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What a fabulous evening!
How can I say what I feel? It was so brilliant to stand there and watch a wide range of excellent friends from yesteryear and the present day arrive and enjoy themselves at the Spinaker Reunion gig. Here's what happened on the day:
11.45am Lunch at Burger King, bacon double cheese with King Fries and Mineral Water
12.30pm Rendezvous with Phatfish to collect Lowden acoustic from Alan Rose for Dick to play (acknowledgements to Alan for his warm generousity).
2pm Rehearsal. Tim, Rog, Dick and I were together for the first time in 27 years, and marked the occasion with a quiet moment. We cleared our throats and tuned up the guitars. The first song was encouraging, and after a few minutes, the old magic was very nearly sparkling. Hazel was encouraging, and with a bit of polishing, we were soon firing on all cylinders. We'd planned a long setlist, which was generous, and this meant our 3 hour slot for rehearsing was full!
5pm Rehearsal ends; disperse for antiperspirant, tea, poster distribution, driving across town, nibbles collection and finalisation.
6pm To Geese pub to ask them to put up poster redirecting people who hadn't heard about the change of venue forced upon us by the Geese.
6.30pm Meet at Chez Downer for food transportation; I was hopelessly late and apologised profusely, to no avail.
7pm Meet at Portland, set up room, PA, light rig(!) food tables, music stands, cabling, beer.
7.35pm Sound check. Penny Schofield (nee Harris) hears Three Ravens for the first time in 27 years, and goes a bit moist. Lovely moment.
7.59pm I go to the loo. Meanwhile Andy & Sophie arrive, look around and recognise no-one. 'We're the Andy Back fan club' they announce, and everyone welcomes them. Andy phones me to hurry up. Erin texts me to say the pub is giving out the information that we're called Stash and are playing at 9.30pm. I text her back (firstly to her old number, then to her current number) that we're called Spinaker and are about to go on. I speak to the pub people, advising them that they have two events tonight. Neil & Lynne come out of the bar, claim their money back and join us in the function room.
8pm Neil Baker (Joe 90) turns up from nowhere. Loud welcomes. Roland Brown & Adrian Willard come in (very welcome); Sue Behague and her brother Pete turn up with Foggy Goldsmith. Amazing. Ken Brown & daughter Abigail (Phatfish fan) arrive; as do my sister Deborah Packham and her husband Simon. In comes Rev Christine Wilson! And so do Mark Newman & Glenn Jackman (of River Nile). And so many others.
The pics are from Penny Schofield (nee Harris)
Rev Christine Wilson (nee Bravery)
Richard Hines, Andy Back, Professor Dr Tim Watson, bass amp
8.15pm Spinaker begin with The Outlaw, and the crowd responds with warmth. Many songs follow, some new, some fairly old, some new but quite old and some dangerously old, but all to do with death and judgement and the Second Coming and death. Cheerful stuff, most of it.
9.15pm A well-earned break, during which the band mingles with the assorted peope who have flocked to see them. No dressing-room nonsense, just standing around in the crowd, enjoying the chicken nuggets and blue cheese (well done to Suzy Downer for all the hard work on the nibbles table).
9.40pm Spinaker start their second and final set of three, somehow (a small mix-up with the set list). A strange but welcome interloper appears and takes a sax solo during the Armadillo Blues, which got a long round of applause. Benny Hill went down well, and then the final group of songs (including Jimmy) were performed. Swan Snog got a big reaction, and suddenly it was over apart from a Paul Simon number we'd almost rehearsed. By the end, Suzy, Jane, Abigail and Penny were dancing and Mark was also on the dance floor.
10.30pm The barman comments that he'd really enjoyed the music, and that he thought we were 'quite good'. Quite good for a bunch of decrepit has-beens (never was's) perhaps. But the crowd was happy and the beer was flowing.
11pm Closing time and the clearing up began.
Comments received afterwards: it has to be said
that some of these congratulate me on organisational achievements, but
without the verve of Jane Crowther, the provocation of Suzy Downer and
the assistance of Roger Harris, the event might never have happened at
by mobile txt message: U were great Andy! Congrats 4 organising such a fab evening! Hope u enjoyed it too! Erin
Hi there Andy man of many talents. You were great on Friday, a real swinger and being a bit of a folker myself I really enjoyed the evening and the bands performance, we both had a good time. You do have an excellent singing voice, have your band considered doing gigs again in the folk circuit? There are people out there who would really appreciate you. I think I will see you in a different light from now on. Thanks for a fun night Patricia (Weedall)
Hiya, It's Abi (Ken's daughter)... Thanks for arranging the other night, I had a fantastic time. I probably ought not to have got so drunk, but it was good all the same :)
Dear Andy, Well done that man on Friday night! Thought I saw a side of you that is not too often seen and it was great fun to join in with all those present. Perhaps my personal highlight was the retro look at the Benny Hill songs which I have to say, were rendered with consummate ease and in a tempo all of your own. It's the fist time I actually got hold of the words of those tunes! I'm sure it must have been a great time for you, seeing so many faces from the past. Spinnaker, in their present form could make an impact on the folk scene. Well done to all concerned. Love from David (Weedall)
As for Friday night, well, can't begin to explain how brilliant it was to see you all together again. Warm and fuzzy doesn't even come close.It was pure magic. Penny Schofield (nee Harris)
My very first reunion - thank you Mark Newman, for being instantly recognisable - it's very scary wondering if that person over there is Julian and then discovering it's my brother's friend Mick. Spinaker, we love you - those songs are with us 'til we die. Next time though, we will get very nasty if you don't play 'Over by The Waterfall'- it's Pete's best guitar piece. Sue Latham (nee Behague)
a message headed 'Old Faces' Thanks so much for last Friday - really appreciated the opportunity to see people from days gone by and you had obviously gone to lots of effort. Deborah Packham (nee Back)