First shows are always exciting for new promoters, even a little nerve-wracking at times! Martin Wood of Wren Hall, Wroxall can attest to this with Wren Hall’s very first Live & Local performance taking place last Saturday night. Kit Holmes and Al Greenwood played to a sold-out crowd in what by all accounts was a resounding success, but don’t just take our word for it – here’s Martin’s report from the night with all the essential detail.
‘It was wonderful… full of wonder!’
Doug, former parish resident and Wroxall pupil
4 o’clock Saturday afternoon and a neat Ford Fiesta drove into Manor Lane and pulled up at the disused phone box outside Wren Hall. Inside were Al Greenwood and Kit Holmes together with their guitars, fiddle and sound system wondering no doubt what kind of place they had been booked into by Live & Local. Straight into the Hall which had been transformed into a Jazz Cafe with checked tablecloths and candles, and it immediately became clear that these were no wannabe musicians but serious professional artists. The stage requirements, timings and announcements were explained in precise detail. 40 minute sound check completed, Al and Kit headed for the Dressing Room. By 7 the first guests arrived and the buzz began to build. 5-minute notice to the Dressing Room, last frantic arrivals and final notice that we’re off – welcome to Live & Local!
For the next 2 hours we were treated to guitar-playing of the very highest order – jazz (Miles Davis’ All Blues/ Pentangle’s I Got a Feeling), several shades of blues, sultry vocals and a virtuoso display of guitar licks traded by Kit and Al as they finished the first set with Dave Brubeck’s Take Five.
The interval was filled with delicious snacks, miraculously appearing from the kitchen, and a raffle courtesy of Nigel with kind donations. There was talk of guitar heroes, of John Martyn, John Renbourn and the great survivor of the bass, Danny Thompson.
The musicians resumed with numbers about celebrity women; Kate Moss, Marilyn Monroe (complete with pink shades), the joy of curling up on the sofa on a winter’s evening and being contrary. We sang along to Riverside of Love and clapped along to a heartwarming encore of Crooked Horn. Along the way, we heard quotes from Purple Haze and Sunshine of Your Love, and a fiddle played through a wah-wah pedal! Wroxall hasn’t seen and heard the like of this before, but judging from the audience response we’ll be enjoying more Live & Local events at Wren Hall.
Kit Holmes and Al Greenwood can next be seen performing at Alrewas Village Hall on 17 February 2019.
Also, if you’ve been inspired by Martin and would like to learn more about bringing great music to your village hall, please take a look at our Promoter Area.