and we're just mixing it and once that's done my friend Andy Crawley will master it. We have a couple of gospel music festivals to play this year, and we were asked if we had any recordings of the new band. So yes we have. All will be revealed soon.
We're also making progress on our covers album, with a number of basic tracks laid down. We'll be back in the studio to carry on with that project as soon as the current run of live shows in completed, and as soon as I shake off this infection.
Roll on summer!