Big Band for a Big Event

You might remember Paul – he joined forces with David and me for our ‘£1-a-Day’ fund-raising event in 2017 and 2018.

Paul as he looked BEFORE someone told him about Cambodia’s creepy-crawlies!

Well, he’s mad enough – in a good way – to continue his generous nature and has volunteered to do a 94km sponsored walk. Yes, you read that correctly – 94km!!!

And this is no ordinary walk! How about five days across Cambodia in November!

It’s all for a great cause: to raise money for the Salvation Army – specifically Gloucester House Rehabilitation Centre in Swindon. Apparently the walk also involves camping overnight in tents, but this is no Glamping event as Paul is going ‘old-school’ with ‘good ol’ fashioned’ blankets and mattresses (and did I mention the creepy-crawlies!). Add to that, the humidity and heat, and it sounds horrendous!! Massive respect Paul!

By comparison, it makes our £1-a-Day event sound very tame! 😕

Previously, we’d also been part of a (much safer and more comfortable) Quiz Night earlier in the year supporting the same cause. Rather him than me in Cambodia! Quizzes I can do, but long walks are not my thing – and 94km is a serious amount of shoe-leather 😲

Tonight’s fund-raiser re-lived the era of Swing from the 40s in the company of the SA BigBand – and it didn’t disappoint! Nick (Band-Leader and Piano) led the 19-strong Band through a series of Swing-staples indispersed with a few more religious arrangements. The sound they produced was (much) greater than the sum of their parts – powerful stuff indeed! 👍😊

We also heard the vocal talents of Rob Moye who accompanied many of the numbers.

We really enjoyed the music, and all credit to Paul and Helen for organising the evening – a great event for a great cause!

Good luck on the walk Paul! 👍👍👍👍👍

The Sound of… Bookends

After picking up Jo, Janet & Carol, we headed off to Kilworth House this evening for a spot of nosebag and evening with the Simon & Garfunkel tribute act – Dan Haynes & Pete Richards aka ‘Bookends’.

Simon & Garfunkel at Kilworth
We haven’t been to Kilworth for over a year – last time was in September 2017, to see Top Hat and of course before that, in December, 2011, at the Hotel itself for our pre-Oz Honeymoon.

Well, Kilworth’s legendary Christmas ‘decs’ looked fantastic and the event was certainly well supported with around 150 all sitting down to enjoy the pre-event Dinner in the Orangery. Our Table of eight was shared with Paul and his wife Lynda plus their friend (who was seated a bit too far away for me to chat with her much).

Food was well-presented and tasty – and to make the evening’s logistics work, they served Starters and Mains before the event with Desserts and Beverages after the Boys had finished their performance.

Back to the main event…

After an easy-to-miss low-key stage entrance at just before 9pm, Bookends were straight into their repertoire – and wow!, from the off, they certainly sounded just like Simon & Garfunkel! –  fantastic!! But you didn’t need to have 20/20 vision to spot that they didn’t look like them at all – and they made light of that in their intro (pointing-out their collective lack of hair!) explaining that their focus was on S & G’s music itself.

Luckily our Table was closest to the the Boys and we got to enjoy their great sound (with a great view!). I can’t emphasise enough how good the harmonies were and although they’d only been going around seven years, it was a very polished act.

Initially, some of the tunes were unfamiliar, but we were soon into well-known staples such as ‘The Boxer’,’ ‘The Sound of Silence’, ‘Mrs Robinson’ and of course, the piece that everyone was waiting for: ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’.

We learned later that they also tour with a Strings section too – and I found this on YouTube

After Bookends departure, a lot of people left immediately, but we hung around. In fact, we didn’t leave until just after 11pm. It had been a GREAT show and in spite of the misty/foggy driving conditions, we we were home just before midnight.