Jazz musicians are rarely enthusiastic about playing
al fresco gigs, but our annual visit to Barrington Court - a truly idyllic National Trust property - never fails to give us a whole lot of pleasure, and hopefully pleases the audience, too! As with any outdoor event in the UK, the weather tends to be crucial, but the Barrington Court crowd manage to turn out year after year in their droves, completely undeterred by whatever the Weather Gods may throw at them ... add to this what seems to be something of a very favourable micro-climate protecting the venue from most meteorological extremes, and you have the recipe for a weekend 'double-whammy' in which the band, the audience, and the National Trust staff are all made very happy!
This year, we left our respective home bases (dotted around Somerset and Dorset) in pouring rain, anticipating a very wet gig ... however, as we arrived and began setting up, the skies cleared, the sun emerged, and soon we were playing under blue skies - with just a few scudding clouds - to a fine audience arrayed in a typically British wide range of outfits, from full outdoor trekking gear and all-enveloping weatherproof blankets to t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops ... not to mention an impressive array of al fresco dining equipment including camping chairs and tables, sumptuous picnics complete with ice buckets and fizz, plus (of course) umbrellas placed discreetly to hand - an impressive example of an optimistic "Don't let the weather put you off!" philosophy ...
We amused ourselves by playing a selection of weather-related numbers, like I Get The Blues When It Rains, The Clouds Will Soon Roll By, and Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall - though we didn't want to tempt fate by including Stormy Weather. As has become traditional, the herd of cows in the big field beyond the magnificent Barrington lawn soon strolled up to the boundary to have a listen, and seemed reasonably content with this year's performance. The local management made us most welcome, as they always do, and kindly plied us with National Trust Pimms, cider and other welcome
refreshment. Best of all, they invited us back next year, and we've already entered it on our Calendar! Thanks again to the Barrington Court management for their annual invitation to provide Jazz On The Lawn, and to our splendid audience on both days who were completely undeterred by pessimistic weather forecasts! See you all again next year!