Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blaker's park Community Picnic 2007


Well, Blaker's Park Community Picnic 2007 has come and gone

I think it was pretty much a successful event. The weather was kind to us - a bit gloomy at times and draughty too but in some ways that was better than blazin' hot sun which we've had some years when it got like wading through treacle or the terrific thunder starm we had a couple of years ago just after we'd started. It only started drizzling just as we were packing up this year so no major problems were caused.

There seemed to be a few more stalls and activities this year and people apparently enjoyed most of what was on offer. The numbers attending were somewhat down but I think this can be put down to two things. One might have been the uncertainty in weather prospects putting people off risking picnicing. The main thing though was the absence of Rock's Kool - I think a large part of previous crowds have been frinds and families of the kids playing in the bands.

However the difference in atmosphere was quite remarkable. Previously everything seemed to centre around the music, which impinged on everyone else's enjoyment or otherwisw of the event. this year it was altogether more relaxed with music from the disco for the most part just providing a pleasant backdrop to the partiicipation in the various activities on offer. There were a small number of performances which punctuated the day, but I think these enhanced this relaxed atmosphere rather than interfered with it.

Last Orders, a newly formed troubadour rock band were the first to entertain us with their pleasant mix of covers and self-penned ditties. The present 2-piece line up of drummer & singer/guitarist came over as confident and very much at home as performers despite this being only their 2nd public appearance. They want to expand into a quartet including a fiddler, so anyone whose interested should contact them.

Fiveways Quartet was next up - impressive as their combined ages probably only just exceeded that of the deejay - they wowed us with their renditions of their own jazz originals and standards such as Dave Brubeck's Take Five. the line-up - sax, keyboard, bass & drums - worked well together and perhaps with a few more gigs under their belts they could become contenders for National recognition. thanks go to last Orders for leaving their mike-stand for their use.

Saravian arrived by bike, entertained us in her very gentle and inimitable way with songs ranging from one in the style of a less morose Nick Drake to a fabulous arrangement of Joanie Mitchell's Woodstock and then turned out to be worth her weight in gold as she generously loaned all her equipment to following artistes.

Jazmine Ava was scheduled as our last act and she enchanted us with her humour and very professional singer/songwriter style of folk-pop. she oozed confidence and enchanted us all.

Just as we thought all the excitement was over, a lady calling herself, simply, Al stepped up and using borrowed equipment, enthralled the kids in particular with her sublimely funny singalong and act-out children's song, covering subjects from dinosaurs to food. They were hilarious and had little budding stars queuing up to sing into the mike and hopefully not make it too soggy!

If we do it all again next year, I think it would be good to keep the same sort of atmosphere so even if Rockskool can return perhaps they could be encouraged to bring performers who can perform in this vain.

Anyway - thanks to all those who gave their services so freely and willingly.

A great day was had by all.


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