On Sunday we went over to Manchester to see the Kodo Drummers, for John’s Christmas present.
We went on the train in the morning and first went to the newish Imperial War Museum in the North. We had lunch in the cafe there, and then John and I took part in a dance workshop doing the Big Apple – a dance from the 20s/30s. The teachers were both fairly old, and started by showing us a jive – which showed that they were still pretty fit. John was very good and I almost got the hang of it. Then we moved onto a jive which I didn’t get the hang of at all. We spent a while longer in the museum (the highlight of which seemed to be the free table football game in the cafe).
Tea in Pizza Express – should have tried harder to find somewhere more interesting, but can’t do everything. And on to the Bridgewater Hall for the drumming – lovely concert hall with a brilliant acoustic – the flute that got played during some of the pieces was still really clear over the hugely loud drumming. The toweling thong jock straps that the drummers wore during one of the songs caused some amusement! Highlights were a piece with 7 tuned drums, each one about a semitone apart, but not all tuned to a western scale, which beat in and out of time with each other sounding like a train or plane; a sort of comic bit with three players playing a tiny drum, cymbals and a flat tennis racquet like drum, who strode around the stage pretending to beat huge instruments; and the encore with all the drummers on at once. It’s very difficult to describe what was good about each piece – I bet people who play percussion have a whole vocabulary that I don’t know.
We got home at half past midnight and so I was very proud when all the children managed to get up for school on Monday morning!