Huw emailed in, sick. Nobody believed him, and so he sent us some pictures to prove it.

They didn’t look good, as you can see – so we went ahead without him.

After the usual London-related car adventures [overheating in the uncivilised traffic] and the usual subsequent rushed soundcheck, we sat down with coffee and food and tried to work out what we could play without him.

Having ruled out about half the things we had prepared to play, and cast numerous aspersions in poor Huw’s direction, we finally settled on a set. And told ourselves that it wouldn’t work, but it wouldn’t matter, because we’d swapped with Construction & Destruction to go on earlier, and so no one would see us.

John, Andrew and I sat in the back room while George got ready to play, and tried to work out how to cover up all the bits that Huw usually fixes. Tom watched us and grinned, exactly like a man who’s technical frailties are not about to be exposed by the absence of a more talented colleague. Which of course they weren’t: violin is violin, with or without drums.

George kicked things off and was great. The place filled up as he played. It began to look like it would probably matter a bit after all.

We eventually worked through this:

Steep learning curve
Ricochets
New hat
Hard work
Set out to fail
Spon
Etymologist’s lament
Your song

I wasn’t convinced that Spon stood up, but the rest seemed to work well – even if the songs we ended up with didn’t really have the dynamic range that the lovely sound in the Luminaire merited. It got hotter, and more enjoyable, as we went along. Your Song definitely shouldn’t have worked. It sort of did. Fancy that.

After that, Construction and Destruction were finally done justice, with their proper equipment, and a good soundman. Julie, Dan and Fred, were great, again. It was George’s birthday, and a very enjoyable night. I drove home, but fell asleep at Oxford Services.

Right. Bring on the folk dimension. Brumdignab next.

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