Newmillerdam Scout’s Beer Fest 7th July 23

Stan and Dave enjoying some liquid refreshment as the band and audience gather

“DAM” Beer Festival –  Friday, 7th July, 2023 

by Richard Hancock. Videos John Sargent

A year ago at the Newmillerdam Beer Festival we were in the midst of a tumultuous week in politics, as Phill Barr put it, when we were all pondering over whether we were ‘Ready for Rishi’. This time we had more mundane concerns; would our gardens survive the prolonged dry spell and how good was the food at La Forteza, the little Italian restaurant in the Pilkington’s Chevet Hall Gatehouse, just down the road by the lake. John and Linda Sargent had their pre gig tea there and arrived at the Scout HQ full of praise for the food. Eventually twenty two band members arrived and were tuning up in the large tent as the surrounding seats filled up quickly.

It was clear from the start that we would have to contend with a bustling and increasingly noisy scene, it was a Beer Festival after all, and the noise of traffic accelerating up the hill on Barnsley Road. So David made it clear to us that we needed to watch him closely for his cues.

With a break from the traditional Wakeylele Intro opener, we started with Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” which was well received and got us off to a confident start.

Working our way through the first set songs, “Amarillo”, “Any Dream will do” and the ever popular “Bad Moon Rising”, we received an enthusiastic response from the audience. This continued until the break which arrived after “I just want to Dance with you” and “It’s Now or Never”, which was particularly enjoyed. 

I want to Dance with You.

It’s Now or Never

The break gave us a chance to spend those beer tokens and mingle. By the time we regrouped and started our final set with “I’ve got a lovely bunch of Coconuts” to raucous crowd accompaniment , the noise levels had rendered the passing traffic silent.

Weather Medley

At some point in the final set the noise level made things somewhat chaotic, but the atmosphere buzzed. As drinks flowed, we became more of an accompaniment to part of the crowd’s loud chatter. They were enjoying their own banter, but still aware of the music. At the same time many others followed the music, moving around or singing along.

Come up and see me, make me smile.

Amongst our staples like “Love Potion No 9” and “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” were debut’s for “High Noon” and “Trail of the Lonesome Pine”, the latter proving to be difficult because of the conditions and our relative inexperience with it. Finally we signed off with “Zing” to wrap up a hugely enjoyable experience for us and hopefully the audience too; certainly many expressed their pleasure at being there.

Members participating were:

Front Row: Pop Newton, Mike Sidebottom, Linda Sargent, Val Stringer, Dave Burgess.

Middle Row: David Flatters, Mike Hindley, Peter Joule, Margaret Walker, Peter Agnew, Margaret Bennett, Maria Morris, Malcolm Haigh , Beryl Haigh, Elsie Orr. 

Back Row: John Wrigglesworth, Roy Bennett, Richard Hancock, Stan Hollins, Lynn Swann, Carol Davison

Thanks once more to David Broadbent, our leader, for steering the band through some, at times, challenging conditions and to the ever hospitable organiser who also kindly made a donation to Wakefield Hospice.

3 Comments on “Newmillerdam Scout’s Beer Fest 7th July 23

  1. Thanks Richard , well done.
    La Fortezza meal was great and served quickly, it was John’s 75th birthday that day, eldest daughter and her husband joined us. Exhausting but lovely day for me.
    Alison Wainwright arrived early with the collection buckets for Wakefield Hospice , unfortunately during the evening she fell and broke her ankle and had to be rushed to A&E , luckily the collection buckets went with her lol

  2. Well done to all involved – reading Richard’s report was a vivid reminder of how challenging the suuround sounds are at Newmillerdam so it’s fortunate that David knows what he’s doing and that the band obviously respondedl to such good effect.

  3. Thanks Richard and John for a most comprehensive account of events.
    From my position at the front it’s always difficult to ascertain much of what is taking place, other than amongst the members of the band as they “ply their trade”. It’s good therefore to read reassuring reports from those who are able to gain a wider perspective on events as they happen.
    Yes, certainly a challenging ambience, again bringing into question the notion of using microphones/ sound system to overcome the distractions and getting ourselves heard. On occasions like this, however, where we are not “in concert” but mere providers of “background music” then I think using amplification is the wrong option.
    Sincere thanks to all for playing so well – despite the conditions!

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