April 23 – The concert…

The day of Lisa’s concert. Finish tidying up the back room and garden (including mowing the lawn!). The weather for once is warm, fine and sunny so it looks like the garden party aspect is going to work as well.

Lisa does some late tweaks to the set list which is a mix of songs and instrumentals with two cameos from Ali and myself – we also accompany Lisa on her songs which include Katie Shaw, Cousin Jack, Light Flight, The Ploughman’s song and Sovai – the latter three unaccompanied. The instrumentals are largely from our dance set but there’s a couple that aren’t – The Empty Wallet Waltz and Scot Free, a 48bar gig written for Ali by Graham Goffee (in B flat). Ali lays out the cakes that she and others have baked for the event. I really like Cousin Jack, I think I might use it somewhere myself – perhaps The Fatal Shore show I’m working on.

The audience starts to arrive, a mix of neighbours, relations, friends and morris buddies – about 18 people in all. After socialising for a bit in the garden the audience is assembled and Lisa and crew launch into the concert which seems to go down pretty well – at least no rotten fruit is thrown.

All in all a sociable and successful event with over £150 being raised on the day and donations from friends who were invited but couldn’t get there. The charities that will benefit are The Exodus Project (runs activity clubs in Barnsley, specifically targeting disadvantaged communities), Autism Plus (a local South Yorkshire charity that provides support for people with autistic spectrum disorders) and the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre (South Yorkshire). Donations can also be made via Lisa’s Just Giving web page.

I can see why House Concerts are such an attractive proposition as they are can combine the attributes of a social gathering along with entertainment. As our back room is a suitable size I’ve been wondering whether to look into running something like this.  We’d need to get more chairs though… (Watch this space)

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About Brian Heywood

Brian Heywood is a free range musician who specialises in edgy roots fusion music. Previous work has received comments such as "... aggressive, top notch fiddling set off by periodic guitar explosions." - Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine (USA), "Just when it seemed as if newer electric British roots bands were getting thinner on the ground - Very welcome and very good." - fROOTS Magazine (UK) and Steve Barnes Fairbridge Festival Artistic Director (Australia) - "... a rocking band - I was delighted with the audience response." Brian's orginal material draws on many sources from progressive, latin and blues rock of the 70's to celtic and traditional material.
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