On Friday we followed on from the Bristol Reggae Orchestra with a 30 minute slot. The hand over took almost ten minutes due to the number of players and instruments that needed moving. No problem, we were on full power right from the start and projected the energy down the building and out in the queue outside. The sound in the building was impressive. It was a real joy to play there.
On Saturday it was different. Our regular musical director, Jordan from Bath Samba, was not available. I was responsible for directing the band and we had an hour to fill. I was both excited and apprehensive. My previous experience has been playing on streets or carnivals where the crowd come and find us. Here I felt that we were more like exhibits in a museum, being studied as a live piece of art.
We had a fun crossover with Lonely Tourist who was on before us. He had a bass kick pedal which was loud enough to give a solid pulse for us to add percussion to without drowning him out.
I was really keen that we could really get into the grooves and create a hypnotic effect. I also wanted to project to the crowd the energy, excitement and joy that comes from playing in a percussion group. Not everyone enjoys drumming bands due to the high noise levels and frenetic nature of it. If you are into it then there’s a music that lies inside the grooves that can transport you to a state of bliss. That’s why we do it!
I was really happy with how it went. Between us we put a day’s worth of energy into an hour and the audience response was positive. They clapped, they cheered, I’ve seen that some are smiling in the photographs.
We’re back for one more session in the future. I’m also planning on visiting in the early hours to see if I can discover some new sounds.