Sunday 31 August 2014

Our gig at the Bombed Out Church, with the fabulous Laura&Claire, by Ruth

Remember a couple of days ago when I was banging on about how amazing open mic nights are? Well, at a recent open mic, I saw two young women, both playing acoustic guitars in counterpoint with each other, and singing the most lush harmonies; the pair were called Laura&Claire and as soon as their first song was about half way through I turned to Marc and said, “if we’re gigging again at the Bombed Out Church any time we should TOTALLY ask these if they want to play too.”

Now, partly, this was because I really enjoyed their music and guessed quite a few of our friends might enjoy their music too. However, part of it, possibly selfishly, was because I wanted to hear them play again and what better way than to have them play at our gig?

Anyway, after a long journey into town on a packed 10a ‘bus with the child, we arrived at the Bombed Out Church and got set up thanks to Jake, the Bombie’s sound man. Laura and Claire arrived shortly after and once they were set up, it was time for them to start playing.


Everyone to whom I’d said, “you must see these two” agreed with me that they were excellent. It was also lovely to see that as they continued playing, the place got fuller. The sound from outside the building is really good in fact and on hearing Laura and Claire playing I imagine quite a few people must have been drawn in!

The pair played a wonderful set; one of the things that’s great about watching musicians play live is when they clearly have a lot of fun doing it; watching these two you can see such chemistry and camaraderie between them that when you learn they’ve been playing together since they were children you can believe it.

Then it was our turn; by this time quite a few of our friends and family had arrived - huge thanks to all of you, so wonderful you could make it! - so we were very excited and a bit nervous. We played a really folky set this time around, including, for the first time together, live, our mandolin/accordion/harmonies version of Reynardine. We also started the set with our “nineties-tastic family-friendly Moss & Jones wedding medley,” a portmanteau of four songs played on ukulele and glockenspiel, and with a sense of humour.


(Thanks to our friend Beth for the picture.)

After the gig, we actually went to the ‘bus station in Liverpool One (better chance of getting a seat at the back which means Marc, the child, and I, can sit together) but on the way there, we saw that the pianos were out! Well, we couldn’t resist; we busked three songs; Sally and Millbrook, with Marc on the piano and me singing and on glockenspiel, and of course, a little bit of Bach’s second English Suite in A Minor (me, for once, on piano). And… we earned a few bob! We’ll buy a cake with it for all three of us, as the little one, of course, had his own little play around on the piano.

Then it was back home… and here we are. We’re back in the Bombed Out Church in two weeks, but it’s a relatively private gig (as we’re getting married)! However, if you’d like to see us play again, we’re going to be doing a song or two at the open mic at Sound Food and Drink on Duke Street in Liverpool, tomorrow (Monday) night.

What have we learned from this gig?

Well, I’ve had a dodgy wrist for a few weeks now; I’m wearing a support until I can get to the doctor. It’s nothing serious, however, a wrist support, and the intricate plucking needed to play the instrumental version of Pastime With Good Company on the ukulele, do not together go, unfortunately. It was, as they say, a “brave performance”. However when my wrist is a bit better, we’ll be getting mediaeval - well, tudor - on your asses again.

Secondly, a few bob from a quick busk is lovely, and it has really raised our spirits for a busking “tour” we have planned for the new year. Want to know more? Watch this space!

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