Last night, Friday 12th December, 2009, was a big night for us as it was the launch party for Jim's debut album "On These Dark Nights". We've been planning the event for quite a while, deciding on the venue, the entertainment and who to invite. Luckily everything just seemed to fall perfectly into place and everyone who braved the stormy night to head down to The Hidden Lane Cafe had a brilliant time. The event was scheduled to run from 6.00 p.m. till 9.00 p.m. but folk started arriving at 5.00 p.m. and the last of the guests left around 10 p.m.
Friends, family, musicians, poets and party animals all turned out to support Jim and he was joined in providing the evening's entertainment by Michael Clarke (of Acoustic Butterfly) and the poet Aidan MacEoin. Today has been great as we have been receiving lots of calls, emails and texts from people singing the praises of the guys who put on the show and for the CD.
Issi and Val, already superfans, were delighted that Jim played their favourite song 'Sunday Morning', which he dedicated to them both. They still love it - even although the song has a new arrangement on the CD.
We had a lovely message from Basia and John first thing this morning:
"Tell Jim that the gig was wonderful. We're listening to the CD this morning over breakfast. Fab voice and love the words".
Fine praise from one of our favourite poets.
Gill Maxwell, who knows a thing or two about music, also got in touch to say:
"Said it before, say it again, the songs, geetaring and inter-song banter are great, ... please keep us in the loop re future gigs. We'd love to come along and bring friends.
Pleased to hear that Gill's partner, David, also enjoyed the performance and although he was initially a bit perturbed to learn that there was a poet in the line up he's now a big Aidan fan. Michael Clarke, as per usual, charmed the socks off everyone and looks like he'll be seeing a lot of fresh faces at his Lazy Sundays at The Hidden lane Cafe.
Jim's mum and dad were pretty proud of their son and thoroughly enjoyed their night out, all the way from Clydebank without the car. Anne, Jim's sister, braved the Friday night traffic to drive through from Edinburgh. Paul came up from England and John all the way from Trinidad (well bit of poetic license, he was coming home for Christmas) but great to see him and Margaret along for the gig.
My brother Danny had a special night out with his daughter, Danielle, and my other brother, Liam, came along with the Old Kilpatrick contingent: Dougie Wilkinson (Clannandrumma), Joe, Lynn and Maureen and Jim. Ann Morgan and her workmates dropped by and the Clydebank lassies, Val, Eileen, Susan, accompanied by Mary, were in great form.
Long time friends from the world of entertainment including Julie Henry (Frances Anthony and the Underworld), David Rogers (The Hemingways and Dexter Slim and the Pickups) and his brother Paul also made it along. Chris (Hercules Mandarin) popped by for a little while and Robert Ruthven (The Creeping Charlies and Hyper Star) joined Jim in playing a couple of very old numbers, 'Tenderness' and 'Daddy's Car' - both on the album.
It was quite a family affair as Aidan brought his lovely daughters Sorcha and Nell and Kathy Sharp came along with her son Iain. Issi and Davie were joined by Maggs and her brother Ricky and Stephanie Spindler, who organises the Art Exhibitions at The Hidden Lane, popped by with her husband Adam.
Thanks especially to all the folk, who shrugged off assorted viruses and came along and drowned their sorrows and those like, Catherine, who came alone because their partners were poorly.
Lots of folk couldn't make it because of Office Parties - athough didn't stop Charlie - but don't worry because we had such a good time that I think the next party will be same venue, guests and entertainment. It sure was a winning formula.
In the lead up we had a lot of worries getting the CD together with the design phase proving particularly problematic but everyone seemed to approve of the end result. However, I have laughed all day at the conversation I had with Jimmy, Jim's dad, who said that he loved the photograph on the cover (one of Jim's taken from our flat) but asked "Who's the wee man in the corner?". He didn't recognise his son without his specs:-).
Thanks to Audrey, who made the catering look so easy - you make a great pot of soup and to a Christmas Angel, Lesley, who turned up out of the blue, waved a magic wand and suddenly we had fairy lights, tinsel, candles glinting and delicacies on every table.
Finally, thanks to Jim - pretty outstanding, basking in a warm and friendly atmosphere you gave your best performance ever.