So here we are, 10 days to go before the first weekend of TIP shows and we’re just about as busy as a band could be. It’s been weeks in development, months in expectation and years in bell playing but we’re nearly ready to take to the Yorkshire roads with our traveling circus of noise. We’re all aware that we haven’t been blogging as we’d hoped to through this project but the sheer scale of it has left us all a little open mouthed and, well, busy! Thank the good lord of IT for Google Calendar, Databases and Excel otherwise this project would never have happened. It may not be the way U2 roll but we need those tools to survive! With 1200 people now on-board this TIP boat we need a serious admin-rudder to steer it!
So what’s been going on? Well after an initial round of ‘recruitment’ gigs we’re now knee deep in workshops spread around this county. Brass bands, Folk bands, youth groups, cubs, schools, WI…you name it and we’re almost certainly working with it to learn the basic elements you would need to be part of Hope and Social. And you know what, it’s a pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all aged about a decade in the last couple of months and if Ed has to pivot one more spreadsheet table I think he’ll cry, but the workshop sessions have been fantastic. Really fantastic. The powers-who-be may well see the gigs as the focal point of the project but to us the workshops are what it’s about. Turning up in Masham on a very sleepy bank holiday Monday, tired, broken and smelly directly off the back of a week of Bring the Happy in Brighton to be greeted by 3 clarinet players, 3 violin players, 2 guitarists and a load of singers; all armed with music, smiles and ready to give it their all. An hour later we’re playing as a band and everyone’s beaming. BEAMING. Ed and I were quite literally saved by their music making that night.
Or heading over to Otley to a school group of 150 6-10 year olds. Strumming the first few bars of The Big Wide and then all 150 crashing in on the first word and singing the whole thing beginning to end without a single prompt.
Or Rich excitedly telling us of the Uke Orchestra who have TOTALLY NAILED Rolling Sideways and even customized it to be entirely their own. Or the Roller Derby girls going from what sounded like a bag of rubber bands being plucked to an in-tune, in-time Ukulele group in the space of an hour.
On it goes…
And so we find ourselves here with 10 days left to go and ever failing immune systems…but I for one am very excited. Bring on the Tour I say. And the Berocca.
FREE TICKETS are still available for most locations from http://www.hopeandsocial.com/tip/tickets
The Tour will be calling at:
Saturday 7th June
- Otley | Courthouse Street Car Park | 10.30am
- Grassington | Upper Wharfedale School, Wharfeside Avenue, Threshfield | 3.30pm
- Hawes | The Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw | 9pm
Sunday 8th June
- Masham | Market Place | 12noon
- Ripon | Market Place | 4pm
- Harrogate | Crescent Gardens | 9pm
Saturday 21st June
- Knaresborough | Market Place | 11am
- Addingham | Football & Scouts Pavilion, Stockinger Lane | 4pm
- Keighley | ASDA Car Park | 9pm
Sunday 22nd June
- Elland | West Vale (Brig Royd) Car Park, Rochdale Road | 11am
- Holmfirth | Holmfirth High School | 4pm
- Sheffield | Alma Street Car Park, next to Fat Cat, Kelham Island | 9pm