Our first night as hosts was an emotional, hilarious, profound, chaotic, class, deranged and inspiring affair. It was Ben and Jack´s last stance and they opened the night and our senses as a duo. Their songs were like an early trance of fine musicianship, raw emotion and dreamy landscapes. At one point I looked beside me and saw Simon awestruck, his tongue sticking out like a wounded animal. “That is truly awesome,” he commented. I couldn’t but agree. We carried ourselves on to the stage to thank Ben and Jack for their faith in us and our infamous selves and paid our respects with our Country/Mediterranean version of, “So long Marianne.” We were already thinking of the task ahead of us and how we hoped to put on a decent night to honour our mentors as well as the regular lanterners who seemed unsure about the future of the event.
However, in true Lantern spirit, the new acts that arrived on the day, Quentin from France and Wickas from Poland (I am sure I spelt that wrongly), dissolved any doubts, impressing all the attendees with professional, profound and vibrant performances. I had to convince the audience that I had nothing to do with the cosmopolitanisation of the first acts and they sat down amidst a rumble of cheering and applause. Ty Watling and his wife Aisha were next on stage to bring it back home. Their music was like a voyage on a perfectly carved wooden vessel through rivers of harmony, melody and the finest folk in town. I had to remind myself that their set was over as I was in a kind of dream-like experience before asking Simon who was next. The bill looked so good that I urged him to present the following acts as I was intrinsically afraid of fucking up what promised to one of the most enthralling next 40 minutes in many a Lantern.
James Burton followed with a mind blowing version of Bruce Springsteen´s “Highway 29” and then Trent Miller with a rendition of one of my favourite songs of his, “Lupita Dream on” which stuck in my head all during that night and the next day. Next their were impressive performances by Jack and Ben who brought down the house with every song and the best thing was that the great music did not end there; The Galleons, Gabriel Mesh, Greg and Anne, Laura Tenschert and Maggie Rose (who sang like the angels, but the terrestrial ones, the ones with studs in their wings) Omri with his music and humour, continued to inspire the audience who could not seem to get enough. And just when it all seemed to come to an end, the fabulous Troubadour Rose appeared with a set that unthreaded the heart of our minds and our senses. Whilst listening to their music one of the regular lanterners commented, “Ok, Gabriel you are Mediterranean and exaggerate a lot but I must admit that with this music your adjectives fall short.” I was glad to hear my excesses were being overcome by art and musical perfection. What a blast!
I played, "We are what we Are' and Simon played an amazing version of "American Voice" with Jack and Ben on backing vocals. The three of them ended the night with a maddened last jam which gave the Lantern the final and necessary organic punch to what had been a fascinating handover and a truly memorable two years of the finest folk and singer songwriter music in town. Thanks guys and we promise not to fuck it up too much. xxx
Tags: "the lantern society handover" "simon stanley ward" "benjamin folke thomas" "jack day" "betsey trotwood"
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