So ‘Folks’, it’s slightly overcast but there are pools of blue so spirits are high.
They’re not as high as the local gin and tonics last night! The Spanish don’t use measures, they’re dispensed in glugs and looking around there’s a fair amount of collateral damage.
I’m taking the opportunity to exercise the ‘no calories’ rule that’s clearly applicable here in Ibiza. In fact, the same rule applied last year in Mallorca and Portugal so I suppose it’s really a festival thing and not, as originally assumed, country-specific.
So to breakfast and I’ve looked under the fried bread, the black pudding, the fried egg and even under the sausage and sautéed potatoes and no, not a calorie in sight. I’m told to be careful with the brown sauce though as it could be loaded, so red it is, and it’s good for the prostate to boot; what’s not to like?
We round this off with some fruit to work towards the 40 different foods per day regime that’s so good for you, it’s scientific, we heard it directly from someone at the bar who’s friend had a cousin who knew a nutritionist who’d got a certificate off the internet. It’s a bit like all of the information that we got to make our decision on Brexit so we know it must be right.
Now we’re sated we’re off to the first concert. The storm that had forced us indoors yesterday has left us skies that have progressively turned a little grey throughout the morning but it’s still warm. The sound crew have done an unbelievable job moving us indoors for a full 24 hours then magically moved us back out again for this afternoon’s session.
Flossie is a great opener with tremendous humour and gloriously powerful songs. My favourite is a beautifully poignant Abba song, ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ and Flossie’s rendition is superb. She mentions Vin Garbutt and how he influenced her patter and humour, the response to her wishes for his speedy recovery is met with a great response from the audience.
Vin is so well-loved by all and it would be great to see him on here next year.
She gets a fabulous contribution from the audience to Willy Nelson’s ‘On the Road Again’. Even though I say it myself, we’re in good voice and Flossie capitalises and encourages it.
Ninebarrow’s first performance was indoors and I found myself in a position behind a supporting structure that was less than ideal so I’ve been looking forward to this outdoor session immensely. They are exceptional. They’re talented, harmonious and their choice of songs, whilst dark are varied and the patter between them lifts the performance. The great thing for me is the words of the songs are clear and the harmonium backing really atmospheric.
Tom Robinson is astonishingly good with both songs and patter. His little confessional piece about his breakdown as a teenager is equally fascinating. All of this helps to clarify his song lyrics and political views. He’s leaning against an open door when he asks us to join in with a song about the bankers and point accusingly during the chorus. His final song accompanied by Will Pound on harmonica is a stroke of genius. I didn’t know if I would like him before this event but he’s still got it and without doubt, he’s willing to share it.
Half five and a quick visit to Jez Lowe’s workshop and he’s in full flow about producing songs to order for the BBC and one about the children that were transported to Australia and other countries that they wouldn’t transmit! Shame on them. He also gave us some really interesting stuff on the Bad Pennies and who he’d worked with over the years. If you attend events like this and there’s a “Chance to meet…” session please consider going to it; you get a great insight into how they tick and when it’s a popular guy like Jez it’s even better. Thanks, Jez.
Flossie (did I mention it’s her birthday) is MC-ing the Open Mic sessions. This is where anyone can put their name down to do a song, play something of even just recite a poem or monologue (although I’ve never actually heard anyone do that).
I turn up just in time to see some fabulous stuff from Rosie Clegg who’s not only a beautiful singer with a wonderful voice, she’s also a very nice person. we love her. She’s always generous with her time for others and regularly doubles by doing duet backing for others.
Two-thirds of a Shite Shirt and a number of other very talented folks but the show-stealer for me is a lady called Marie. I think I catch the fact that she’s what we call a floor singer i.e. she’s not professional. She’s accompanied by Antony J Clarke and when Marie begins to sing there is an instantaneous and complete silence as everyone in the room stops doing whatever they are doing to listen. I experienced this once before when Jo Duffield (then called Jo Millican) asked to sing at a little place called Grinton in Swaledale and promptly stole the show with a rendition of Dancing at Whitsun). I’d love to hear you again Marie, your voice tonight is divine.
You get defining moments at all festivals and this is the one for me.
If you click on a photo you can then page through them at full size…
Onwards and, in this case literally upwards, as we vacate the dungeon bar and head upstairs for the outside concert and from there to the bar where we manage to get excellent seats for Flossie’s birthday set. There are balloons on all of the stages that Flossie performs on to celebrate her birthday, she’s loved and respected by both audience and fellow artists and gets a Happy Birthday rendition everywhere she goes.
Flossie’s set is exceptional and this is astonishing after the amount of work she’s already done both on stage and in the bars and singarounds. She’s delivering fabulous renditions of songs in different genres including a wonderful Kieran Halpin number, ‘Making Up The Miles’ and towards the end of the set, she’s joined by Eddie Jay for a priceless Edith Piaf song. His accordion skills add the extra franco feel and Flossie’s powerful voice has us all mesmerized. You’ve worked so hard today Flossie and each performance has been like your first, fresh and full of energy; thank you so much.
Flossie hands over to Will Pound and Eddy Jay to complete the magic.
What a great day for both the birthday girl and all of us here present.
Then there’s a bonus; we meet Frank Porter and his lovely wife Joyce Haven’t seen him for 40 years but we catch up in seconds. He’s still doing the clubs in the North East with his partner Eddie Walker. What an excellent day.
Thanks to all the artists and also thanks to the sound crew that made the transition from outdoors to in and a special thanks to Mike Hardin for joining up the dots with his wit and repartee. Excellent.
Enjoy the snaps and feel free to share…G..x