Thursday 18 June 2015

The Mill Hill Music Festival - Rog T's Festival Diary - Day 6 - Anita Wardell & The Hermitage Quartet with Carola Darwin

Day 6. The festival is flying by! Once again I had a relatively late start, writing this blog. For the two events, I had no particular role, but for the day 7-9, I have a full on job, running three PA's in three days, so the morning was spent on calls discussing logistics. Numerous texts and calls with Gerry about cable dimensions for cable rampings (necessary for the outdoor gig at Mill Hill Golf club, where we need to get a multicore from the stage to the PA desk). Calls & texts to bands to confirm soundcheck times and last minute checks on PA systems and with our driver Stuart, who will deliver various equipment. That was pretty much the morning taken up. I also had a crisis at work, where various issues cropped up and meetings had to be had.

Once again, I went for a sauna to collect my thoughts. As is always the way, when you are stressed out and simply need to relax in your own company, someone always wants to talk to you. So I am lying in the sauna calming my mind and another gym member walks in and starts to tell me how he's a born again Christian and how Jesus has saved his life three times. Lets just say I wasn't particularly in the mood to be invited to his church. Having a rather wicked sense of humour, I could only wonder how many people get murdered when they tell the wrong person at the wrong time how Jesus saved their life! There are many phrases in the English language I dislike, but born again Christian is near the top. I resent the implication that such people consider themselves "premier league". For the record, I would describe myself as an extremely bad Roman Catholic, if pressed. If anyone is to proseletysed by me, it will because they will see stuff I do and think, thats a good thing to do (not that there is too much chance of that), not because I've collared them in the sauna and spent half an hour boring the pants off them. You may be wondering what this is all about and what it has to do with the festival? Well the answer is simple. Everyone was asking me why I looked so pissed off. They assumed something terrible had happened. It hadn't, I'd just had a day of it. My wife tells me that when I'm in a bad mood, I look very unapproachable, so I do apologise if I looked grumpy.

Anyway, back from the gym and I had a few more tasks at the studio. At 5pm, I went up to St Pauls. I didn't have a specific role to perform, but there is always "stuff to do". So I rocked up. The artists were practicing and sounded fantastic. Soprano Carola Darwin is the great granddaughter of Charles Darwin. I was contemplating the unwanted conversation earlier in the day. I suspect that the great man would hold a far more interesting conversation than "I had a bad leg and my preacher prayed for me and it got better, it was a miracle, why don't you come along to our church and see for yourself".

I helped Gerry and Dan put up some bunting and some mood lighting, then went home to collect my daughter. She volunteered to help with the raffle at the the Mill Hill Jazz club. The Jazz club runs itself, so it doesn't really require any help from the festival. We just advertise it. We run a raffle at the event to help with the costs of printing etc. My daughter has been helping with raffles this year. I also brought up a stack of festival brochures. If you get given one, please have a look through. All of the advertisers have supported the festival and helped us with our costs. Just for example, the insurance was over £600. There  are many such costs which we have to cover. We are a not for profit organisation, but we have to cover costs. We also have to go into the next festival with a surplus, so we can pay up front costs.

Both events were reasonably well attended and enjyed by the audience. Anita Wardell did a fine set of Jazz, ably assisted by Barry Green on Piano, Dario De-Leche on bass and John Scott on drums. I bumped into an old school friend, Clive Blass at the show. He was with his friend Lauren Lucille, who is a talented Jazz singer in her own right. It turned out that Laurens mum is friends with Anita Wardell, and this resulted in an impromptu duo between the two. For me, this was the highlight of the show. Lauren is playing in her own right at the Jazz club on 5th August, check it out.

I finished the evening with a tasty takeaway from the Mill Hill Tandoori. There's only three days of music left. This festival has flown by. I think all of the events have been fantastic. It has been great to see so many people at multiple concerts, many people have come up and told me this is the best festival ever. Thank you all for your support.

No comments: