Playing Catchup – Tales from the Road – The Arena House Concert

It’s been some time since I posted a proper blog entry. I’ve been so busy playing music, recording, and writing that The Bardic Blog lay sad and IMG_0257neglected for which I apologise. Another reason is that I’ve been posting updates and photos to my Twitter account as things have happened, so it feels like I’ve already written about everything already. But I know a lot of you readers are not Twitter people, so I’m going to try to keep up with things a bit better from now on.

I’ll start this bit of catch up with the house concert I played at the Plymouth moot on the 25th April. I played a number of house concerts last year and thoroughly enjoyed the intimacy of this type of performance, but sadly I’ve not had a chance to play hardly any this year (something that I will be rectifying for 2010 so if you’re interested, do email me on and I’ll send you details), however I was invited to visit the Plymouth moot that is held in one of its member’s houses. In advance of the concert the people of the moot held a raffle, and a fund-raising evening and by doing this they were able to only charge £1 for the entry fee. The more I visit Pagans in the Great South West the more impressed I am with the way they work together to get things done, they really are an amazing bunch of people!

So Cerri and I set off for Plymouth at about 10.30am as we had also been asked to lead the group’s Beltane ritual later that afternoon. Now Cerri had just got a second-hand Land Rover Freelander, which we had taken to Glastonbury the weekend before and it was such a pleasant ride we decided to take it again, this time to Plymouth. It had just had the head gasket replaced… Yes, you probably know what’s coming next… Just past Chichester the car overheated, and broke down. This has to be one of the travelling musician’s biggest nightmares! On your way to a gig you break down. In Plymouth people would soon be gathering to hear you play (and hold the ritual) and you just couldn’t get there!! What to do?

Luckily I have the best parents in the entire world, no kidding! I got on the phone to my Dad who drove down to us, he stayed with the broken down Land Rover and waited for the AA, while me and Cerri continued our journey in his car. I’m not joking when I say that it felt like Thunderbird 2 had arrived after calling International Rescue! What a dude he is! So a couple of hours later we began our journey again, and amazingly arrived at the house at 3.30!

The ritual was great, and then in the evening people began to arrive for the concert. And then more people arrived, and more people arrived… In the end there were over 50 people in the lounge (I couldn’t fit them all into the photo)! But it didn’t feel crushed, most were in comfy armchairs, happily supping mead – very civilised. And as for the response, well, I was really taken back by the welcome we received. There was one point when I forgot my words ( it does happen occasionally) and the audience just carried on singing without me. Wonderful stuff! I really do hope that I get invited back again next year.

More Tales from the Road soon!

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