We had been asked on a number of occasions to perform some live music for Deb & Les, and as happened we just couldn’t get the dates they wanted as we had already been booked. So this year, a date came in and we had been actually available to play, Hurray!
The reasons for the party and entertainment was that Deb was leaving her job and going into a new one at Liverpool University, she would be leaving behind a team of people under her wing that she had worked with for a long time, a dedicated bunch who did a good job well. They would be giving her a good send off with a ruddy good knees up and their house in Formby.
The day arrived, so we loaded up the van, loaded up some tunes to play in our break and sat our sights on Formby. Around half an hour later we meandered into a housing estate and scouted about for the right house number. As it happened Les was just popping out down the road to take Deb to the pub. It seemed that they planned to all meet at the pub first, get some drinks down them and then come back to the house for the live music and party. It wasn’t long before Les came back and showed us round to the back of the garden, Les had put a decent marquee up for us and provided some shelter should the weather take a turn for the worst.
As we waited for the guests to arrive, Les provided us with some drinks and we chatted about the wedding we had played in North Wales a few years back as that is when they saw us perform the first time. Some time elapsed so we played some background music and awaited the arrival of the guest from the local pub. After a short period Les had said they were all on their merry way..
When the guests arrived Deb was with them and they all gathered round in the garden so we immediately began to play our first song. For this special leaving party we had been asked to play a special son, well 2 special songs actually, one of them was the classic Beatles track “In My Life” the one with the George Martin piano piece in the middle. The second was an old classic jazz type piece called “My Baby Don’t Care For Me” by Nina Simone. Les & Debs had been really appreciative of us learning these special songs and the Nina Simone song had been a special surprise from Les To Debz, so that was a great touch and went down well, despite the fact that it was raining by this point in the evening. As the party disappeared inside thanks to the inclement weather, the chippy order arrived. The local chip chop has won awards for the “Best Chip Chop” and so everyone had been ordered Fish and chips, including us. It was a nice treat and was really nice touch, simple but delicious grub.
After the food had been eaten we played our second set and the rain was coming in, luckily we had been under a little gazebo and it was holding the rain off quite well. As it was only the last few songs we had Deb & Les come out barefooted on the grass to dance the last few songs away.
Afterwards it was time to go inside and mingle with the guests who had taken refuge inside. Whilst inside we listened to an arrangement that had been specially written to the song of “All Things Bright and beautiful” by Deb’s colleagues. They gave everyone a sheet of paper to sing the words, a bit of an inside joke on their behalf though it was quite funny.
Later on a man had asked could hear play a song on my guitar. Always reluctant to have anyone who’s had a drink or two to play the guitar, you never know what might happen. It seemed that he was a sound chap, had played music all his life, and had been asked by Debs to give the guests a song. At first it was a hard call to make and we had thought about us leaving so declined initially, though after he asked a second time, we gave him a chance. It actually turned out rather well, he played a finger picked song and it was a nice song, one of his own that he had written a few years ago about his father. SO that turned out rather well, and he was really respectful as regards to the instrument, a true gent.
The party it seemed would go on into the small hours and it was time for us to leave, we said our goodbyes to Les & Debs and wished her well in her new job. Thanks a lot for having us and we hoped the rain didn’t dampen your spirits too much, we finally managed to play for you both.