Dust, dust everywhere…
At least it wasn’t wet and muddy for our trip to Dorset. Last year was, by all accounts, welly weather and not much fun, but the sun shone for The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2013.
We arrived on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the first of three sets for the festival. After setting up our tents we sorted ourselves out for the trip to the first venue. The organisation, it turned out, was excellent – the music festival organisers, Festivals 360, laid on a transit to take us and our gear right to the backstage area. All we had to do was make sure we were ready. Once the previous band had cleared the stage we were on.
On Wednesday and Thursday we were playing in the Black Bull, a beer tent large enough to hold about 3-400 hundred people. On Wednesday it didn’t hold quite that many people. At any other venue we’ve played, the audience would probably have been considered fairly sizable, but sadly it seemed that there weren’t enough music fans at the fair yet. Or the music fans had heard of us…!
Still, things picked up as we got closer to the weekend. Thursday was a much better gig, with probably a good couple of hundred people watching us. On both these evenings the sound was organised by Jack, an excellent sound engineer who, fortunately, seemed to understand us from the start. By Thursday he was throwing ducks at us like an old pro.
Friday, however, was the best of the three. A move over to the Shire Arms tent, just alongside the arena where the monster trucks and stunt bikes were performing, saw a much more enthusiastic audience. For the first set we estimated about 200 people, but this soon ramped up as we hit the deck running in the second set. By the time we’d put in a spirited performance of 500 Miles, the crowd had grown and was jumping. Zack, a colleague of Jack’s, was on sound duties this evening, and had been warned about the ducks, so he jumped in with little encouragement.
We finished the set and wandered off to the backstage area with the crowd shouting for more. Sadly, timings were critical, so we couldn’t go back on, so Paul jumped up onto the stage to say thanks and explain that the next band needed to get on. This was met with loud boos and more cries of “More!!!” Paul came back and we gave it a minute or two before going back up to pack up our gear. A huge cheer went up…
We don’t like having to disappoint, but it is, let’s face it, our stock in trade!
We left on Saturday morning for a long trip to Borth on the Welsh coast to play for a second time at The Victoria Inn. The journey took us about 6 3/4 hours and we were exhausted by the time we arrived, but after some flatbreads and nachos (wonderful!) we were ready and, as previously, we were joined by Den York on electric guitar and banjo. A far smaller venue than we had grown used to over the previous few days, but as enthusiastic a crowd as we had had the pleasure to entertain.
This week we’re back off up to Bury and Molloy’s before returning to Borth on Saturday to Brynrodyn Caravan Park and, finally, home again to The Wrekin on Sunday.
Hope to see you at one of our gigs soon.