It was a real treat for us to play in such an historic venue - the first Arts Centre in the UK to be opened with Arts Council support, way back in 1946! Most of us hadn't played here before, and we were immediately impressed by the well-maintained theatre, the attendant facilities, and the eclectic mix of visual and performing arts on offer - clearly a vibrant cultural hub, and a big tribute to the volunteers helping to run it. Lucky Bridgwater!
Not only were we treated to a packed house, but the management of the Centre had clearly also managed to hand-pick a fantastic audience for us! Right from our opening number they were enthusiastically supportive and most appreciative of our efforts - even to the extent of laughing in all the right places at our Supreme Leader's general witticisms and sundry anecdotes from jazz history ... this will doubtless encourage him further!
To add to our delight, we were most fortunate to secure the expert services of a fine bass player for this concert. As noted on our Band page, since Pete Ward's retirement we have generally tended to work without a double bass unless a specific occasion demands it, but this was certainly a gig where a bass would indeed enhance our performance on a proper theatre stage. Our old friend Mike Kennedy (all the way from South Wales) kindly joined us down here in Bridgwater, and - as always - contributed his supremely competent, energetic drive to the ensemble. His presence was the proverbial icing on the jazz cake, and, as we signed off with 'Til We Meet Again, we felt that we'd enjoyed playing for this splendid audience in their fine, historic building just as much as they'd evidently enjoyed our performance. We very much hope for a further invitation in the future!