Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bequia 2018 - More Music

January 2018

In the following weeks after the Bequia Music Fest there were many opportunities to enjoy and even join in.
Mustique Music Fest comes to Bequia

The private island of Mustique also has some sort of Music Fest going on during, or before, or after the Bequia Music Fest.  It is unclear exactly when.  We have never been to Mustique.  We planned to go but still couldn't get a clear answer on the when, who, what time, etc....Then we heard the bar where this nightly music fest (sounded more like a nightly jam....which is ok) was not even officially open yet.  Hum?  Then it was announced that all the musicians from the Mustique Music Fest would come over to Bequia and play a show at the Bequia Plantation Hotel.  A free show.  PERFECT!  It was great.  So many talented musicians all jamming together.
Mice in a Matchbox - Sally and Jim

Mice in Matchbox is comprised of an English cruising couple - Jim and Sally.  He plays electric guitar and sings.  She sings as well and plays the stomp box.  You might be saying "What is a stomp box?"  I know I was.  It is a simple wooden box that a musician stands on during the performance and stomps their feet to create percussion.  Sally's stomp box is probably 24"x18" and plugs into their amp.  She said it was an old wooden tea cart (tea platter in Merican).  This is the first time I had ever seen one.  I thought it was a tad odd when we showed up to see them.....Sally was dressed in a rainbow tie-dyed frock with Capri's and.....hiking boots!  Boots of any kind stand out down here in the Caribbean where flip-flops are the standard of footwear.
The Stomp Box

Their set up

Then they started to play and she started to stomp and I understood.  And when I say stomp, she wasn't going to town like some crazy Irish dancer or a hill-billy throw down, but she did step purposely and constantly on her stomp box.  Yeah....that is it......purposely.  I had hoped to try it after one of their shows because I wanted to see what it would take to make the sound.  I also wondered if you had to have something like hiking boots or if Keens would work.  Doesn't matter.  I want one.  I want a stomp box!!  So simple and yet, brilliant.
Mice in a Matchbox fan club at Laura's

Speaking of which, Mice in a Matchbox are brilliant in the songs and approach.  They play sea shanties, English/Irish,Wales songs old and new.  They are simple and yet put together in their performances.  We saw them perform several times in a couple of different settings and they were able to adjust and modify to the surroundings, mood and crowd.  Oh, and the name.....They are two shorter people in stature and they live and sail on a Contessa 32 - a 32ft sailboat.  So they think of themselves as two little mice in a matchbox.  Interesting people.
See her Stomp Box?

Local music - Bequia has local music nearly every night of the week.  Papa's, Coco's, Fig Tree, Laura's, Mac Pizza, Bequia Plantation Hotel, Keegan's, the weekly Rendezvous street party.  There are tons of chances to catch live music in Bequia.
NOTE - Most of the places in Bequia are pretty small.  When a "gang" of cruisers (6 or more) show up to enjoy and support, it really makes a difference.  Mice in a Matchbox experienced this first hand.  We all showed up to see them playing for the first time at Laura's.  There were approximately 10 of us cruisers plus the normal crowd.  We clapped, sang and danced along.  And we drank at the bar.  Very important point.  A few ate dinner there as well.  After, we asked the Mice "When do you play again?"  They said in a week and a half at Mac's.  However, the next morning they announced on the morning VHF net that they would be playing again next Monday at Laura's and each Monday after that.  I think our crowd showing up made a big difference.  So.....go out and support live music!!!
Local playing the a Sailor's Bar jam
Jams - The Fig Tree has an open mic night.  This can be music or poetry.  We went one night.  Tom played with Captain Chris off sv Troubadour.  Janet off sv Tegan came and sang.  George and Jan got up and did his song "Send Money By Morning." set to the tune of Amarillo By Morning We had a big crowd of cruisers show up and play along to it all with our percussion instruments.  Coco's has a weekly jam, Green Boley had a very successful jam right after we left Bequia.  The Sailor Bar had a really fun jam that we attended. 
Locals at the Sailor's Bar jam

Drumming - Besides jams, Tom had a chance to do some straight up drumming.  Jeff off sv UJamn plays drums.  He has a djembe on their boat.  We went there once for a drumming session and then they came to our boat.  They also had a chance to jam with others at the Sailor Bar jam.  It was Jeff's first cruisers jam in the Caribbean.  He was so excited.

Sailor's bar jam

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