Spring Into Life at the Ridings. Mar 2024.


Wakeylele Spring Into Life at the Ridings.s. 16th March, 2024.

By Philip Barr. Videos/Photos Jenny Sidebottom

As a soggy winter finally draws to an end, and is replaced by early blossom and hosts of daffodils then, on Saturday, it also followed that Wakeylele could discard their fingerless gloves, topcoats and handwarmers even on a day when the Reel cinema was showing ‘Frozen’. Further afield there were other signs of Spring with the annual Cheltenham race festival in full swing and as David yet again fired up his eight – string uke to begin proceedings, he could easily have been thinking of ex football manager, Harry Redknapp’s winning horse: Shakem Up ‘Arry. Mind you, this band of musicians are generally raring to go and were soon bashing out all the familiar tunes including a decent effort at Green Door which made a return to the set list and a lusty rendition of Amarillo.

On a more, as it turned out, poignant note little did we know that Steve Harley would soon no longer be of this Earth as we once more gave a polished performance of his best known song. The interval arrived in no time and it was time to down ukes and either search for a coffee, find a necessarium or in some cases both of these things. 

When the second set resumed shortly after noon with the rowdy Lovely Bunch of Coconuts, I’m sure our ‘Arry would have been happy to join in had he been in the vicinity with his cheeky chappy personality, but in any case the folk of Wakefield were happy enough to join in the fun as the Ridings gradually came to life. Recently introduced songs were braved too with mixed results. Love Really Hurts Without You sounded promising whereas Sit Down was going well until near the end, not helped by the extraneous noise but there’s nothing like more practice to overcome glitches. We made amends with Sunny Afternoon before wrapping up proceeding with a flurry of familiar tunes and another gig was in the bag. 

 Many thanks should go to the redoubtable Yorkshire Air Ambulance staff who had new faces on show. Earlier. when replacing a new watch strap, the manager of the Watch Hospital had spotted my Wakeylele badge and told me all about his Mum having been rescued from an horrendous car crash by an air ambulance which helped to save her life. Thanks yet again to David who is something of an expert at feigning indifference prior to these gigs before his face magically transforms as soon as he strikes the first note of a new performance as he takes note of twenty or more eager faces of his band! Finally, thanks to Jenny for her continued support and kindly agreeing to do some videoing.

David Broadbent

Next up is The White Rose Centre on Thursday, 28th March at 10:30 for11:00.

2 Comments on “Spring Into Life at the Ridings. Mar 2024.

  1. Phil, many thanks for another detailed and well-crafted account of our latest foray into music making.
    With space again somewhat limited, it was thanks to the YAA staff for their stall shifting to give us room to sit and play in greater comfort.
    Sincere thanks too to those, making up what has now become a reliable nucleus of players at these events.
    Regards too to our news team : Phil, Richard and, on this occasion Jennie for the photos and recordings.
    Sorry to revert to the pedant perpetual, but the all-too realistic photo of me (surely taken during “On the Road Again!) shows that on this occasion, no eight -stringer was harmed in the making of this documentary.

  2. Sorry about that David – I’ll have to pretend it was a case of artistic licence/ license instead of owning up to not noticing!

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