Yesterday saw the live debut of “Our Lovely Day”. It was unheralded because it looked unlikely to happen. The venue was in the “Scoop” which is a sunken stage next to London’s City Hall and it is surrounded by stone steps that are supposed to be seats. If it rains, bands aren’t allowed to perform, and it looked very likely to rain yesterday. But Andrea Kmecova (piano), Orpheus Papafillippou (violin), Nick Ball (percussion, spoons), John Baker (double bass) and Matt Redman (guitar, mandolin, banjo, melodica, glockenspiel on this occasion) all came out and stood by, dressed in their best Parlour Exhibition Band finery. Orpheus had a top-hat, Matt had a Fedora and large pinstripes, John wore a mourning-coat with tails, Nick was 1930s with a bowler hat, Andrea in black velvet with silk flowers. I wore a creation from my favourite boutique, Nataya.
Our Lovely Day features about thirty different instruments, though never all at once, and these new arrangements by Matt Redman take what he and Nick arranged for the album and make them work with this particular ensemble, all of whom feature on the CD. We can now tour Our Lovely Day!
In the end it didn’t rain, and what was more, our music drew people in. In fact, the crowd stretched all the way to the Thames. People of all ages including a school outing came and sat down. I could see the astonished faces of some elderly couples as they heard songs their grandparents used to sing coming forth from this essentially rock-and-roll bandstand. I looked out occasionally for Boris Johnson’s tousled blond head poking out of a window in City Hall. I think he’d have loved us. We performed “Always”, “Did You Ever See A Dream Walking”, “Yours”, “Button Up Your Overcoat”, “That Lovely Weekend” and “Come to the Fair”, and we are ready for the tour circuit!!