Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Eroica Festival 2015 - Part 3

Saturday afternoon at Eroica Britannia and the Della Grants have done their stuff (look them up on google - in fact why not google all of the acts mentioned here) and then their kit has to be packed away and for 10 minutes that is all, and the crowd drifts away. Next up on stage will be Charlie Jobson, Bakewell's own singer songwriter. We were introduced and chatted to the MC and Charlie wanted to know what I did so he could do a seamless link. He plugged in his guitar, we took our seats and he performed an excellent set of his own music and a handful of covers. He has a lovely voice and was an accomplished guitarist, a pleasure to watch and listen to:

Bakewell's own Charlie Dobson
With a few minutes to go of Charlie's set I spoke to Vicky from the promoters, checked my iPad for the millionth time and then went off to find a quiet corner to compose myself. Performing in front of fellow poets I am used to but this, performing in front of friends who've never seen or heard my poetry plus an audience who probably came for the music, this was a bit nerve wracking. The quiet corner didn't work so I found some friends to chat to instead and suddenly Charlie was on his last song and I was waiting at the side of the stage. As he finished Charlie gave me an excellent introduction and saved the MC a job.

Step onto the stage, adjust the microphone stand, put a bottle of water on the floor and off we go:

My carefully scripted introduction was no longer required I knew what I wanted to say, spoke directly to the audience, told them about being a cyclist and a poet and led into my first poem. 

On stage and taking the audience for a Big Dipper ride....

Apart from a slightly droopy mic stand all was going well. When they were supposed to laugh the whole audience laughed, when they were supposed to be sombre they were, when they heard my saddest poems (The Curse and Dead Eyes) they were quiet and a few tears were wiped away. I picked them up again with more lighthearted poems and finished with a love poem for my wonderful and lovely wife. For the full set list and to read some of the poems head over to my other blog - www.seams

Elizabeth and Grant enjoying the show

Christine and Pat enjoying the show with Gavin's beer bottle just making the shot
A thirty minute Big Dipper of emotions, for the audience or for myself, and the final applause rang in my ears as I stepped off stage to make way for the next bans, Root and Branch. I sat in the audience with friends, Maggie and my brother Brendan (who having queued for over an hour to get in arrived shortly after my set had finished). Now I could really relax and we enjoyed a string of foot-tapping folk tunes before we headed out into the late afternoon of Bakewell.

Root and Branch rounding off the afternoon's entertainment
A brilliant afternoon, a privilege to perform here, a great audience and it couldn't have been better.

The afternoons entertainment left behind we walked to the town centre in search of something to eat and Pat Carr, feeling inspired, stooped off by the bridge to entertain the passing crowds, busking a mix of his own and other's songs with his excellent singing voice and his travelling Martin guitar.

Maggie and I went to the world's number one Bakewell Pudding shop for tea and I bought a pudding to take back to the bed and breakfast....

For a full set list and to read some of the poems head over to my poetry blog at  -

For those not on the blog you'll need to buy my book "Thinking too much", available shortly - email for more details, or catch a performance.

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