What a brilliant time we had on Saturday. The weather had been really crap for the two days before and really cold so I was keeping everything crossed for a good day.
We’ve been organising this for weeks and you always get that last minute butterflies in the stomach feeling just before a big event hoping it will all go to plan. On the Friday Peter went over to Cropredy with the van to start decorating the stage and doing another ton of things that had to be done. I stayed home to rehearse as I was playing a set on Saturday night with Paddy (keyboards) and Lee (bass). It was great fun practicing – Paddy knows most of my stuff from when I lived in Bristol but Lee had played none of it before so had to learn seven songs in two short practices!
On Saturday morning the grandchildren woke us up bright and early (eeek) and went off with Leah to run a stall at the morning Table top sale and after another quick run through the set we also set off for Cropredy.
Much cake was made and sold! The sun came out!! Everyone had a great time!!!!
The afternoon programme started explosively with a great drum and dance set from Africa Junction from High Wycombe, followed (late due to awful traffic problems) by the marvellous Rachel Gittus with Tim West. Then I was also involved playing sabar with our drumming group Sankofa. An eight piece ukulele band from Essex called The D’Ukes played next and they were brilliant.
The next set was a magical performance from Diabel Cissokho on Kora with virtuoso guitarist Ramon Goose featuring guest artists Solomelo Sowe and Vieux Bakayoko.
The afternoon session was rounded off with a set of reggae and dancehall from Oxford-based band Jamatone who got everyone dancing to keep warm in the cold sunshine!
The evening session kicked off with a stirring set from Miranda La Mutanta accompanied by the Scapegoat, Barney Newman singing the blues, Chandra Moon (little old me) and finally a rocking set from Tommy Allen and Johny Hewitt singing “American Blues”. We all danced our heads off in the pub till midnight.
Believe it or not, we had a drumming workshop on the Sunday afternoon and I don’t know how I got through it with a hangover from hell!!
We actually raised £1,000 for Kartong Festival which will go a long way in The Gambia so it was all worthwhile.