I had been booked for this show for for feels like ages! As I have written about in previous blogs I have been in touch with Mister Keith for a little while. K:Fest is the annual festival he hosts in a Manor House in Derbyshire. Personally invited guest spend the weekend in various creative activities and experiences and this year was including Mister Keith and the Lady of the Manor getting married too! The Manor House is a stunning venue full of vintage wooden features and long corridors.
Rachel and I drove up and arrived at the entrance drive which was surrounded by grand trees and farmland. As we parked and got in we found Kel Elliot and her band soundchecking. I’ve not seen Kel for a while and it is always brilliant to listen to her jazz blues sound again. Once they finished we were able to take our time setting up and getting the sound right. Once all the technical bits and bobs were done we were able to explore some of the buildings features and then head for the welcoming evening meal. This was brilliant! Freshly cooked lasagna, bread and salad, basically a feast! Rachel and I sat with Kel, Kelvin and Hugh and chatted about shows and songwriting. A marvellous way to start the evening.
We then headed in to play our show in a room that was rather like the library, it really was very atmospheric. A lovely attentive audience listened and clapped along and everyone sounded wonderful singing along with Power of Love. The stage was lit by Keith’s amazing wooden light stands and brilliant light bulbs. Now you might think this sounds a bit geeky but I really like lightbulbs! During my fine art degree I did a lot of work around lightbulbs so yes I am a bit of a lightbulb geek! Anyway, the rest of the show was lovely and I really enjoyed playing.
After the set I headed into the huge kitchen and made us both a coffee! There was the biggest fridge you have ever seen in this kitchen! It was quite a mission to find the milk but I did succeed! Kel Elliot and her band were brilliant. Kel has been involved with a project and hearing peoples stories from World War 1 and turning these stories into songs. She played a few of these songs during her set. Sadly we weren’t able to stay for the whole set as the journey home was quite long. So after our coffees we said our goodbyes and thank yous then started our journey back home to Coventry.
K:Fest is a wonderful example of creative people doing things for themselves and having a wonderful time doing it. It had a very special vibe at The Manor House and I hope that one day I can return to experience it again.
Big thanks to Jo Buckley for the photos of my performance.