So, while my tummy continues to rumble on life has continued at a pace.
Reflecting my state of mind my review of the week will his time be in reverse order, starting with my reflections on Friday evening at The Fat Cat where the good members of the Play On Club came together to have their celebration for the life of Myke.
The Play On is Myke’s Club. It’s the one he wouldn’t miss for any reason. I have to say that it was the one that Myke was at his most relaxed – his guitar would only leave his hands for occasional visits to the Bar – apparently just as Raymond Geenoaken would dig his Squeeze box out of his case – or pull his guitar out to give us a song.
By nine, the small upstairs room of The Fat Cat was jammed to the rafters with sweating humanity. On an airless night the windows thrown wide open, but no one would have been able to tell.
And what a night of music was to follow. The House Band with Phoebe filling in for Myke kicked the evening off with three songs that Myke loved playing on – Karl and Andy doing their understated thing to perfection.
Tina McKevitt and Matt Hegarty, Lou Marriot, Toein’ In The Dark (3/4 of), Al (The Misk Hills Mountain Rambler), Phillip Hartley, Matt Shaw and a host of Club regulars all paying their tribute Myke – although the significance of Al’s World Cup Song would have had to have been explained to Myke for whom football was mystery.
And when it was time for The Mashers to answer back – it was so good to look down a room so full that even all standing room was taken, and what’s more, to have people singing along to May Day from the very first word was just brilliant, it may be new on the Mashers play list, but it was one of Myke’s favourite numbers at recent Gigs.
And when in Bloody Rotten Audience it was time for Myke to take his bow – the roar and explosion of applause took the roof off.
There are some lovely pictures taken by Linda Gamston of the evening on her Facebook page, which I hope to transfer to one of the Web Site pages very soon.
So a big thank you to everyone involved in what was a fantastic evening of music – a stomper – as Myke would have called it.
Going back in time now………………… and to The Bridge Charity Festival on Bank Holiday Monday.
The original concept as far as the Acoustic Stage was concerned was to have a political day of music aimed at young people to encourage “protest”.
We even had a Song Contest planned.
In the event it turned out to be no more than a glorified open session.
Well, the motivating force behind the Acoustic side of the event was the Rotherham Political Forum. A group that came together in the hope of encouraging Left orientated Organisations and Parties to come together and Campaign.
Alas, and lo, in the true traditions of the Left not even the regular half dozen or so members could keep it together without a falling out of sorts.
It’s little wonder that the Left is so fragmented and simply operates on the fringe of the political consciousness of the people they claim to represent, or seek to politicise.
When will all these Groups realise that if the forces of Capital are to be taken on seriously then philosophical differences need to be put aside in favour of Campaigns that will capture the imagination of people and reflect their everyday concerns and experiences.
All the promises of help and support in organising the acoustic event sort of came to nothing. None of the promised participation of Parties by coming along and having a stall or something similar simply didn’t happen. The publicity never happened.
Under normal circumstances I would of course have been kicking arse long before Monday, but with Myke popping off to a finer World and a bout of the tummy bug that has still not cleared to this day, I simply did not have the energy to go chasing people.
So my apologies to those who submitted songs for the Protest Song Contest – apologies to artists who may have thought that I had forgotten them – apologies to artists who came expecting one thing and finding something completely different.
I’ve not given up on the basic concept of a Festival of Music with a Political theme, but I think I’ll give it a little bit more thought and involve a lot more people who are prepared to be involved.
But to the Bridge Festival itself. The pub had decided that their part of the Festival would be a Charity event for the Rotherham Hospice, and they drew together many of the local Bands who are regular performers on a Saturday night.
Stand out sets from Papa Legbas, and Searching for Sylvia were supplemented by sets from other local artists and of course These Black and White Flames.
Also on the main stage a couple of standout performances from acts originally due to appear on the Acoustic Stage, Vicky Cottam coming out for a rare outing, and of course the fantastic Cracktown, who produced an amazing all round performance that had even the day weary audience in fits of laughter and at full attention.
