After a prolonged pandemic absence from performing, Candi’s Dog returned to the stage at Harewood House last week. With our last gig so far in the past we were a bit uneasy, wondering if we could still play (or if we ever could), but rather than dip our toes back in the water we waded in nipple deep with three gigs in a row.
We couldn’t have picked a better weekend for it with blue skies, warm sunshine and the beautiful grounds of Harewood House. There were people too; lots of them enjoying the sunshine, live music and the tasty offerings of the Great British Food Festival. Also enjoying the tasty offerings were the red kites which we discovered live on rodents, scavenged food and dead things.
We took to the stage on the first day almost euphoric to be back doing what we love and this propelled the first couple of songs along nicely. After that, however, we were showing signs of our absence limping terribly through one or two songs, trying not to fall apart with the red kites hovering expectantly over the stage. To be expected, I guess, after so long away and we quickly recovered to give a performance we were really happy with.
The shock to the system of suddenly performing again was nothing, however, compared to the trauma of finding ourselves together, day and night for three days. It is fair to say we each have certain peculiarities, which on their own may be a mild irritation but mixed three ways and baked in a tent at thirty degrees become somewhat volatile and explosive, needing only a spark to ignite.
That spark turned out to be scrabble. First chess had been played with great civility. Minor skirmishes broke out during Uno Flip, particularly over whether it was a kids’ game but full scale war broke out on the scrabble board. The word ‘war’ represents very well the state of play, both due to the bitter conflict and the three letter spelling of most of the words on the board. Words were challenged, but disagreements could not be resolved because of disagreements over which dictionary to use. A scrabble dictionary, or a dictionary of the English language. More explosive yet; is the letter n spelt en? Or just, well, ’n’. Normally warring parties can turn to the UN to mediate, but with those initials how could we?
Arguments or not, by day three we felt we were well and truly back. Candi’s Dog were running like a finely tuned machine, our Yorkshire fan club was in attendance, the sun was shining, people were dancing and the kites were swooping down on leftover pizza. Goodwill returned and we came home happy; until I had to relive it all to write this blog.