Letter 8

I’ve been getting ready for the gig at The Ocean on 17th September; it’s been fun because I have been working with Clare (Kenny) and Harvey who are great friends as well as great musicians. We’ve been sorting out the main parts and structures of the songs down here in the west country – but we were almost washed away at the beginning by the huge floods that swept this area. When Clare arrived at Exeter on the train we set off for home, a journey of what would normally be just over an hour, and it took us over three. All the roads to my house were under very deep water and we had to try many routes along tiny roads until we found one that we could drive very slowly through without the water coming over the doors and getting into the engine. Clare had come down on that particular night so that we could go to Boscastle for a session in the Wellington pub and we just thought we’d take a quick look at what was the latest on the olympics before we left, and there was poor Boscastle suffering the worst floods that anyone had seen for decades! From what I’ve heard, the water was of biblical proportions and as well as the dreadful fright and suffering of those who’ve lost their homes there were animals swept away too. All very sad.

The concert is coming along well and is actually happening in a window of a day off from the Chieftains tour which I’m doing too. I think I will need industrial amounts of sleep near the end of September. Another great person that is coming to guest at the gig is Damian Legassic who is a very old friend of mine – we shared a house for quite a few years – he and I were working together long before Spirit. Since that he has become something of a star producer/writer and has written songs for among others Madonna, and produced albums by KD Lang and Sophie Ellis-Bextor . Mike Outram who played guitar on the cd is playing too and he is a treat to listen to – I don’t think I have heard anyone lately who can play even nearly as well. Emma Black (who should have a second career as a stand-up comedienne) cut short her honeymoon to get back to play her beautiful cello and Jackie Norrie, one of my favourite violinists is down from her new home in Edinburgh as well. All in all, they are a fab bunch and I can’t quite believe my luck in being able to have such truly brilliant musicians. Maybe I’ll see some of you there; it would be nice to say hello.

– Caroline Lavelle

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