It has been an eventful few days in the world of BardsBarter, experiencing both the good and the not so good…
After enjoying a bit of a lie-in on Friday morning, we decided that we needed to brave the cycle in to Bath a few hours earlier than usual, so Nathan could sort issues with his bank, Darius could see his girlfriend Beth and we could attempt to busk for a few particular items that we needed (batteries, a tea towel and some bread). Nathan’s issues were completely out of his control, with his energy supplier back home deciding to take money out of his account when they shouldn’t have, putting him over his overdraft limit, therefore incurring daily charges for being overdrawn. It is ironic that even when we are not using money – not even handling it – that we cannot escape the monetary system. After popping into the bank and managing to reduce his charges – thanks to the very understanding bank manager – we proceeded to busk, and once again we were mighty successful, with people feeling our performance worthy of exchanging for all of the items we needed (bar a loaf of bread – but that came later). Darius then whisked Beth off on a romantic walk around Bath, leaving Tom and Nathan shivering in the cold night air for an hour, until we all reconvened at the Hobgoblin for our gig at 8.
We were all slightly unsure how the show would go down in this context. It was a Friday night at a rocker’s pub in the centre of Bath, and then we show up…in dresses…trying to grab people’s attention and get them involved. It is fair to say that it was a difficult show, with by far our most challenging audience yet. From the outset we were fighting a losing battle, with most people deciding to continue their Friday night drinking and talking as loud as possible; some even seemed determined to make our show as difficult as possible. The consummate professionals we are we soldiered on, trying to entertain the select few who seemed remotely interested. It was a strange situation and one we had not experienced in the project thus far, but it gave us a challenge and also a lot to think about; particularly why it was so hard and if there was anything we could have done to make it any more successful. On reflection we concluded the venue was not the right place to try our show, as it seemed the people in there were not interesting in adding something new to their Friday nights, therefore never really giving us a chance. Overall, not our greatest night and although the manager, Darren did give us a bag of food (including a loaf of bread), we left feeling pretty crap.
We were due to part ways for the first time in over two weeks (although it feels like much longer!), with Darius joining Beth for the evening, while Tom and Nathan set out to investigate the night life in Bath. It is fair to say that a disappointing performance made way for a very enjoyable time for all.
Saturday went up in smoke, with us as a collective achieving very little due to the amount of energy exerted the night before. We did a few chores, wrote some diary and chilled…
It took us quite a while to rise on Sunday morning and we set about tidying the place and making adjustments to our bikes, both in preparation for our cycle into Bath for our show at The Porters in the evening, as well the impending arrival of Nadine, Nathan’s girlfriend, who was coming down to visit. It was a beautiful day, tops off and frisbee…who would have thought it in the middle of November!!!
After helping the local head of the parish council, Hugh to protect his chicken pen from rats, Nathan got a call from Nadine saying that massive car issues meant she couldn’t come down. He was feeling pretty down, but the shenanigans of the evening certainly helped to take his mind off it!!!
Janet and Erica were going in to town to volunteer at the Bath Film Festival, so kindly offered to take all our costume and instruments in their car for us, giving us a spare key so that they could text/call and let us know where they were parked so we could get it ourselves when we got in. This sounded like a great idea…until it came to 7pm and we still hadn’t heard from them! We cycled like mad men all round Bath, going to every location we could think they might be or may have parked their car. Eventually we caught up with them just before 8pm, half an hour before we were supposed to start at The Porters. Turns out Janet’s phone can’t call or text ours at all, no matter how much she tries. What a kerfuffle! Our show eventually went ahead, after some beautiful vegetarian cuisine, with quite a few people we knew in the audience. The rest of the crowd were also really engaged and got right into it, particularly the rather inebriated girls in the corner! It all went really well…possibly our best performance to date, and after a couple of drinks and a good laugh, we cycled back with all our gear to Wellow. The cycle to and from Bath is getting easier and easier now, although it was a blessed relief that once we got back we don’t have to cycle anywhere for a few days.
Not quite making meditation this morning, we arose rather slowly and began making our way to Wellow Village Hall, to perform for the pre-school, reception and Year 1 of the local primary school. We performed The Nun’s Priest’s Tale for the kids, which went down really well. They all seemed really engaged and we managed to hold most of the kids’ attention for the whole of the show, with our stupid colourful costume, silly accents and expressions. The show went down so well with the teachers as well – so much so that we are going to be performing at three more primary schools in the local area over the coming week or two. Pictures and video of our recent performances can be seen below.
Finally, something to ponder: “Above all, money was a function of faith. It required an implicit and universal social consent that was indeed mysterious. To create money and use it, each one must believe and everyone must believe. Only then did worthless pieces of paper take on value.” – William Greider.