Friday 27 March 2015, I was up early, loading musical instruments and gear into the car for our annual trip to Northamptonshire to play at the Billy Fury weekend held at the Hind Hotel in Wellingborough.
The journey down there was remarkably easy this year. Two years ago it snowed all weekend and we set off in a blizzard even in Blackpool. We usually stop off at the services on the M6 toll road, Norton Canes. It sounds like the name of a 1930s Hollywood star really: starring Norton Canes, with Charnock Richard and introducing new starlet Hilton Park in....
We had to tramp through snow in the car park two years ago and then last year they were having building work done and the open doorway was letting a freezing wind in so we beat a hasty retreat! This year we ate, drank and carried on down the M6 to junction 15 of the M1.
Friday night at the event is always a relaxed occasion. It's an opportunity for experiments and for occasional singers to get up and have a go. Here Dave Savage joined us and Shelagh Cooney to sing Fields of Athenry. Shelagh sings with her husband Peter at the event and can be heard on our second CD, Kites, singing and playing penny whistle on the song we are singing here.
Dave Jay, singer and once member of The Revivers from the Macclesfield area, not only delivered his own brilliant set but acted as compère for both nights of the event.
Not always an easy task... Snowy is a well-known face to those around this part of Northampton, he sings in most pubs whether or not they want him to and has sung with several iconic bands before their security managed to pull him away. Truthfully you won't find a nicer, funnier, more OTT guy in the world. These events just wouldn't be the same without him.
We'd had a bit of banter on Facebook and I had threatened to tie his shoe laces together when he came to dance to one of his Freddie and The Dreamers songs. So he dragged me up to dance along... It's a week since - I'm almost over the heart attack now...
Johnny Storme: the ladies go wild over him and he puts lots of emotion into his singing. We played our first Billy Fury weekend in 2009 and I have to say that one of the highlights for me was to meet and play a song standing alongside of this gentleman.
Apologies to others who I don't have photos for, this was a good night warming up for the main event on Saturday night when the audience would be a little larger too. Meanwhile, for the second year running Fran and I found ourselves in the Bridal Suite... No rest for the wicked... ha ha ha!
See us play House of The Rising Sun.