Despite the cold weather The Driver and Me are not finding the trek up Mill Street so arduous these days ("You speak for yourself" – The Driver). Is this because a) we are fitter? Unlikely. Or b) we are looking forward to the evening more? Highly likely. And why is this? Is it because a) we are seeing better performers? No, we always have terrific performers in the Top Bar. Is it because b) we are seeing better audiences? Yes – and for ‘better’ associate ‘bigger’.
This is true; the year has got off to a tremendous start with excellent performances and good sized audiences. This is good; the performers know they are appreciated and spark, and the buzz in the interval cranks up the feel-good factor. I’m hoping that increased publicity is a contributing factor – alongside the brilliant performers of course.
This welcome trend continued last Saturday (28th) when The Driver and Me saw PETE MORTON. No "nice jumper" this time but a rather fetching go-faster stripe on his strides which undoubtedly did as much for his lively performance as the appreciative audience! (And how. I've just been informed that the 'stripe' was actually a microphone lead!). Some new material along with all the old favourites, but Pete has a big advantage in that he can vary his delivery to make even familiar material sound novel. He even sang a song in Dutch and got some of the audience to attempt the chorus (strange language, parts of the song sounded English. You can probably work out why by reading this article).
Pete is an engaging performer, even the guy who was "expecting a Blues Band" thought he was "pretty good", and in line with my new regimen of enjoying the evening more by taking note but not taking notes I’m not listing any of his songs (you can get a flavour by reading my review from last year). No doubt we’ll invite Pete back next year and he will sound as familiar – and fresh – as usual.
A little video taster. I think I need to call this the ‘Ghostly Guitar Spot’ (this video idea is not proving totally successful, the picture is still rubbish. Perhaps I need to a) get a proper video camera [unlikely in the present economic climate] or b) crank up the room lighting [unreasonable for the performer] or c) divide the audio and video tracks and ditch the picture [anyone know how?]. However it’s worth listening to (apart from my groan – sorry) as it’s a rather good rendition of The Battle Of Trafalgar one of my particular favourites and it's not on the new CD.