2003 Germany with Jacqui McShee
Following the 2002 Banbury Mill Gig with Jacqui McShee during the warm-up to Cropredy week, we were invited to play a gig the following year in Germany along with Spencer Cozens and Gerry Conway. You don’t usually go over there just to play one gig but it seems to be the kind of thing I do these days…
It was great to perform with Jacqui, Spen and Gerry. Spen is a brilliant keyboard and piano player and of course Gerry is the Fairport drummer.
Once in Germany Spen drove with his girlfriend Em in the passenger seat and us lot sat in a row in the back. One time we spotted some llamas in a field. ‘Look there’s llamas’ I said. ‘Are they the farmers llamas?’ said Gerry. ‘Do you think the farmer’s llamas will harm us” said Jacqui. ‘No I think the farmer’s llamas will calm us – they won’t harm us’ I said. ‘Also’ said Spen ‘The farmer’s llamas might charm us as well as calm us but they also might harm us’ ‘But I think the farmer’s llamas might alarm us as well as harm us, but also incidently will calm us and charm us’ said Gerry.
So it went on for ages.
Germany is a long way.
Here is Spen taking control of the van…
We actually did two gigs as one was put in suddenly – in the open in a courtyard somewhere. Ulla (German promoter) came over and saved the day by going and buying us some pizzas and helping us break our way into the dressing room. Jacqui expertly ironed my long red dress for me.
We then played a small set and I got to play some jazzy type trumpet. I felt as if I played brilliantly but I think on reflection I might’ve been a bit ‘over-refreshed’.
Later that evening we spent a happy time in the hotel doing stupid noises. Gerry can do an excellent set of vocal sounds and I showed him my ones which I think him and Jacqui were most impressed with. We drank all the stuff out of the mini-bar and then went to bed.
We were due to play at this castle and while waiting for the setting up we had a go on this amazing instrument someone else had. I think it is called a Theorbo. It was quite difficult to play. I think in medieval times they probably had a few more fingers. And more spindly.
Anyway – the stage was made of pallets piled on top of each other and then a long plank on top. Jacqui said ‘I don’t like the look of that’
We agreed. We had mushroom soup which was very nice indeed.
Then it started to pour down and luckily for us the gig was moved down the hill to the local school where Spen saved the day by taking over the operation of the PA which had now been thoroughly drenched by the rain. We all helped dry it with drying up cloths found in the kitchen. After that me and Em had races on some space-hoppers we found in the cupboard.
So we did the gig singing a mix of Jacqui, Pentangle songs and my songs – it was a fun thing to do even though it was only for a short time. I always think to myself how lovely something is and that it might only be for a short time so to make the most of it!