As we travel further on up the road we have a quick recap of the situation. Helen was due to pick a third harmony to complement Jules’s vocal but since we are currently deprived of her talents generally and Clare Torry-esque signature feature in Faith in Myself specifically, Shev suggests that this might create the opportunity for a flute solo instead. “Oh, and since she isn’t going to be taking the main harmonies you might as well do those as well. Think of it as having been down in the programme to play spear carrier and turning up to the theatre to find that you’re now principal boy". There is the slightest of pauses from the back seat. “Do you think we could listen to the album through one more time?” Helen says.
Upon arrival Tony is quickly appraised of what I meant by ‘a boutique festival’. I had sold it to him on the premise that although a bijou affair, the audience would be principally comprise bloggers and forumistas, and so what they lacked in numbers they would more than be making up for in terms of vociferousness. Maybe using the word ‘festival’ had been mildly misleading. Perhaps ‘showcase’ might have been a better word. “I’m beginning to think I may have oversold this to you” I confess. “Ya think?” he replies, Gobi-dry. “Did you keep the receipt for the diesel?” I ask. There is the subtlest gesture of assent, his visage a picture worth a good half dozen choice words. “It’s not a big college town” I reassure him. Come show time however, buoyed by the free bar, the company and the prospect of a complimentary barbecue to follow, game faces are on. Badinage is batted forth, the obligatory promotional plugs are delivered and (I shouldn’t be surprised) La Mulley plays a blinder – emoting and purring her way through the set like she’d been singing these songs her whole summer. “It’s amazing how you all fit together” remarks a post-gig admirer. “It is. It really is” I agree.
*To be fair, he was on a tourist tour, but he did get to play Your Cheatin’ Heart onstage during a photo opportunity.