Ar Hyd y Nos, arranging, BBC, Ferrari, Formula One, HMV Apollo, JEBO, Mendelssohn, Of All Persons and Estates, racing
It is heartening to be able to report that the antics of a couple of octogenarian billionaires, coupled with the skulduggery of Auntie are, at present, not sufficient to stop this particular enginehead from following the sport he loves. I was unsure as to whether my little scheme would work until I had the opportunity to put it into practice, but, lo and behold, at 6 this morning there were the little cars going round and round in their slightly larger circles. Given the way Ferrari performed, however, I might have been better off missing the whole thing, but I feel substantially better about Formula One than I have done for many a month, while also having the opportunity to improve my linguistic skills.
Yesterday was A Big Day for me, of course, as JEBO took to the stage of the HMV Apollo to play what will probably remain our biggest gig. For all the glamour of the venues and the mystique which surrounds them, it is still surprising to find out just how cramped the backstage area really is, although at least the catering had stretched to two large packets of Doritos for the five of us. Not to matter, though, for it was the experience which was important, and I must say that, about fifteen minutes before we went on, I began to get tightly nervous and remained so all the way through the set. I later found out that Rob, our guitarist felt exactly the same, but we gave a decent account of ourselves, the sound onstage was great, and we met some enthusiastic followers afterwards, including one who had seen us before in Rotherham some years ago.
I also managed to finish my pile of arranging yesterday, with an almighty heave, but I am still a little behind on some work for Monday morning, so I am not out of the woods yet by any means. Having sad that, there is a finely poised work/play balance in my life at the moment, and I am no longer prepared to let the former run amok over the latter. Add to that the fact that I am generally more organised than I have ever been and things are ticking along quite nicely when all is said and done.
I am rehearsing with the Parliament Choir today, and we will be doing a fair chunk of work on Of All Persons And Estates and Ar Hyd Y Nos, alongside some Mendelssohn. The two pieces of mine are both sounding pretty decent, and I am still fairly pleased with OAP, as it now appears to be called, which is quite an achievement for something I have written, even one of relatively recent vintage. It sounds very two dimensional with either piano or organ accompaniment, and my recollection is that it springs to life once the orchestra gets involved. That we are giving it two outings is great news, and the fact that they are in such exalted venues is highly gratifying.
It is back to my normal life for the time being, then, having played at being the rock star for a night (something which, I reckon, adds at least an inch to one’s height). I tried my best to remember to enjoy myself out there on the stage, and by the time we got to Bring You Down I think that I was starting to relax, but it is a shame that it was the last number. Even so, not everybody plays the Apollo, and, as I have written before, it is startling how seriously people take your band when you mention that you are playing there, nearly as seriously as I take the band myself. Whether something comes of it or not, I think I shall tuck it away among my favourite memories, and enjoy the fact that, however insignificantly, I have joined the roster of some exalted names.