We’re just back in Vince with a nice cuppa and a square of chocolate after an amazing afternoon of music and food and er….more than a little alcohol.
My driving instructor friend Ken – yet another Ken; not me , not Ken the biker from our earlier posts but a third Ken – is involved with some brilliant charities and he tried to get all the instructors from our Facebook group to come along to today’s shenanigans. Most of them are miserable gits sadly, so only two of us turned up with our partners. Luckily there were hundreds of normal people who gave up their time and their cash to be there and we enjoyed chatting, dancing and drinking along with them all afternoon.
I’m a committed people watcher, so this was a heavenly opportunity; all human life was there. Never mind your Glastonbury, I swear people here were having a much better time. As we arrived, there was a jazz trio playing – piano, drums and bass – double bass of course. Niiiiice. We’d taken our Vince folding chairs along so we set them up on the lawn of Stanmore Hall, poured ourselves a drink and sat back in the sunshine to enjoy the mellow sounds of jaaaaazzz.
During the next few sets – a Bublé-alike, two warbling X-Factor types, a Midlands-accented Elvis Costello wannabe and a brilliant young lad with a guitar, we soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed the antics of the folks around us. There was mutton dressed as lamb, lamb dressed as mutton, lads trying to look cool for the girls, girls totally ignoring the lads – some still wearing sunglasses in the rain (we had a little sprinkle here and there). We saw ageing hippies waving their arms about and dancing in circles, wheelchair-bound kids clapping their hands and laughing along to the music, and tipsy old ladies almost spilling their wine as they waved, sang and clapped to Sweet Caroline. Ooh that Neil Diamond – he’s a one.
We had to look the other way as a well-dressed young Mum scolded her children for running away:
“Rafe! Willow! Come back to Mummy right now!”
The EAGA Gospel choir from the telly gave us a sublime half hour – singing all the favourites you’d expect including Rivers of Babylon and Oh Happy Day. While we’ve seen many a gospel choir on TV, nothing compares to the live sound of a passionate choir belting it out as if their lives depended on it – they were fantastic, and mingled with the audience afterwards to chat and listen to the other bands.
The final act was Synergy – a couple of lads playing South American rhythms on two guitars. What superb musicians they were, fingers blurring up and down the fretboards as the crowd (including us I’m embarrassed to say) danced away in front of the stage. We drew the line (excuse the pun) at the conga; satisfying ourselves with just cheering on the er…merry participants through the encore.
Talking to Ken at the end, he reckoned (and we agreed) that the event had been a huge success. All the food had been sold, and most of the drink, so with luck they’ll stage the show again next year. I’ll be there and I hope we’ll see you there too!
Tomorrow it’s a lazy breakfast and an amble home to catch up with solicitors and estate agents. We don’t know when we’ll be able to get away with the big fella again but we’re more than full up with smiles and giggles from this trip – enough to last us until we chat again anyway.
Take care all, and see you soon 🙂