September is a month that we usually associate with cooler evenings and wet weekends. But the first three weeks proved us all wrong. There were two local fêtes/festivals on the weekend of 11-12 September, and a trip to Brigstock on 18 September, and it was a nice surprise to be playing music out in the sunshine and staying dry at all three events.
Local music events back up and running
The new acoustic session at the Old Copper Kettle Tea Room in Crowland attracted a mixed genre of folk and acoustic players, with the first attendance of Ann and Bob (violin and bass ukulele). We had a full conservatory rocking to reworked tunes such as ‘Breaking Wind Suddenly’ (‘Blow The Wind Southerly’, a capella style) and a mass ensemble playing ‘Wish You Were Here’ (David Gilmour). And this was all in a nice setting in the middle of Crowland.
The first September session at the Ale House Kitchen in Ramsey saw Tim appear with his double bass and Tony on the ukulele. Consequently, they will now be known as Little and Large. We enjoyed a solid three hours of mixed tunes accompanied by ale – as always, the best combination. Moreover, it was well attended and almost back to full numbers.
After packing our passports, Steve and I made the long journey to the Carpenters Arms on Coates North Green on Saturday 11 September. (I’m happy to report the border guards were nowhere to be seen). We played to a packed crowd under a bright blue sky with a full programme of events, including dog agility and tug of war taking place in the arenas. It certainly was a great afternoon with numerous charity, food and craft stalls. We (The Boatmen) will be back in the bar on 16 October for an evening of cover songs and possibly the odd original.
What a Big Bash it was!
On Sunday 12 September it was the Big Bash at the Manor. Following the service at the memorial in the town square, the Highland Band marched in procession down to the field, where the Mayor of Whittlesey and the High Sheriff officially opened the event. We were lucky to have one of the trailers for the musicians to perform on – many thanks to Boons Transport. And a massive shout-out also to the Young Technicians Academy, who provided sound equipment and engineering on both days. In addition, there were sports taster activities, food and craft stalls, and classic cars and motor bikes across the main field. And with the golden age stalls inside the main hall, there was something for everyone.
The music entertainment on the main stage was provided by Kill Me Kate, an acoustic three-piece band from Welney. James Edmonds, a singer-songwriter from Peterborough, followed them, then Steve and I, aka The Boatmen, finished the afternoon. After that, the evening saw a family disco in the main hall. It was a well-organised day, thanks to Robert Windle, the Manor team, Fenland Events and all the volunteers.
The annual Peterborough Beer Festival sadly didn’t take place. However, we were lucky to play at the Brigstock Beer Festival music event on the 18 September. If you’ve never ventured to that part of Northamptonshire, it is very picturesque. The village hall was the setting, attendance was good and a supportive vocal crowd were eager to enjoy the atmosphere and beer. Suffice to say the encore song ‘Alice’ went down well. We certainly look forward to a return in 2022.
Have a safe October, and keep on singing …
You can find local event listings at www.outa-stock.co.uk/OM.htm
Words by Dave Bailey