Provincial Letters

Far from the mad crowds of the city, Blaise Pascal passed comment on the strange behaviour of this urban contemporaries in his Provincial Letters. The connection between them and this blog is somewhat tenuous.

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Location: Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My star sign in Superstition. And I didn't believe in reincarnation last time, either. The only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. I am a fanatical ant-fanaticist. I am bigotted only where bigots are concerned. I am a fundamentalist atheist. I'm proud to be a product of evolution; I know it in my genes.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Posted @ 17:30Friday Night

and Friday night took me out to Holton-le-moor for the Acoustic Troubadours night…

How it all began…

The other week at the Tap & Spile's Open Mic, Trev C says to me: "Is Rob coming down tonight?". I replied in the negative, having spent the previous couple of hours with the aforementioned Scottish person. But I proceeded to ask why. Trev explained that Rob was due to perform at a fund-raising gig in Holton-le-moor on Friday 23rd March and Trev wanted to check the details. Now I happened to know that Rob had a gig with his band (The Honey Badgersnot the ones you'll find by a Google search, but that's another story) on that particular evening. Trev muttered words of frustration and said, "I don't suppose you could do it instead?". Pleased to be asked, I affirmed my availability (my other option for that evening being going to The Honey Badgers at The Spider's Web) and a deal was struck.

During the following week, Trev confirmed the arrangement and he was to pick me up on Friday afternoon and take me out to Caistor (where he lives) and thence to the gig and thence to stay the night so we "could have a little drink".

And so…

And so, Friday rolled around and Trev arrived to pick me up at 15:50, dead on time. Pausing in Grimsby to drop off some CDs of Rob performing live at The Spider's Web (part of the "get a new guitar for Rob campaign" — yes, it's that Rob), we headed for Caistor.

The first job was to take Pebbles for a walk; Pebbles being Trev & Angie's collie. The woods around Nettleton were lovely in the late afternoon; it was dry, a little cold, but the skies were clear and blue and not a breath of wind. Pebbles ran and sniffed and generally had a good time; Trev and I walked and nattered, just enjoying the day.

Then back to Trev's and the packing of the car and the getting ready (and the cheese sandwiches).

Angie was now home and there was some small time for catching up, but not a lot. The PA and headline act — Chris Treebeard and Paul Pearson — were coming across from Sheffield and we had to meet up with them at 18:30 to guide them the last half-a-mile or so. All was fine, and we met in the car park of the Salutation Inn at Netteleton as arranged. Then on to the Moot Hall at Holton-le-moor.

The Moot Hall was built around 1910 and is a lovely example of late-Edwardian English rural architecture: predominantly symmetrical without but delightfully idiosyncratic within; mock-Tudor both inside and out, built of brick and wood and possessing a truly wonderful, large open fire. This latter proved to be a focal point on such a cold evening.

The PA was erected and connected with minimum fuss and efficiency (Chris T making the whole process look so easy and uncomplicated that there was no necessity for assistance; indeed if anyone had insisted on lending a hand, it would have slowed the process). The other performers arrived: Jonathan & Phil Norman (young but dangerously talented); Steve Jackson (veteran local performer and music buff); and local hero Donna (great voice). Chris & Paul did their soundcheck and by 20:00 we were all set up and ready to go… …just waiting for the punters to arrive.

I won't review the performances (let alone my own); suffice it to say that it all went off very well and everyone was well received and there were no technical hitches. The mass jam at the end was very enjoyable, for the performers at least. Trev C was there with nearly all the acts, hitting congas, scraping washboards and doing his very best as compère and host; adding sparkle and humour to the evening.

And so to bed…

And then it was all over and we were all tired and emotional (OK, a little inebriated) and full of food. But it was a grand night and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thanks Trev (and Argie).

If you get the chance to see Chris Treebeard (either solo, in a duo with Paul or in one of his many bands), grab it with open arms: he is a musician of extreme talent, great humour and makes for a wonderful evening.


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