It’s all about Drew..
There’s a common phrase that behind every great man there’s a great woman – of course, ignoring the simplistic assumptions around sexuality and dated notions around gender-equality it’s a nice sentiment. The reason it sprang to mind when finally getting around to write about Drew’s 50th birthday bash which happened last weekend is that he and Adele kinda turn that on its head. Whilst Nana is the public face of the kitchen that bears her name, Drew is the ever-dependable dude there too.
Anyway, I digress. For months Adele had been plotting a surprise party for Drew to be hosted at the Black Market Venue in Warsop. Why I’ve felt compelled to write about a private party on here is that every person in the room bar one, indeed, the room itself, were only known to me either directly or indirectly because of Ferocious Dog. Folk met at gigs or festivals all of which I attended because of the spark the band provided and ignited me into a sometimes non-stop gig and festival going machine.
We had arrived in Warsop early – I’d picked up Ella and Dave from Loughborough station and after a tea stop at home we headed straight up there via grabbing Andy in Clifton. So there was time aplenty for chat with the other attendees before we were ushered into the main hall at the back. It’s been lovingly redecorated since I last went and we were soon all clustered behind the curtain in front of the main stage. Drew was ostensibly just being taken for a drink in the bar area with a few local folk ahead of a trip to Nottingham the next day to see The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican.
I discovered a few things in the darkened recess – as a collective, silence proved a real challenge – more so for the adults than the kids in attendance, but as we got the warning that our guest of honour approached the shout of SURPRISE and singing of happy birthday was a lovely moment. Drew had absolutely no idea – I’m not sure how he didn’t – but the look of shocked delight on his face was an absolute picture. Clearly slightly uncomfortable at being thrust into the limelight, he soon adjusted to the notion and had a fantastic night.
Denzileo was doing a great job of providing the music – Altered Images’ Happy Birthday greeted Drew into the room and before long Adele emerged from near the stage wielding a guitar-shaped cake bedecked with sparklers. An array of gifts and cards were left on a table, and a tantalising buffet was sitting mocking a very hungry me with its promise of foody goodness. It was just a lovely lovely moment. We talk about festival/gig family a lot – and here it was, come to life.
That wasn’t all we had in store either – live music from Brad Dear, Blind Fever Band and The Star Botherers got folk dancing – it was an odd ‘gig’ in the sense that most people knew each other, so there was plenty of chatter as you’d inevitably get, for me there were lots of familiar faces but of course of many there were further flung people (not least for Drew and Adele – they are from Plymouth after all!) eager to catch up with one another, although plenty of others danced and sang along to the music.
During The Star Botherers set Tim had wanted one last chance to make me feel awkward on his shoulders, we nearly went for it but I piked out at the last minute – instead directing Tim’s attention to Drew who really was the man who should be put in the spotlight for this occasion. So after an initial bit of confusion it was the birthday boy who ascended to the heady heights to watch a song from on high – and be seemed to love the experience!
Part way through Brad’s set the buffet had opened and didn’t disappoint – being the designated driver there was no drinking for me, but plenty of fun to be had – but the real reason for the post is to reflect that this is what live local music does. Beyond providing entertainment it brings people together who otherwise wouldn’t have met – this accelerates when you throw festivals into the mix, but I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to have these people in my life.
Indeed, my Ferocious Dog inspired re-acquaintance with the joy of live music has not only netted me an expansive and awesome network of friends – it’s the root cause of my relationship with Ella. How amazing is that?
A very Merry Christmas to you all if I don’t update before then.