Monday, 22 July 2013

Steamy Weather

A sensible blog for a change....
Steamer Quay Road in Totnes leads to a large grassy area alongside the River Dart known as Longmarsh, and it was here that the Desperates assembled on Sunday 21st July 2013, on one of the hottest days of the year.

Totnes Rotary organised the Canoe Festival
Although we were delighted that the weather was delivering a long-awaited heatwave, we were not so happy to learn that we would be playing outside (having been promised a marquee).  First task therefore was to slap on the sun cream and look for a hat.  Fortunately the nearby RNLI stand sold rather fetching caps.
The sun has got his on, and so have Tess and Rich
Second task: find some power for the PA and amps.  A noisy generator was provided which we promptly moved behind next door’s refreshment wagon.
Our space, sandwiched between, er, sandwich wagons.
We played two sets, in our alloted slots between the brass band, the magic show, the folk dancing, the Zumba dancing and the boats being raced up and down the river.
Dep. keyboard man, Tez, wisely brought his own hat.
The weather was hot but Rich and Deb are looking cool

Rich is drawn towards the ice-cream van; Jo vainly hopes for a 99
A long day for us all, and as the crowds thinned, it was with some relief we finished our second set and went home to nurse our sunburn.
Charlie and Tess give it beans
Happy beats, I got those happy beats

"I played alright."  "Yeah, well, so did I."


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Once Upon a Time in the West Country

It was well past high noon.  The guns may not have blazed, but the sun delivered rapid-fire heat.  The air was so still that the tumbleweed had taken root.  From all around the parish, the crowds had gathered.  Cowpokes and wranglers, buckaroos and bandits, drifters and greenhorns had assembled at Shaugh Prior and walked bravely across country to Meavy, in the wildest West Country.

The parish folk camped around the saloon near the chuck wagon

The horses argued about whether a pony could really do a moonwalking dance

Local indians "Dances with Fooballers (but only from Wolverhampton)" and "Looks Strangely at Horses"

But they all were here to find out if the rumours were true.  Were the Desperados coming to town?
Yes of course they were!  At first the gathered masses were happy.  The sight of Two-Gun Tess and Dead-Eye Deborah sent a shiver down their backs, but it would be alright, Sheriff Checkshirt Charlie was there to keep order.  But when Fast-drawers Flic turned up the crowd got nervous.  They couldn’t face the music today.  The assembled masses high-tailed it out of town.

Checkshirt Charlie tries to keep order

Enough of this strained narrative!  The truth was that the Parish Plod Charity walkers had obviously arrived sooner than planned - or rather, we had been booked later than we should have been.  Unfortunately, that meant that when we started playing at 2 pm on Sunday 14th July 2013, outside the Royal Oak at Meavy, most of the walkers had walked.

But there was still an audience and the show must go on.

The band played on under the old oak tree

Even that drum box is almost smiling

A few beers were consumed, barbecue rolls consumed, we played and played.  The shadows began to lengthen, and it was time to go home.  The sun blinded the Western sky, and the tumbleweed stirred in the late afternoon breeze.
As I drove away, I think I heard a young boy cry “Dave!    .........Come back!”. 
Well, he might have said "Shane!", and it might have been in my head.