Evesham Wartime in the Vale
Evesham Wartime in the Vale - we returned for our second year to this cracking weekend 40's event. All the tanks and armoured cars were amassing together with billet huts, tents, dug outs, make shift field camps plus a huge space for a reenactment battle.
We were playing in a huge marquee which would easily hold in the region of 300 folks and what a fab night. everything was set up band wise and together with our very own Mamma Jules, we started our evenings swing dance proceedings. We generally try where possible to stick to as many of the original 40's themed tunes as possible but with a slight twist of artistic license to bring in a few 50's style belters at the end of each set.
Jules did a fantastic job singing all the Andrews sisters tunes as a solo vocal which went down extremely well as always and the floor was busy busy all night long - The somewhat odd thing was that our second set was split into two halves because of a fireworks display right through the middle - so we managed to squeeze in the Gay Gordons just in time, then everyone piled outside to see the fireworks and then back inside for us to pick back up again.
Of course sing sing sing complete with the interspersed rendition of Star Wars Cantina always go down a treat and of course ending the evening with a blast of shake rattle n roll kicked the last few minutes into a Frenzy once again.
Then with all the gear left up on stage, I had the pleasurable joy of sleeping in a pop up tent on stage to guard the gear - Not that there has ever been a problem with theft, but you do hear of a few stories where folks have seen items suddenly not there, for example, a really good friend of the band, Brian Leathley recently attended the Wicksteed at War event and suddenly realised his authentic US leather flying jack had literally 'taken off' and some thieving toad had walked off with it, so unless we take the time to pack everything away, then I don't mind the occasional rough it job to protect literally thousands of quids worth of gear. I also set up one of those bing bong type alerts that you hear when you walk into a shop so that if anyone did decide to come lurking around at 4am, then hopefully ill spring in to action and check on why someone is loitering at that time of the morning - or perhaps just stay there quietly while they're looking around and then just tap them lightly on the shoulder and say boo and frighten the shite out of them.
So then it became Sunday and we were back on stage at 11am and i was knackered having not had much sleep and i don't think the other member of the band who had camped outside were feeling much better. However, as soon as we started playing again and what a fab sound and in particular, Jon Orton on his newly found possession of a Stick Double bass sounding first class, we steamed on through our first set and this time joined by the lovely vocals of Laura Brookes. We started playing to a marquee that was packed to the rafters with 6 people in there, one of whom was munching his way through a full english breakfast - however, as soon as people heard the music, they started to drift into the marquee in rank and file and before we knew it, had a great audience of folks including Rob and Sarah of All about Swing and their team who literally set the stage alight with all their excellent dancing
Then with a finish at 3pm for the field battle, we all managed to get packed away and off up the A46 again.
We did discuss whether we should play our world cup anthem but in the end decided to leave it off - However, here is the video and the song if you want a quick look or listen
and the facebook page for BBC Radio Derby