5,7,5 – 365 13th September 2015

5,7,5 – 365

13th September 2015

A haiku and a diary entry, every day for a year.

And so to Sunday and the third gig of the weekend, this time on board Frederick, a narrow boat working from the Gas Street Basin on Birmingham’s canal network. We arrive at 2.00 pm and the boat heads off at 2.30 pm. As we make our way along the canal we are treated to music from Anja McCloskey, Rebecca De Winter, and Dan Whitehouse. Laila and I first saw Dan play in support of Simone Felice last year at a gig in Cambridge. That night Laila also picked up all three of Dan’s albums. Lynne and I saw Dan play a benefit gig at the Green Note in Camden earlier this year. But that’s the past and as I’ve pointed out elsewhere before, you can’t revisit the past unless you have a very old skateboard, except in old Facebook posts, diaries and photographs.

Back to today and we are traveling in an old narrow boat, with fully stocked bar, it’s own piano and beautiful music. We heard three sets, each very different; Rebecca De Winter sang her own crafted and thoughtful songs and played both the piano and flute, accompanied on guitar and percussion, Anja McCloskey sang and played her grandfather’s accordion – the style of her songs reminding me a little of Daniel Knox, Dan played some of his own songs, both old and new. I have said before that his songs are wonderful things and that his pauses can have you holding your breath. He was kind enough to play and dedicate ‘Somebody Loves You’ for us. It’s a beautiful song and a favourite of Laila’s, often bringing her to tears – because she relates it to a memory and because she really, really cares, which is just one of the reasons that I love her so much . As Dan played, Laila fought very hard not to cry.


For Keith and Laila

A song of heartbreak and hope

Remember it now

Whilst all this is happening on board, the world, or at least Birmingham, is gliding past the windows. Every now and then the boat passes through a tunnel, plunging the cabin into darkness, all of our faces lit by the fairy lights stretched the length of the boat. It made for a surreal experience and had me thinking, “this should be on the telly. BBC4 could do this, ‘The Fredrick Sessions’, featuring musicians from various cities across the UK as the boat sails up and down the canal network”. I would watch that show – I want to watch that show. It was a special afternoon, that really put the musical icing on our three gig weekend cake. Thank you Dan.

Songs on board Frederick

Brick, boats, trees and people

Like dreams, go gliding by