Last night, Fiona and I played at the Mitcheldean Folk Festival’s pre-festival evening concert — a twenty-five minute set of eight songs. It went really well.
The set was the one I laid out in the last post, except for a minor change in the order: I forgot to do Dar Williams’s We Learned the Sea until after the two Beatles numbers. (Actually, I think that tweak made the set run better: we started out on a good run of songs that everyone knows before doing the pair by (unjustly) lesser known singer-songwriters, then finished with a more mainstream pair.)
I love how Fiona doesn’t miss a beat when I make mistakes like this. It’s the wonder of having a backing musician who is much, much better than the lead guy. For example, I play Scarborough Fair at capo 5, but for some reason — I’ve never done this before — I put the capo at position 3, so I played the whole thing in C minor instead of D minor. I didn’t even realise this until I was singing the last verse, because Fiona had simply and uncomplainingly played the whole flute part a tone down.
Our set was one of eight, played in a marquee behind the Bespoke Brewery. It turned out to be an ideal venue: just the right size for the 50 or so people who were there at any one time, with a very clear sound, and a selection of excellent ales. Best of all, the audience was wonderful: laughing at the jokes, singing along with the well-known songs, listening intently to the less-known ones, and generous with the applause. All eight acts got a really good reception.
So I’m really looking forward now to doing the same set at 4pm in the main Mitcheldean Festival concert on Saturday 18 July.
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