Challenging...that’s probably the best word to sum up the second Bearwood Shuffle, as least from the perspective of the hard working organisers and patient bands plagued by decidedly stressful sound/power related issues. Here’s a collective statement from the Shuffle crew:
“We were totally let down (multiple times!) by HSS who did not supply the generator we ordered and needed and we were grateful to Harborne Tool Hire for reacting quickly to get us what they could on Saturday night.
As a non-profit group that has to borrow all the equipment we'll be looking closely at the differences between the excellent PA system we had for the first Bearwood Shuffle and the reasons for the difficulties with the one on Sunday. As the audience many of you have fed back that you loved the afternoon despite the difficulties.
Thank you for supporting us as we learn more about bringing excellent music to Bearwood - and thank you to the fantastic and patient bands who really make the Shuffle what it is. A true community based event in our wonderful local park!”
Sadly, in amongst the ongoing hubbub, I was unable to actually catch much of the music, certainly not to the full on head nodding, note taking, chin stroking extent that I normally indulge in. However it all sounded pretty awesome to me in the background. Our genial MC for the day, the legendary Dr Agamemnon When, introduced the first band of the day, The Nortons, who blasted things off with their particularly quirky brand of indie pop (Pingu’s Got An ASBO...genius). Little Liam bought a bit of streetwise Ocean Colour Scene style class to proceedings and The Sharp Darts gave rock n’roll a much needed knee in the balls.
With bits of sound equipment busting all over the place and the brave tech crew battling to keep things afloat it’s a miracle that the Rudie and the Revolvers (pictured above) sounded so great (sax, keyboard, drums, guitars, two vocalists, some serious skanking...a bit more of a challenge than your average band line-up). They did though, providing a blistering run through some of the greatest mod, ska, soul classics of the last 40 years. Spotted a young toddler near the front dancing his pants off and playing air guitar like a pro. We’ve put his name down for a Bearwood Shuffle sometime in 2027...we might have recovered from this one by then).
Kumari dropped by again for another drop of rasta good vibes before Mr Naylor provided the day’s biggest ‘aaaaaahhhh’ moment with a rap about what a great mum his co-vocalist Terri is. Soppy it ain’t, sounds like they had a tough time, but she’s clearly done a fine job of bringing up her kids. Finally (and after more urgent repairs to the dying sound equipment than NASA had to do during that Apollo 13 mission) Aziz Ibrahim and Dalbir Singh Rattan stunned the hardy (and incredibly patient) crowd to an all too brief (our fault, not theirs) taste of their unique blend of rock, psych and tabla. Set closer My Star finished just as the sun fell behind the trees of Warley Woods, a magical end to a pretty full on day.
All that remained to do was some mild litter picking, packing away the chemical toilets (not as nice a job as it sounds...no...seriously), untangling the leads and bits of kit all over the bandstand and dismantling some of the biggest gazebos ever built in the dark and the Shuffle collective was finally able to stumble home.
Once again, huge thanks to the bands (more patient than Buddha with a spliff), Dr When, the crowd who turned up and stuck with us, the stallholders and food vendors and everyone who supported the event in any way, shape or form.
PS: If anyone would like to buy /give us a PA and a generator we'd be very happy to hear from you...sponsorship deals/cake are available.