Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sunday Service in Deal with Leonie

31/05/15, The Lighthouse, Deal

Leonie showed up a bit late for this afternoon "Sunday Service" gig due to a delayed lift back from Wales with Cocos Lovers who she'd been temporarily recruited for to headline the Fire on the Mountain Festival. People were finishing their Caribbean-themed roast dinners (part of Tyrone's weekly "reggae roast"), so no one seemed to mind. She rushed in with guitar and rucksack, straight onto stage, a quick tune-up, no setlist, just asked for requests and played whatever came to mind. So we heard a few songs from her band Rae, done solo, some new songs she'd recently picked up in New Orleans, Memphis Minnie's "Can't Afford to Lose My Man", some Jimmy Rogers, "Frankie and Johnny", "Stardust", "Up the Lazy River". Her "frumpet" (uncannily convincing vocalised muted-trumpet sound she makes with her mouth) was in full effect on many of these. When she turned to me for a request I thought of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Up Above My Head". She pointed out that it wouldn't last long if there was no one playing solos, so Adam Whittaker volunteered to do so on the rickety old honky-tonk piano near the stage. Dave Hatton (doing sound) quickly miked it up, and Adam was well away, incredibly creative, counterintuitive soloing, most impressive. Everyone clapping and singing along, Leonie belting it out, got quite ecstatic. Sister Rosetta would have been smiling down on the Lighthouse from up above our heads...


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