We were really delighted to be back (at last!) at Cheap Street Church in Sherborne, where we have not only enjoyed playing many a concert over several years hosted by Raymond Wood and his splendid team, but where we have recorded our last two CDs. In fact, it dawned on us, while we were setting up, that tonight's concert was taking place twenty months to the day since we recorded Old Man Blues. The recording was made on that notable Wednesday in March 2020 which preceded the first Covid Lockdown by a few days ... and time hasn't exactly flown since then!
This was our first actual concert since we returned to playing, although we have played a very small number of sessions in pubs and clubs since resumption. The Church has long been among our very favourite spaces in which to perform, as it always provides a near-perfect acoustic, a great audience, and a Steinway grand piano - not to mention interval refreshments of a very high calibre! On this occasion, an array of very fine salmon sandwiches (healthy brown bread, of course) was on offer, and had been prepared specially by Raymond himself, as if he were not already busy enough! This presumably explained the absence of his usual 'trademark' bow tie, generally very snazzy and jazzy, and, we recall, often accompanied by a similarly eye-catching waistcoat!
It was great to play to such a sizeable (and enthusiastic!) audience, given the on-going Covid situation, and we hope very much that a good sum was raised to support the Church's enterprising outreach work. The icing on the cake was an email sent to Mike Denham following the concert : "Brilliant concert by the SCS at the Cheap Street church last night. It's wonderful how the spirit of traditional jazz gives a youthful vigour to all your team - not least Hamish Maxwell!" We all loved the (highly appropriate!) phrase 'youthful vigour', though the front line of the band claim it referred specifically to them!
Thanks so much to Raymond and his team for the invitation, and we hope to return with even greater youthful vigour in the not too distant future! Hopefully, by then Raymond will have reinstituted his bow tie tradition!