Our big, open to all, VIP guests and bring your Granny Gala Presentation was in the Kilbarchan Performing Arts Centre on the 1st of December.
For those of you unfamiliar with KPAC, it’s the new incarnation of the Memorial Hall on Steeple Square. Much of the character of the old church remains but it now houses a small theatre. This was my Grannie’s church. James the Hat and I assisted Brian the manager to set the tables out café style before heading for the kitchen to boil water and wash cups. I deployed the tried and tested, “Oh I can’t wash or dry the dishes due to my dermatitis.” James the Hat produced a pair of rubber gloves and put my gas at a peep.
Out in the auditorium the sound and vision guys were testing their gear, should anyone attend they were in for a treat. I’d always said we should do this large.
We put out the cakes; my fairy cakes, James’s spanish cake and Dot’s hand made Tesco biscuits. It was twenty past seven and not a single person had shown up. This was beginning to have all the hallmarks of a party for the unpopular kid.
And then the blessed Helen arrived, and then more folks, the band turned up, the place filled up and suddenly we had a full house and my backside stopped making buttons.
There was frantic tuning of drones in the wings and I ran about meeting and greeting and flapping. About 8 o’clock James and I stepped onto the stage and started the evening off. When the first part of the show burst into life it was huge, people gasped. Full size cinema screen HD projection with dolby surround sound (in non technical speak; it was even bigger than your telly, pin sharp and very loud). Everything was shaping up well when at nine minutes 36 seconds it froze, Number One son (sound guy) looked perplexed and was frantically doing sound and vision resuscitation stuff while I ran out of anecdotes on stage. After the briefest of hiatuses (?) play resumed. I think my old Granny was letting us know she disapproved of her church being used for such frivolities.
During the break the band played on stage, this was their second performance of the night as they were at the Erskine Hospital Tree of Honour ceremony earlier in the evening. We have attended the Erskine Tree ceremony for quite a few years now; this was a mild one where nobody lost any fingers to frostbite. As a band we support the work of Erskine and were very honoured to be awarded a Centenary Medal at this years ceremony.
Most of the adult players have put their instruments away and it’s Mikey, Isy and Wee Rubber (drummers don’t count they never grow up) with the kids playing a few sets of tunes culminating in Battle of the Somme before we settle back for the second part which runs without a hitch and then I spring the third part on them before Isy thanks everyone who attended and those who raised money and those people and organisations who contributed to us being able to visit France this year. I was going to put the show on here but have been asked to make it into a DVD which you can have for a small donation.
The Erskine Tree parade was the first of the Season of Lights parades we do at this time of year. It’s usually very cold and very uplifting. The second was Beith, this was a victim of Storm Frank last year, it’s not a long march and the mercury remains above 0°C as we lead Santa through the village to the delight of the crowds thronging the streets. We were on home turf the following Monday in Steeple Square for the Kilbarchan lights with him off the radio, George Bowie. The event was underway when Pipey declared us fit to be heard and we had to sneak in behind the choir during a carol. My pipes were playable due to the application of hemp to leaky joints and porridge for breakfast. The junior band played Jingle Bells and then Annabella sang for the crowd with KPB dancing behind her. After the impressive lights were turned on by the School Queen we sloped off to Habbies for a warming pint and some chips. Nae soup Fraser, whit’s that awe aboot?
The Christmas party is in a couple of weeks.