The Vagaband, live at The Cottage, last afternoon music session, Sunday 6th October, 2013
It was a couple of months ago that The Vagaband played at The Cottage, for what we thought then would be the last live music Sunday afternoon session at the pub, but today we had a second chance at a final hurrah to give a fond farewell to the music here and the wonderful Sally Mann who has run this place for a few years and cultivated a very special atmosphere.
The band themselves were playing today as a six piece (minus Patrick and Greg) and in a really playful and relaxed mood. Playing any requests from the audience and also taking the opportunity to showcase some new songs, and some as yet untitled ones still in development. I was keen to hear these and on first hearing am really impressed. Jose seems to be rolling out lots of new tracks at the moment which is brilliant, his trademark lyrics and wordplay evident but also expanding the boundaries of the band’s music. It will be interesting to hear how they develop.
I was pleased to hear Black Sheep again, and there was even a request for a song the band had never played before, perhaps some did not even know it, but it was arranged ‘on the fly’ and performed wonderfully – this was mightily impressive and shows what a great band they are and the level the musicians are at, and also the confidence. I really do think this band could play anything! Superb stuff!
It was a relaxed, informal, fun and friendly gig, just like a Sunday music session should be. Everybody celebrating rather than mourning, funny moments with the kids and the dog, a wonderful gurning contest between Jose and someone in the audience (typical that I didn’t have my regular camera with me) and even in this atmosphere the band demonstrating time and time again just how special they are.
Finishing with All Night Long, which had the whole place singing and swaying along, this really was the finale to the evening and to this era of The Cottage, and it was rather emotional … although there were soon a few more notes played, as Sally’s young son Harry had a go at, in turns, Ali’s sax, Hugh’s flugelhorn, and brilliantly, Dan’s drum kit!
words and photos © all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2013