Special mention to for Ian Hopkins, who having performed a super set for the Acoustic Stage was press ganged into opening the Festivals main Stage down stairs to much acclaim. Thanks Ian and very well done, we hope to see you at Acoustic Rotherham in October.
On the Acoustic Stage – an afternoon of real variety. Al (The Misk Hills Mountain Rambler) producing one of his special sets, well done mate, culminating with his song Don’t Let Me Die dedicated to Myke now, because his passing provided the inspiration for the final verse. Lyrics can be found on Myke’s page HERE – I hope the track will be there before too long.
David Kidman produced one of his exceptional sets of songs old and new. Thanks Dave for coming on down.
Tina McKevit put on one her super solo shows. Who needs Matt eh?
Anxious Andrews from Wath gave us a few songs that were well appreciated.
Phoebe also joined in the fun, producing an entertaining set dedicated to Myke. That’s having almost scarring the life out of me by leaving Myke’s guitar and blue shopping bag of song notes for me to find giving the impression that he had turned up as normal for a Mashers set. Very strange, especially when I did a short Mashers slot.
And of course to wind things up the magnificent Paul Pearson entertained us with some songs.
So thank you all for your contributions and apologies to those who came along later expecting to find music only to find that the Acoustic stage had disappeared.
And that’s it for The Mashers for a bit. The diary is now clear of any commitments until the end of the month and I intend to take some time out to assess where The Mashers go from here.
Having said that I would like The Mashers to meet a few existing commitments, principally The Star Festival, The Worcester Music Festival and The Wirksworth Street Music Festival. If anyone out there reading this fancies having a crack at them with me then please get in contact. email@example.com
Those anxiously wondering about the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site statistics will want to know that the site is now below 600,000 of World Wide sites – not bad for a local based site, it puts us in the top 25,000 in the UK.
Over 10,000 hits have now been made on our News Blog which is amazing. Thanks so much for your interest and support.
And on the acoustic Rotherham site itself, the Diary pages have been updated and July added – I think all the main Clubs events and Gigs that I know about have been listed, but if you know different or feel left out please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org HERE
The Myke Barrit page continues to grow. I’ve up dated the Book of Remembrance and hope to add more content soon. HERE
Watch out for news of The Myke Barritt Music Trust. We think this will be a lasting memorial to Myke. It’s aim, simply put will be to encourage and develop local live music and musicians – in memory of Myke’s love of music.
It’s early days and the detail of how the money will be used has still to be decided, but broadly speaking we will be directing it at artists and events that reflect Myke’s slant on life, and will take the form of grants, education, and even the purchase of instruments.
We’ll also be launching an Annual Song Writing Contest in Myke’s name offering a small financial prize and a chance to record the song. The winner will also perform the song as part of Myke’s Birthday Bash, the first one being in 2011.
The Trust will be funded by a variety of money raising activities, still to be finalised, and of course we will be asking for Donations to be made to the Trust instead of flowers at Myke’s Funeral on 30th June.
Please watch this space for details.
Currently, the Committee is looking for folks to come on board and help out in the setting up of the Trust. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to help.
The line-up for this years Myke’s Birthday Bash, 27th July is looking fantastic. All his Bands will be represented in some form or another and we’ve some special guests joining us as well, including the Troubadors.
The Bash will be starting, in true Myke manner at 2:00pm in The Bridge, with the first part of the day taking on the form of an open session to which everyone with a guitar is welcome to contribute to. More details will be published soon.
On lighter matters, I’ve been giving These Black and White Flames debut CD “From The Inside of Outside” a listen or two.
Well worth grabbing a copy. It ain’t folk, that’s for sure, but I enjoyed the general rock feel to this selection of interesting self-penned songs.
There will be a full Review from David Kidman in the not too distant future.
And that my friends is more than enough for this week.
I hope that Clubs etc will not think bad of me for just dropping out for a bit – but I honestly just need a bit of non-pressure time. That’s not to say that you’re safe – if I fancy a sing you might well find me hidden away in a corner ready to pounce, so don’t drop your guard too much.