Wednesday, 11 September 2013

September in the Rain

 7th September 2013 Bicton Park Gardens

Bicton Park isn't what you might necessarily expect from a park.  As well as the usual gardens and botanical features, there is also an eclectic collection of family-centred entertainments, including playgrounds and a narrow guage railway. And a church.  Where they can have weddings. 

The church at Bicton Park

So it came to pass, that the DMs were booked to provide background music while the newlyweds and guests mingled after the ceremony for drinks and photographs before their meal.

Cherub laments booking of yet another **** jazz band
As befitted the occasion, we all wore our best bib and tucker (which according to Wkipedia are actually women's clothes?) but we were outshone as usual by the sartorial wardrobe of our drummer.

Drummer exhibits dapperness, while eating chocolate, with a normal band member for comparison
While we prepared for all this, the sun was shining and, although rain was forecast, it was decided that some of the band ought to play outside "so that the wedding party could see the band".  This led to a hasty rehearsal of semaphore, and some less polite sign language, as the rhythm section in the marquee endeavoured to hear what the front line were doing outside the marquee.  Or even see where they were.

Lonely bass player asks bar staff where everyone went
Sadly - although perhaps it was for the best - as the wedding procession processed toward the marquee, the heavens opened. Cue frantic dash of front line back into the tent...

Lemme in, it's ****** down!
Frantic re-arrangements as band leader attempts to start first tune....
Professionals that we are, the music started on time and the slightly bedraggled guests entered, moving neatly in time with Manha de Carnaval.

And at precisely three o-clock, as the meal began, we finished our last number.

We stopped for a few sandwiches kindly provided for us and began the damp process of collecting our cars and packing up and moving the kit.  A damp process which even affected your scribe's camera....

Picture of damp band members reveals Felicity's angelic aura
Next gig, back at the Bedford on October the 6th!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Another day, another dinner

1st September 2013 and 27th August 2014

No photograph of the Desperate Diners' Club this month - you've seen enough of us tucking into our roast beef....

...but today (Sunday 1st September 2013) we returned to the Bedford Hotel for our first-Sunday-of-the-month jazz lunch outing.  We were missing our pianist Geoff and baritone player Felicity who had a prestigious gig elsewhere, so the rhythm section had to concentrate properly for a change.

We played to a packed dining room, and what we believe was an appreciative audience, many of whom had been attracted by the prospect hearing some jazz standards while they enjoyed their lunch.  And then we enjoyed our lunch where we regaled by stories of Charlie's water feature and how Guiness helped our drummer discover oysters.

The Bedford Hotel

It's been a busy couple of months for the Desperates, and we have another gig next week - making three weekends in a row.  Last week, on the Bank Holiday Monday, we were at our "home" venue, outside the Royal Oak at Meavy.  We rehearse in the parish hall there and always visit the Oak to check the quality of the beer.  And we enjoy playing there.  Even if (we hear) a few local residents don't....there's a moral about living next to a village grenn with a pub there somewhere.

On a sunny day the venue is idyllic.

Meavy village green, packed with people enjoying the cider festival, the sunshine, and Desperate Measures
Our little spot outside the pub.
Next week, we're off to the wilds of east Devon - crikey, the venue is even further than Exeter.