The CAB Benefit Gig

As an old failed pop star I was only too happy to agree to put on a concert to raise funds for the Bureau. I had only recently formed a new band called Tilt and it would be good to play live with them. I contacted the Newbold Comyn Arms to see if they could provide the venue. The landlady could not have been more helpful and agreed to let us use their function room free of charge as she held the Bureau in high regard.

As well as my new band I asked Eddie Jingles and his band, and friends Justin and Claire to come and play. Justin also very kindly agreed to provide the p.a. and to be the sound man for the evening. As well as Tilt I play in a trio with Noel Willis and Caroline Horne (also from Tilt) and we agreed that that band would play as well.

Once everything was arranged there were a number of worries. The gig had been arranged for 20 January so there was some concern that the weather would be so bad no one could turn up. There could be problems with getting a good sound in the venue. There are always worries about unforeseen issues cropping up at events like this.

There was no need to worry, the weather was benign and there was an excellent turn out from bureau workers and their friends. We put the scariest people in the Bureau on the door to prevent any trouble. Our sound man Justin Archer turned up hours before the concert began to make sure we got the best possible mix.

Tilt played first with a selection of blues and pop songs. The music was heavily skewed in favour of the sounds of the 60’s and 70’s but there were a few token nods in the direction of modernity. The band line up has the usual guitars, bass etc played by Sid Auterliya, Stewart Whibley and me but the presence of Caroline on flute and Jane on electric cello made for a different take on some of the numbers. It’s not often you’ll get to hear a Leamington Chamber Orchestra member playing psychedelic cello on ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

Claire and Justin played their set of old rock and roll numbers again with a sprinkling of modern songs. Eddie Jingles played a stomping set of old skiffle and Americana numbers ably helped by his grandson Keaton on guitar and Burt West on bluesy harmonica. By the time Noel, Caroline and me returned for our set the mood had got decidedly jolly and there were great sing-alongs with ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ and ‘Hey Jude’ as well as others.

I would have been happy if the Bureau had made £150.00. This would have meant an audience of thirty people paying £5.00 per head. Instead we raised £500.00. This was not just from the ticket sales but also from the tombola with unwanted Christmas presents as prizes. This was boosted by the auctioneering skills of Karen, who while not able to tell a marrow from a butter nut squash was capable of selling bags of fruit (donated by John’s Fresh Fruit & Veg) for quite a formidable price. Many thanks must go for an enjoyable evening to all the members of the bands that played, everyone that took part and not forgetting Team Support Martin for a great deal of help in the organising.