Broadstairs was brilliant! Allow me to explain...
After a six hour drive (saw Stonehenge at sunset, love it!) to get up there we snuggled, gratefully, into bed ready for a day of dodging flash flooding and thunderstorms although we weren't really aware of the imminent madness on the horizon... until a lightning bolt hit the bay the next day and Ken scarpered at the sound of thunder. I'm the kind of girl that grew up in awe of thunder and lightning but still retained some primal fear of it too so although it was pretty epic it was also a bit frightening, especially when the rain began to fall... but we'll get to that! Gig first :)
We had a quick look at an angry sea whipping waves over the small market on the front, checked out my first board walk and walked it (their sand is very yellow compared to ours) and then after we loaded up on an oreo milkshake - and heard the weather warning first hand - we headed over to the Sailing Club for my acoustic hour slot. What a great crowd! I think we packed that room out and it was so much fun. I'd been wanting to try out some new material and figured this was the set I'd try it in, thank goodness I did! The crowd were very warm and appreciative which has given me some confidence in my new banjo tunes. (Banjo tunes always make me nervous)
I couldn't resist opening the set with 'Red Sky' to suit the weather but half way through 'Seafaring Stranger' the sky literally went black and it felt like we'd been enveloped in chaos. Down came the rain, hard and heavy and soaked us instantly as we made a run for the car. I'd hoped to wear the same outfit for my evening slot but after that it was impossible! I was drenched! So we went back to our house-on-loan, someone had very kindly let out their house to artists for the festival, and I wrote two new songs on banjo and piano although I think I like the latter more. I never get to play piano enough as I don't own one so that was an absolute joy.
Fast-forward and night fell, time for the final main stage gig. Unfortunately the rain hadn't stopped falling and that thunder and lightning that had shuffled through the bay and rumbled away earlier had returned with a vengeance. Multiple powercuts later and we were told the electrician doesn't think it's safe to start yet, would I mind delaying the set. To which I replied, 'I don't think it's safe either!' I remember horror stories in college about the singer in big country being propelled backwards across the stage from a fault in the system so I didn't fancy that. Strangely though the sound engineer still looked on in amazement at my compliance! Anyway it got to a point where it was now or never so with a quick line check I got on stage and delivered my set. The standout moment for me was having us all sing Amazing Grace together, especially in that weather, it was as if time had stopped and we were just in that moment together. Magic.
Awoke the next day to the softest cat lolloping on my arm which put me in a good mood. After an 8 hour drive home the weekend went very slowly for us as we lazed around trying to regain some normality! Although I've left the roads behind I am hitting the trains next week to sheffield to try and finish the new album - which has been being mixed in the background this whole time. I'm hoping I can still make an October launch date but we'll see. Watch this space and wish me luck, been a long time since I've been on a train for that long so I'm expecting cabin fever...
Finally to everyone who came to see me, to everyone who bought an album and to the lovely people who gave us a roof over our heads for two days, thank you!!! You made the final folk festival of the season very special indeed and I hope to see you all again :)