Showing off local talent.
It was a good headline from the Echo this week, as they previewed Tell And Show in Wednesday’s edition. For, it seems, there was indeed a lot of local talent showing off at Champions at our little event lastnight.
Now, almost a day later – and already into rather different and pressing creative Momo challenges – I essentially just want to pass on much love and thanks to all for a joyful evening, and for how everyone’s love for the vibe made a weirdly wet Sunday night very warm.
Firstly, to Suzy of Strawberry Fields Represents for creating such a madcap night. A highly original rosta of arts and music on one night’s poster our seaside town has not perhaps seen before – and she made it happen for everyone. Her enthusiasm and encouragement for so many creatives seems quietly superhuman sometimes.
But a swiftly-following and sizeable thanks too to you if you made it down. Or even just made it obvious you wished you could have joined us.
The enthusiasm from everyone was immense and wonderful. I can speak for the whole gang, I feel, when I say that we loved giving you a blast – and that you felt it. To all the Momo amigos in particular who turned out to cheer on a chum – it’s unlikely I didn’t tell you in a soppy delirium that I love you at some point lastnight, but if I didn’t, I meant to. ..Which doesn’t make you less special than you thought if I did, you silly sausage.
Props too of course to all the artists I met and was able to introduce to everyone. To Sally and the big-hearted vowels of the Funky Little Choir; to demure young songwriting talent Adam Dupree and the immense family of his, believing in him so much they’ve secretly been building him a web presence to help market his obvious talent; to the consummate entertainment professional Ishmael and the thought-provoking word-dextrous talents of the Poets Republic, for opening up the night’s imagination early; to the impressive, synth-geek brothers Newport, Neil and Dave, who felt like instant comrades, inviting us on stage to muck about all over a new tune of theirs – a huge, adrenalin-goggle-eyed, multi-drumming high for everyone to end the night on. Class. I must say thanks to Paul for helming the sound so coolly with a tricky mix to say the least, and to Tony at Champs for letting us in in the first place.
And a special thanks too to one of the key people in the line-up – Rupert Southcombe, for DJing just the right tone and segueing together the whole warm, groovy, quirky personality of the show from behind the decks. A legend.
Yet, among my sincerest thanks must go to the boys. The gentlemanly talent on stage with me lastnight was a humbling comfort for an undisciplined show-off:
To Simon Mellish – for adding an incomparable percussive extra dynamic to the whole groove of the show. A drumming legend, serving our sound on an exciting new level.
To Pat Hayes – slide supremo, for not letting his international trombone talent be phased by a fool flailing his arms just to his right.
To Tom Walsh – for making it through hail and storm and broken tree all the way to Bomo from the capital, to still blow the horn with such infectious enthusiasm.
To Mark Crowe – for stepping in on sax as a pro so seasoned, he simply rode with the madcap attempts to combine electronic daftness with real musical skill.
And then, of course, to John. Mr Herbison is the talent I lack – the horn band leader, not merely sourcing and then guiding the ensemble, but slaving over interpreting the parts – bringing them to life with the harmonies and dynamics of a world-class talent. A demur one it is a privilege to feel able to rely on on stage, and in studio.
But lastly, to Mark. If Mr Adkins were any more encouraging to Momo, I’d have to salary him to try to assuage my sense of grateful indebtedness to him. Over many years of playing together, I have always felt safe in his sense of groove and style behind the drum kit. That he and Sharon and Beth want to cheer on Momo:tempo quite so enthusiastically is just an honour. His excitement, as a cynical old brummie, is an essential fuel to my enjoyment of what we’ve done with Momo so far. And hearing those beats come alive… Amazing.
I said to someone lastnight that I think I honestly felt as much enjoyment having a legitimate platform to introduce and encourage other people as I did having one to introduce and encourage me. What a thing – to be handed the opportunity to stand in front of a few folk and say: Have you heard about this?
Forgive me for being an emotional booby for a moment, but how many times can any of us say that we find ourselves in the most natural of places – right where we are most being ourselves and feel most at home? In this life, perhaps not often.
I can at least say that I know what it feels like, however. Because, in our random little show on a rainy Sunday night in Bournemouth, I felt it lastnight.
And I think it showed.