Something for the weekend

This has been a busy weekend. On Friday I was away from work so I could attend my uncle's funeral. My mum's brother was a big music fan with a pleasantly sharp sense of humour. This was reflected in the funeral service which opened with 'Moon River' and ended with 'Swinging Safari.' The contrast between the sadness of loss, highlighted by the curtains closing around a flower bedecked coffin, and the sudden jauntiness of 'Swinging Safari' was enormous. Almost everyone present giggled and left the hall with a bounce in their step. I got to meet members of my family I hadn't seen or spoken to in many years. It felt as if everyone was looking forward, rather than dwelling on the occasional division that is typical of any family. I even got to spend some extra time with my folks on the drive to and from the cemetery, which was enjoyable. In short, a positive occasion.

Despite being positive the day was quite tiring. It didn't end with returning mum and dad to their house though. I drove to the railway station and took a train to London. There I met up with friends to see Barenaked Ladies playing a Christmas show at the Shepherds Bush Empire. The support was Boothby Graphoe; possibly the funniest man I have seen on stage in years. The band themselves were on terrific form, mixing holiday songs with their own hits and some improvised music as well. A real treat.

Being the top quality friends they are Alison and David drove me back to the house and then spent the night. On Saturday, after some Christmas shopping I had a gig of my own with Soul Beaver. This went better than any of us expected and gave us the opportunity to say goodbye to our trumpet player, Gaynor, and to celebrate the engagement of our ex-guitarist, Richard.

Gaynor will be greatly missed and the hunt to find a replacement trumpet player (especially one with such a great personality) is on. Alison, a regular attendee of ours from the band's first gigs made it to the show with her husband and was rewarded with some new songs.

Next weekend I have an acoustic charity gig to play at which gives me the chance to play my double bass again. Hopefully some photos will be up soon.


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