Our return to the Arundel Festival went well. Perhaps not as tight as we could have been but very well received by the audience nonetheless, which included our esteemed former leaders Anne and Chris! Our main performance was between 1630 - 1700 on the Jubilee Stage although as things were running late, we didn't take our places until about 1640. The artists' area behind the stage was tiny this year and not really feasible for all of us to gather in, so a rather cramped group assembled at the side entrance to the stage to listen to the last few songs of an excellent young lady opera singer.
Linda T did a great job on her first occasion at a major event leading about 35 of us in the singing whilst I made an attempt at linking. We sung Drink Me Brave Boys, Shepherd of the Downs, Old Adam, Life of a Man, West Sussex Drinking Song, Thousands or More and Rolling in the Dew, none of which we had sung at last year's festival. We made a few slips but these were more than covered up by our sheer numbers, the overall weight of the sound and the amplification.
Earlier on, about 15 of us wandered up to Tarrant Street and entertained the festival goers there, to good effect and appreciative applause. Songs sung were drawn from those we had sung in the main event last year, namely Hard Times of Old England, Green Grow the Laurel, Nightingale, Fathom the Bowl, Come Write Me Down, Rosebuds in June, Twanky Dillo, On Sussex Hills, finishing with Jolly Good Song. I led the singing for this set (after a fashion: on one song, I managed to try and start us using the melody line from another - DOH!)
So roll on 2014 - I hope we can negotiate a later start time: at 5pm, the sun has just dipped below the back of the stage so that the audience can actually see us as well as hear us!
Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come - especially those who supported the earlier street singing. It's events like these that help us reach a much wider audience which in turn helps to secure new members.