BOTSO - Artists for Kids Culture Auction

Attended a concert with BOTSO and the Bright Space Gallery. The function was 'Artists for Kids Culture Auction' a worthy cause, not to mention that it was good fun.

We were slated to play from 12:30 until 1:30. We started a bit late and ended up a bit late and even ended up later as the audience wanted an encore. The gig was a great success and hope there will be many more. We all enjoyed ourselves.

The playing area is on the first floor which required us to negotiate a flight of stairs. Not a great fan of stairs but I managed to rise to the occasion.

The auction was scheduled to start at 2:00 pm so we were the entertainment during nibbles and drinks. As our set progressed more and more people arrived and Brian Strating was having a bit of trouble being heard above the background murmurs. One of the waitresses jokingly offered us some nibbles, pity we couldn't as we were playing. She just smiled and moved on. By the time we finished all of the nibbles had been consumed and the complimentary glass of wine just wouldn't have sat well on an empty stomach.

As you can see, we organise ourselves in sections. From stage right to left: Cellos, Violins, Guitars, Mandolins, Banjo, Accordions. Cellists have special demands of the floor as that's where we place the end-pin of our instruments. That sharp spike can cause some serious damage and that floor looked too good for that. My solution is to take a carpet square. Put one end under the front feet of the chair and the spike at the other end. Result? No slip no damage. The other two ladies were innovative in that they used the eyelets in the blue tarpaulin they were sitting on to put their end-pins in. No slip, not sure about the floor.

Our set list comprised about twelve songs/tunes and we played all of them. Each song featured each of the instrument sections. Brian would call out which section was soloing and the rest of us played that little bit quieter. Then it's everyone in to finish off to song.

My role in the orchestra is to play a Double Bass line on the Cello. I use a small amplifier to help me cut through. Received quite a few positive remarks regarding the bass part lifting the overall performance. Most of the other instruments can't go that low, so that's my contribution to the orchestra.

Most happy playing with BOTSO.


The view stage right.


The view stage left.

(You can just make out the top of my cello in the distance)

P.S. For some reason I heard the wrong address at our last practice and even the emails from Brian. I heard Market St when actually it was Martin St. Thank goodness for mobile phones.

Observation: Brian started off each song to set the tempo and remind us of the melody. At one point Brian became a bit confused with the melody of one song and said "They all sound the same!" and then found the correct melody thanks to the written music. I once saw a jazz player exclaim a similar sentiment: "Aren't these chords the same as the last song?" Most likely.