The Ramblers have had a busy month. The show at Sappho was great. It was our first time to perform at A-liang’s new place. We got started about 10 by playing our first song in amongst the crowd at the tables and bar. We like to bring the music to the people, and being all acoustic, we can cozy right up with the punters and warm them up to the evening’s entertainment. Then we moved to the stage and played a regulation set, and then took a break. We switched out our condenser mics for dynamic mics, and when we came back on at about midnight, the sound quality was just what we’d been hoping for.
By that time, the staff had pulled one of the modular sofas and a table off the lighted disco floor, and the dancing began. It had been a while since our last full show, and we had some energy to burn, so we kept the dancers hopping till nearly 2:30. It was probably our longest uninterrupted performance to date. The partying didn’t stop when we finished, and I think it must have been getting light already when the hardiest of the Ramblers finally called it a night.
The next Saturday evening found us on a rooftop in Shilin at the Animals
We got a couple of songs out and then Brent, formerly of the Saltwater Crocs, and a powerful singer/songwriter in his own right, performed one of his classics, Dawg Song, replete with dog howls, in honor of the event’s theme. We played one more number, I forget which, and Sean, of Animals Taiwan
handled some of the singing. By that time, the Kevlar ones had arrived to hasten the conclusion of the evening, so the Mudders packed up their gear and slipped away into the night. ,
We had the following weekend off, and recuperation (and laundry) was called for. Plus, we had to get our energy up for the Peacefest / Hoping for Hoping, our summer kick-off out in the mountains of Lungtan.
Unlike previous years, we had a Saturday performance slot just as the sun was going down. The crowd was bigger and livelier than we’d seen up there before. We had a quick set, by our standards, but we started off on the right note and were in lock-step for the rest of the performance. The sound crew did a great job getting our mix right in our monitors and the PA, and the whole Peacefest crew did a fantastic job putting together a great event. Big thanks to Dave, Scott, Lynn, Lisa, and Monica and everyone else for their effort. One weekend a year, they create a circle of peace that continues to widen, drawing ever more musicians and music lovers to
Kun-lun Herb Gardens in . They had a little more commercial support this year, but the laidback vibe continues to be strong. Taoyuan County
We gave the audience a little bit of everything, including Walk Right In, Jug Band Quartet, Dancehall Shuffle, Nagasaki (Dave mentioned that that city’s mayor had been gunned down recently), and others, before finishing with Riverside. It’s our anti-war number, and we felt it was the most fitting song to voice our support for peace, and reach out to the audience. Once we got going, the audience was kicking up its feet in the grass in front of the stage, and there was a great sense of camaraderie among everyone present. We were enthused to have lots of help singing the chorus, “Ain’t gonna study the war no more.”
We grabbed our instruments and exited the stage while the organizers got the audience to join hands for the peace circle, a fixture at Peacefest. A band of merry pranksters on hand drums, kit drum, electronic drum, didjeridoos, guitar, horns, and others provided the musical lubricant the circle needed to get twirling. The groove on the stage was infectious, and while the audience wheeled around the grass under the full (blue!) moon, more and more musicians got on stage to join in. I wasn’t timing the jam, having my hands full with a set of LP bongos, but it must have gone on for three quarters of an hour. I knew the drummers could last that long, but I had some worries about the didj players. Happy to say, no one expired in the name of peace.
There was, however, one ping-pong-related injury to a black-chap-wearing cowboy. He shared the story with us while we were warming up behind the temple during Mr. Green/Highway 9’s set (which was great). It seems the cowboy had been asleep under the ping-pong table when Peace Dave somehow upset it, causing its edge to strike cowboy’s eyebrow. It was a nasty cut, and though it wasn’t leaking blood down his face while he was telling the story, I saw him later getting more first-aid, and there was a crimson tide.
No definite words on the next MBR gig, but we’ll keep you informed. If you’ve got any pics of us playing at Peacefest, we’d love to see them. Shoot us a link if you can.