This was a big step up. This was going to be a proper rock gig…here in our village, put on by Malt’n’Music. Would we sell enough tickets to break-even, would the sound set-up be good enough?
Well it was sold out 2 days before the gig, and we had brought in a professional sound crew with PA, but the butterflies still remained even after Wille & The Bandits turned up in their van having been victims of the M6 Friday afternoon.
But when the first notes of the Wille’s guitar filled the Village Hall during the soundcheck, we looked at each other and realised that everything was fine, and that we were in for a fantastic night.
Smashy and Nicey were behind the bar, Malt’n’Music man was getting ready to go on stage, The PM was in the lighting booth trying to find different combinations of red, white and blue lights, Mav was counting them in, and suddenly it was time.
In the summer Malt’n’Music had taken on the role of putting on the after crow party at the end of Crow Fair. Amongst all the great music that night the village clearly took the wonderful Sam Lyon to their heart, so we invited her back to open up the night.
It’s clear that at only 18 Sam has got a great career ahead of her. Her musicality demonstrates a maturity that belies her years, Sam played a mixture of covers and her own compositions, including songs from her forthcoming EP (Recorded at M’n’M’s own Soundman’s Studio).
She has a great voice, plays guitar very well, and writes wonderful songs….
I have a feeling that our village will become BIG Supporters of Sam Lyon as she continues to build her career.
As the drinks continued to flow Wille & The Bandits finished getting set up, and then as the house lights dropped they launched into their first number.
Wille & The Bandits play driving rock aand soulfull blues, with a hint of country, folk and even some samba.
The Bandits, Matt and Andy together with Wille at times create such a wall of sound that you are left counting and recounting that there are just three of them on stage. The variety of instruments played create a perfect backdrop to Wille’s vocals, often at the edge, but never over it.
As the set developed, the crowd caught the mood, moved closer to the stage and that magical symbiotic relationship of crowd feeding band feeding crowd took over. This was a proper gig, not just some guys playing music in a church hall.
For our own Malt’n’Music crowd, this was what we had wanted to achieve. Mav was almost beside himself, seeing one of his favourite bands, at the top of their game, live in the middle of his own village surrounded by friends. Nicey (or was it Smashy) found himself sucked away from the bar to experience the driving music up close.
The set climaxed with a stunning performance of Angel – an epic song with a performance to match that left the audience enthralled and calling for more. And more came – with an encore consisting of a stunning interpretation of Dire Straits Money for Nothing.
One of the great things of Malt’n’Music is the opportunity for the musicians to mingle with the audience, and as the clear up operation got into full swing, the audience stayed chatting to Wille, Matt and Andy, and importantly buying their CDs.
And that for many gigs would be that, but Malt’n’Music has always tried to do that little extra.with the assistance of Andy and Doll we retired to The Lion, where the band learned more of the community spirit, whilst drinking their very own Wille & The Bandits Ale.
As with all M’n’M nights, what happened next has disappeared into the mist, suffice to say that the laughter and conversation continued well after anyone stopped checking watches.
Music has touched everyone’s life. We’ve all got songs we hear that takes us back to a particular place in time, that stir up emotions that have remained buried, and excite us. We listen to them on the radio, on our Ipods, in the car, or on state of the art hi-fi’s. But nothing beats seeing music performed live.
Wille and The Bandits are a band that you have to see live to get the full experience of their music, and when they play at the level they did in Moulton, and the crowd catches on, then you end up with something special.
We thought it was great, others in the audience came up to us to tell us it was a brilliant night, and Wille & The Bandits clearly loved the night and were taken by the way the community embraced them.
Another perfect night of music in Moulton.