We walked into the Fort and the sound of Grim Fawkner was already resonating around, the guys were prepared for me and seeing they had sold approximately 400 tickets a space to the side had been saved so I would be able to see the whole show. Grim’s is an antipodian musician who’s guitar skills are just unique, I first saw him at Gulliver’s and was mesmerized by his sound. It is so much more than just playing the guitar, it is percussing using the guitar as well. His voice has a deep rich tone and he really did have me enthralled.
Now I’m sure people think I’m really rude when I go to a gig, I don’t speak to many people whilst acts are playing and I will discuss this in another post, which will be quite ranty. I like to concentrate, listen, to focus on what I’m hearing. I don’t think I’m a musical expert but I know what I like and if I don’t listen I can’t have an opinion.
Anyway Grim had to at some point tell the audience about the levels of their noise, yes they were really making far too much noise that hear was fighting a battle to hear himself sing I think. I personally think it’s just bloody rude! These are all talented artistes, they have given up their time to perform for us, the least we can do is shut up and listen.
Following on from Grim was Lucy-May whom I once again had seen a few times that week, it was a repeated set which was just as good as the previous two that week. The songs are catchy and fun Whirlwind always gets you tapping your toes at the end.
D’Arcy we were unsure would even be making an appearance, he had been a topic of discussion over our supper. Just a few days before the event his band had decided that Country Music wasn’t for them, so they walked out! Now giving D’Arcy his due he turned up, got up on that stage before the headline act and gave it his all. It might not have been what he wanted but his story got the Fort fully behind him. Of course being an acoustic set the tempo wasn’t as “warming up” as maybe a highlight act needed but I don’t think that mattered in the end. He offered us a great performance, I wish him every success, I hope he finds his direction be it with a band or as a solo act.
So the stage was set, Wayne came up to make the announcement, here they were after all these years he had done it The Cheap Seats were back at Fort San Antone. The place went wild, one song down and things weren’t right you could see Ethan struggle, feedback!! He ripped off his headmic, he was old school he didn’t want anything that was obviously causing problems. Only the issues continued, it had to be the monitors, the sound engineers flapped about and I could see Andrew getting frustrated. This is where being married to a DJ/sound engineer stresses me out. By now the headline act was saying to the sound guys that it had to be them, nothing had changed since 4pm! Andrew kept mumbling the only thing that had changed was the addition of 400 punters!! He knew what was wrong but couldn’t do anything. Then the performing stopped, the sound was too bad, the decision made they would stop using the in house sound system and bring in their own rig. Andrew jumped up and said I will help, I can engineer it, no one else can. With that he was gone, next he was carrying in speakers and rigging them. Ethan was busy telling tales of the “old days” and in ten minutes the job was done, in fifteen the sound check was completed too.
They were good to go again and suddenly we had a headline act that could actually perform properly this time. They did raise the roof of the Fort too, not only performing country songs but we had some great 80’s covers, it was an awesome mix of tunes from all eras. The place was packed, the dance floor was rocking with line dancers and it really was like the “old days” Sadly all too soon it was the last song and with a bloody long journey to Walsall ahead of us, we didn’t hang around.
Now where to start after three days like that, the first thank you’s have to go to Wayne, Jess and the team at Fort San Antone, yes there were issues with sound but on the whole it was an amazing weekend of music, we won’t remember it for the odd squeal of feedback. We will remember it for bringing together a great lineup of acts, a good bunch of people and making sure we all had fun.
I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to come up and personally say hello, give me a hug and seek me out. You made my weekend a lot more tolerable, it was hard bloody hard that is the nature of chronic illness but I got through it and I will get through the next event too. To Gareth and Dee thank you for my song, as always you make me feel truly special, when I’m feeling at my lowest you have a way of lifting my heart up and just making it that little lighter, so thank you. To Luke, thank you for your shoulder, on Sunday when I had my meltdown, I was cold and in a huge amount of pain, you were just there for me, with a supportive hug and you even made me laugh. To Pete at W21 my team member thank you for your ongoing support always :). My final thank you has to be to my hubby who puts up with so much crap, he gave up his drunken weekend and once again nursed me throughout. It must be impossible and frustrating to sit and watch someone you love in so much pain, to brace them so tight until it hurts to stop the pain but know you are doing it to help. He is always there by my side trying to help but at he same time rushing around trying to help others, as and when they need him, he truly is amazing.
So if you didn’t make it to FSA boy you missed out, but I think you worked that our for yourselves, the buzz on social media has been incessant, the one thing for certain is next year will be a sell out. Count me in !!