Mudcat Café message #2333559 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110212   Message #2333559
Posted By: Richard Bridge
05-May-08 - 05:05 PM
Thread Name: Rochester Sweeps (UK)
Subject: RE: Rochester Sweeps (UK)
Credit where credit is due on the charity front Growler - Elizabeth took the tin off your table and WORKED that room for contributions.

How is your faceache?

John, flattery will get you everywhere! I thought Jan's song was a cracker. The best I've ever heard her put a song across. The chaps with the big voices behind you were good too, and Paul is a professional quality guitarist. It was nice to hear PJ do traditional stuff.

The few bits I heard from the diddlers in the evening were damn good too. I noticed two of Rocas there and I gather more were there Sat afternoon.

A great shame that Bob and Kath were unable to make the festival, and much hoping that Kath is better soon. Their room was unmanned Monday lunchtime - maybe a better room can be co-opted for next year: the wash from the PA from the front bar does intrude and the room is too small.

All in all, with the help of the weather, one of the best Sweeps for years.

Now suggestions for next year:

Still hunting for another good singing/playing venue.

Vic and Bull might be a possible after refurbishment?

Or twist the arm of the bloke with the George Vaults! If he would put some barrels and a decent barman in the vaults it would make a PERFECT singing venue, and from the way both Dal and the Gordon sold out of beer he could unload a rake of beer and make a good profit.

Or the Cooper's Arms?

Or the downstairs bar at the Queen Charlotte?

Pigs Ear put in a huge amount of work and seemed less supported than ideal. A method of pre-booking or turning up and putting names down to be their "friend" and perform on their stage by the City Wall wine bar would be good.

The "retro-folk" concert was one of those "Eureka" ideas. Great to hear Martin Harris back doing both Smashie and Nicey, fielding the reminders of his BBC local radio folk program. Next year bully the long-suffering Jay with the PA rig into getting a proper pre-gig sound check with the bands and with Martin, to solve the great mysteries of life like how best to capture the sound of classical guitars, banjos, and dulcimers that have not been designed to plug in (and eliminate "piezo quack" from undersaddle pickups). There is only so much that even a good sound man can do "on the fly" and I know he has some toys in his goody bag that he must have left at home that could have gone a way to solving the sound problems. Also next year, can any of the "Brewery" all-stars be inveigled out of retirement? And of course the "Tundra" re-union gig is a must.

The final kvetch (for the moment) would be the bogs in the castle gardens. If the public en masse are going to be in the castle gardens then they need to be able to be sanitary rather than bears in the woods (or at least bears on the floor). Maintenance crew, cleaning crew, and rows of regularly cleaned and inspected (and emptied) portaloos. The Black Death may be traditional but we don't want it back. The council needs firmly to be leant on.