Do you like goalkeeping dogs? Minty cake? How about excellent hospitality? You should think about a visit to Kendal.
Remember Wendy who buildingified herself at Mama Stones? Well Jonty has done the same. “All I know about is building and music” he told me, so what did he do? He renovated an old butchers shop, bought the cafe next door, hollowed an extension out of the rock, built a stage and decorated it just way he likes – with a big bar, a motorcycle and a bust of Elvis. The result is Bootleggers, a quite excellent place to make music.
And play music we did – in fact we played one of the best gigs on the tour. John and I by this point were playing as one, expressive and comfortable on stage with a zen-like calm focus about us.
What a pity then that there was almost no-one there to see it. Kendal on a cold, wintery Monday night is a quiet place to be. Why venture out to see live music from someone you’ve never heard of? What if they’re rubbish? You could have sat in with a DVD and an M&S chocolate pudding.
About 15 people had taken a punt, and I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever had a better überfan conversion rate at a gig. I think we’ll all remember this gig long after the plot of a film would fade away and the M&S chocolate pudding would have left us. Every single person left promising to bring another 20 people next time. Something was shared between us all that we’ll remember fondly whether I come back or not. Everyone filled the big gaps and spaces between each other with a feeling of happiness at being there. So although it was empty of big crowds it was full with a kind of brief community.
Challenges do seem to bring out the best in us as performers. Whether it’s the pressure of an important sold-out gig or coming a long way to an almost-empty room, like Carlisle or now Kendal, we love a good challenge and want to meet it head on. It’s a very encouraging pattern.
The end of the tour is now starting to hit me. Very mixed feelings about it – will be very sad to see it end, but am thoroughly ready to go home, relax a little, buy some christmas presents and write a bunch more songs in time for the next tour. One more gig, and it’s over…
Postcard sent to: Rich, Victoria, Mark and Denise (not sent yet – soooon!)
Next postcard sent to: lovely Jessie (aged 5), Alastair & James
Free T-Shirt to: No one emailed me asking for one, so we didn’t give any away!
Thanks to: Jonty and family (especially Jessie), Stu Macfarlane, everyone at Bootleggers, I always pride myself on getting to know whoever does our sound but I’m writing this so late I’ve forgotten his name agggh! sound was just amazing though thank you, everyone who came to this gig you know who you were – don’t be strangers! Hold true to your word and let’s make next time even better.