Yesterday was a very musical one for the Squidges.
I love music - if I had to describe my taste, it would have to be 'eclectic'. On my CD shelf, you're just as likely to find Madness or Muse, 80's electric pop, rock'n'roll, Eurythmics, Ray LaMontagne, carols or Taize chants. It all depends on my mood... I'd have to say I'm a singer rather than an instrumentalist, though. I can just about read music (in that I know where to go up and down and roughly how long to hold the notes) but I learn most pieces by ear, copying what I hear.
Anyway, Squidges Junior were both appearing in a school Spring Concert last night. Between them, they were in the orchestra, Rock Club Band and Singing Club Choir, playing bass guitar, violin and singing. We'd heard nothing but Spring Concert stuff for days, they were so excited - and we weren't disappointed.
The drama studio was set up the 'wrong way round', so the audience were on the floor and the artists up on the steps which usually provide seating. There were flowers and chocolates on the tables, refreshments being served, and enough time before the performance to chat to other parents and teachers. The programme itself was pretty varied, with pieces performed by clubs, GCSE music students and soloists - there are some very talented young musicians out there. My favourite (and I admit, I'm probably biased) was Rock Club's version of 'The Final Countdown', complete with rocket launch projection and the music teacher, Mr P, rocking out on his guitar for the solo.
Plans are, I believe, already being laid for the summer concert and a twenty minute Rock Club set at another school's summer fair. I think I'm going to end up being a groupie...
But it didn't end there. Mr Squidge and I thrust the kids into the waiting arms of a babysitter and headed off down to our Town Hall straight afterwards to see Suggs.
Have I mentioned Madness is on my CD shelf? I've always enjoyed their music, so a chance to hear Suggs, their frontman, talk about his life and early Madness days was not to be missed.
It was abso-flippin-bloomin'-lutely brilliant! Not just because Suggs is a consummate showman, whose personality oozes through the mix of words and music and theatricals, not even because the show was a perfect balance of humour, dark moments and character observation which wove together past and present in a seamless mix, but because I have never laughed so much in a long time. Even the programme (and goodness me, it weren't cheap!) was a work of art; I sat and read it in the interval, and found this little snippet...
'I think it's the Icelanders who say there are only two real things in life; love and a good story.'
Sounds pretty good to me.