Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sent to Coventry.

Coventry Cathedral area - the cathedral was destroyed by a firestorm in WWII.

Quote from John: "I realise why that sign says 'Drive Safely', but wouldn't it be nice if sometimes it said 'Bang into each other for fun'?

Last blog we were just about to play in Nottingham, and we went on BBC Nottingham in the afternoon of the gig. Alan, the announcer, managed to get us talking about the relative merits of yeast extracts and how our parliament is more hung than his. The Carrington Triangle club was well attended and the floor spots (singers who do one or two songs, for those uninitiated or overseas) were excellent; some good singers and guitarists.

Next morning we went to the new Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, just because I wanted to go and see what it was like, and we were treated to the biggest collection of Diane Arbus photography ever put together. Fascinating and moving, they were a sharp observation of people. Have a look here to see most of the show: http://diane-arbus-photography.com/

One night later, Cloudstreet went to Coventry. We played at Maudslay Thursday, a folk club started by our friend Chris Green, from the band Isambarde, because he wanted to see if he could do it. And he can! Cabaret style table seating, in a barrel-ceilinged upstairs room at the Maudslay pub, welcomes his crowd of mainly local residents to  his concerts. 

Chris opened the night with his new duo with Becky Price the accordion whiz, and their repertoire is uplifting and well-arranged renditions of 18th century tunes which they have meticulously researched, but play in a lively way. Check out their myspace at www.myspace.com/chrisgreenandbeckyprice, which is worth it just to read what they say about themselves and nice beer.

Our show went over a treat (as they say) and Chris did great sound. The corset and tutu are very popular. Our thanks go to people we know who travelled a long way to be there. And brought us fine examples of English wine.

Chris went to Swanage next day to play the festival with Isambarde, and we stayed for two more nights with Sophie, his partner. Sophie is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for heritage instruments. She took us to an Irish session in the barn-like, half-timbered attic of a pub called Whitefriars, and she played some tunes on English mediaeval bagpipes. Some Melbournians we know arrived at the session, which just goes to show you can't get away with anything, no matter where you are.

In the morning, Sophie was working at the Guildhall, demonstrating a wide variety of instruments while dressed in spectacular Tudor kit. We popped by for a look at the impressive Guildhall (Mary Queen of Scots was housed here for a time, there is a great hall lined with armour (helmets and chest plates), and the roof bosses all depict wonderful musical angels and crazy creatures).

I also saw the art museum, and printed out some photos at Boots, making use of the opportunity to be in a big shopping town. We 

went for a pub meal wiith Sophie for dinner, and I went to show her some of the photos I took... and that's when I realised I didn't have my camera any more. Some brain-racking made me suspect I might have left it at Boots.

Boots' photolab wasn't answering the phone, so I just went in there next morning. I wanted to cheer for the generous city of Coventry from the rooftops when they gave my camera back to me at Boots, 49 Lower Precinct!

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