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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

The Cuckoo's Nest Folk Club, Leek - 8th March

Linda Simpson writes - After the last of the February gigs I was free to go and visit my Dad in Guernsey. On the way to the airport the vehicle started to cough and splutter so I ended up finishing my journey in a taxi while Chris limped home. It turned out there was water in the fuel, a major headache, so Chris was without transport for a few days until the garage gave him a courtesy car.

I was away for ten days and got back to find that the vehicle was still in the garage. Chris, having been grounded, had emptied the larder ready to do the bathroom (the larder is under the bathroom and has to be done first). What's the rush? It has only been 6 years - we could have waited a little longer!

Anyway - back to the gig in Leek - I think we did it a couple of years ago and Matt had been with us then. Dave, the organiser, called us a couple of days before the event to say that the local paper would like to do an interview with Matt. The proprietor of the B&B, where Matt stayed last time, had served in Holland in the war and they had had quite a discussion about it over breakfast. The local newspaper thought this a nice story and so our boy was going to be famous!

Matt came in on the Wednesday evening, we had just got our vehicle back, and there was barely time to say hello before we were back on the road - heading for Leek. Doris told us it would take two hours but she miscalculated the time it would take to get through suburbia once we left the motorway. There is no quick way of getting to Leek and our journey was closer to 3 hours - making us slightly late for Matt's interview.

Dave met us in and Matt was instantly whisked away while we set up our equipment and started the sound check. After doing his bit across the road, Matt came back and organised his violin and mandolin and we finished the check. Mike arrived in fine style - he's a very funny man and we were soon discussing the fact that the world was going mad - his first point was that the banks are now planning on charging people for not owing them anything! He's right - things are getting out of hand.

It was a great evening. Chris and I were to stay above the concert room. It was almost like a small hotel suite with a little kitchen and seating area, beautifully decorated and very comfortable. Matt nipped out to get some chips and brought them up along with a note for Chris, from someone in the audience. You should have seen Chris' face - it was from a lady called Jo that he had met in South Africa in the 70s. He was like a dog with two tails.

Mike went on first and we could clearly hear him strutting his stuff as we got ready - he sounded just great and everyone enjoyed the set. Then it was our turn. We also gave a good account of ourselves and I think everyone had a good time.

Some of our audience

Chris introduced us to Jo, she was a really lovely lady and, after chatting to her for a while, Matt and I left them reminiscing as we talked to some of the other nice folks in the audience. There was no rush and we enjoyed a couple of drinks before clearing the equipment away. Dave is such a lovely man and we gave him a hand to get the PA out, as there was to be a 'do' the following lunchtime and everything had to be cleared away. We looked around at the empty room - it was time to go.

Mike was staying with a friend, Matt was back at the B&B over the road and so we made our way up to our room upstairs. It would have been nice to share a glass of wine or two but the boys were in danger of being locked in when the pub closed so that was the end of that. Mike left his guitar in our room along with our instruments and we said goodnight.


Mike came to pick up his guitar and we said our goodbyes - I'm sure we'll catch each other somewhere down the road again.

We had a look around the old town square, it really is very picturesque, then we went back to the pub, put the instruments in the vehicle and set off for Yorkshire once more.

We were now ON A MISSION!

Matt does have a mandolin but has been using my electric one, at first because it was convenient not to have to bring his, but latterly because he really liked it. It was made by Nigel Errington, the same chap that looks after our guitars, and so Matt had asked him if it was possible to make another one. Nigel had done just that and it was now ready for collection.

We called at home and dropped off the gear, went to pick Harvey up and set off for the Errington workshop in Richmond.

Matt and his new baby

Nigel was lovely as ever, made us a cup of tea and opened a Golden Syrup cake, which was gone in three bites, and then it was time to see the new mandolin. He had made three and left Matt to decide which one he wanted.

Matt chose the one that Nigel hoped he would choose, it was a little bit different in design to the other two and Nigel had put a little extra into it, thinking that this would be the one. He was right.

There is something very special about having an instrument made for you - it is quite an experience and lovely to see when it happens to someone for the first time. The realisation takes a little time and it's almost like falling in love - you suddenly feel ridiculously happy. If you don't believe me - try it.

Matt now has a totally unique mandolin and is dying to try it out. I'm sure he will be using it on the spring tour. He really loves it and I'm sure that it will give many years of pleasure both to Matt and to those who listen to him play it.

That's it for a little while - we're now going to get on with our bathroom.

Left Arrow Hartlepool Stamford Bridge Right Arrow