Musicians wrestle everywhere

So, it’s done, dusted, and thoroughly enjoyed, the fabulous gig with Jo Collins and friends (and family!) at the Bedford Esquires. Many new and lovely friends made, much fun had, and all those worries and nerves in the run-up giving way to the lovely gooey post-gig feeling of ‘Phwoar, that was good!’

(Some of these feelings may change when video footage of my performance appears — I’m not always my own worst critic, but I can be my own worst worrier. Then again, I worry that if I didn’t worry, I wouldn’t do the practice that’s needed to avoid the situations I worry about. It’s very worrying.)

As I remember discussing with someone that evening, one of the best things about working with Jo is just how much there always is still to discover — she has done so much work, in such a variety of different styles and with such a range of musicians, and as this was something of a retrospective concert a great deal of it was on display. So all of us contributing performers — and there were a lot of us! — not only got to have fun with our bit, but could sit back and watch a fantastic show full of songs that many of us were hearing for the first time. Besides the songs from the wonderful new album, Decade, there were Irish songs, bits of Watercolours and Mankind Walks, and some great covers including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone (OK, in fact the latter song was by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus, but they wrote it for her). The sound system blew during one rather loud Dylan cover, which just goes to show that even God doesn’t want Dylan to go electric.

The gig was both filmed and recorded, so with any luck there will be video (and maybe a live CD) available some time soon. The whole evening was in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, so — if you’d like to give a little support — please do consider visiting Jo’s JustGiving page and making a donation.

Special thanks to all the wonderful people who sang, played and otherwise contributed skills and support, and to all the friends old and new who came along and made this a really special and memorable evening. Now we just have to bug Jo to write another album’s worth of songs, so we can do it all over again …


The title of this post comes from an Emily Dickinson poem which I rather liked. The other thought — what with all my worries and last-minute nerves — was going to be ‘A Musician’s Trial’ after this little number from Quips and Quiddits by John Banister Tabb:

They brought him up before the Judge.
‘What is the fellow’s crime?’
‘Your Honor, he has murdered Scores,
And boasts of beating Time.’

Well, we’ve all worked with people like that …

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