Also, apologies to the rest of the band for forgetting what key I was supposed to be coming in on in one of the songs last night. In my defence, I am used to looking over the Safety Officer's crib sheet, when he is playing guitar with us and he was babysitting last night. Not much of a defence as it just shows how lazy I am in taking my own notes. I improvise and play without music, but can read it, so was completely thrown by glancing at someone else's music, thinking, I'm sure this didn't have four sharps in it last time, but too late to stop my tired brain from going into autopilot concurrently with the four sharps and the actual key, which was C, which as you musical Oakdale people will know, has no sharps. Then I had to ask twice which key to start in, as I didn't hear the first time. Bit of a melt down there then, but ably sustained by our young drummer, who was the star of the evening and just kept going while I got my act together.
I never got to try the electric-acoustic mandolin in the end, as they couldn't fit it in the car. They were also transporting a drum kit, a drummer, the drummer's little sister, who can sing very nicely but had a night off, the drummer's mum, who was singing and the drummer's dad, who plays guitar. Fair enough. I had my violin and low D whistle for the Celtic fringe effect. If anyone has a spare celtic harp lurking in their attic or being constantly tripped over in their kitchen, I would love to give it a home, by the way. I was going to buy one with a legacy from my grandfather, but learned to drive and bought a car instead. If I'd learned the harp, I would not have been able to transport it without, but it is still an ambition to try one one day.
It wasn't our best gig. One of us is tired out through travelling long distances every other weekend to see a frail relative and do there shopping for them. One of us had a throat infection, one had a migraine and two of us had our slippers on. We were all in a slipper and sofa frame of mind really, but the Bishop was a gentleman and garnered some polite applause - not usual in a church service. Like all good Anglicans, we just shuffled our (slipper-clad) feet in an embarassed way and looked at the floor, walls and ceilings.
Anyway, if you want to hear the full band, come to the once-a-month family service at St Mary's. Our fabulous keyboard player couldn't be with us last night, which threw us out of kilter as well, but she is worth a trip to hear in her own right. You can put up with the rest of us, I'm sure.
We get an evening off for the Christmas Tree Festival (6th December, 7pm for the switching on ceremony), as the Forest of Dean Brass Band are stepping up to the mark. They probably do weddings and Bahmitzvahs as well if you ask them nicely.