What a night! I'm in awe of the incredible musicians who turned out to help support Midland at Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington on Saturday - and in awe of the audience who turned out, bought entry tickets (and raffle tickets) and generally gave their support.
First up was singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin, who laced the little basement venue with a series of darkly funny ballads.
The next act to grace the stage was the extraordinary father and daugher duo, Stephen and Hannah O'Driscoll. Their unique vocal harmonies and quirky lyrics (you can hear a snippet on the video included with this post) held us spellbound.
After that Will Phipps stunned us with some guitar virtuosity and a song from his wonderful album Fly Away, Crazy Days, which is available on Bandcamp and which I highly recommend.
Then we all stood around looking cool for a bit:
or checked out Molly's fabulous knees:
and when we got bored of that I gave a reading from Midland. It must've been good because this shot of it makes me look like it happened between Miles Davis sets at the Village Vanguard in 1955 (am I pleased by being able to make that comparison? Yes, I am - I am really, really pleased... I've actually lived my whole life just for this precise moment):
Once the angst was out of the way the estimable Mulready sisters, Nora and Molly - who had organised the whole evening (THANK YOU GUYS!) - livened things up with some serious fiddle music.
Which brought us to the climax of the night, a set by Paul Maddog Guinness, who was accompanied by Nora and Molly and an outstanding flautist by the name of Monique. Paul even sang Dirty Old Town, which brought the house down.
It was all really very special, and I still can't quite believe that it happened. Thank you SO MUCH once again to all who took part, to Ryan's Bar for hosting, and to Sean Geer for taking all these wonderful photographs - apart from the colour one at the end, which I snapped on my sister-in-law's phone because I'd left my own phone behind Monique's seat on the stage.
No matter! Sean's pictures were far superior to mine, you can see all the ones he took here, and there are some other short musical clips to give you a flavour in this playlist I whacked up on YouTube.
And you know what? It was so good, we should do it again sometime. Just for the pure joy of it.
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