Friday, October 16, 2009

Barley Folk

Our first gig.

It's a folk club in Liskeard, Cornwall, in a pub called the Barley Sheaf, and after the now obligatory negotiating of some twisty-turn streets, we wandered down, instruments in hand. It's so nice to play gigs where we don't have to lug gear! The club, Barley Folk, is in an amazing upstair room which is there solely for the music. It's so amazing to find a pub landlord that is willing to invest time, effort and not to mention money in something like this. On the way through pub (and after being distracted by the nice number of ciders and ales on tap), we passed by a full-sized skittle alley! Pubs here are amazing things, and I miss them greatly. It's a nice-sized room, very atmospheric and with such great acoustics that we only use a pair of mics just to boost the girls' voices a little. The instruments went unplugged. Candles in sconces on the tables, very subtle stage lighting and that wonderful woody smell of an old pub.

Steve and Kim. Corncrow. Smashing. Look 'em up on Myspace.

Steve and Kim, ala Corncrow played a set as well, and they were just wonderful. Steve is rapidly replacing me as the guitarist of choice and he's far funnier, more handsome, has a cool accent and is a better player (and he can quote Armstrong & Miller better than me!). Ok, one thing I have to point out here is that people actually listen. I mean really listen. We started playing and you could've heard a bee fart at the end of the room. Of course that makes our performance equally easier and much more terrifying, as other than a bit of session noodling, we've not really played much to a few weeks.

But it was brilliant. We played a couple of sets of varied stuff, and even managed to air out a new tuneset we'd literally thrown together that morning. The atmosphere was simply smashing. We desperately need places like this in Australia, small venues devoted to music, a small cover charge to recoup costs, attached to a pub with really vicious cider (Cornish Rattler, but more about that in Sarah's upcoming 'Tour Schnacks blog').

Between sets, Steve got up with a friend of his, Gareth the Flute, and played some wicked tunes (sorry for pinching them!), then Corncrow played a few more and we finished up.

I can't enough about this place (though I'm writing this with Sarah, Bridge and Carmen waiting for me so we can head out for some Cornish clotted cream and scones). The room was full, the people are some of the friendliest we've met anywhere (on par with our Tasmanian Chums, and that's saying something) and we had just a magical start to the tour.

But we're counting down the days until Mannie joins us, as it's just not the same without him terrorising the locals.

Now, away wid yeh. Scones, clotted cream, jam, cider and a visit to Bodmin await.

Listening to 'Bridget, Sarah and Carmen saying 'hurry up!'.

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