Secluded Sundays With: Ryan Daley, Jason Lowe, Tracing Lines, Charles Manson Experiment, Day of the Meerkat – The Hopetoun Hotel 6th July 2008

The worst part is just after you wake up, when the realisation comes. It’s Sunday. Gig last night. You were out late drinking cheap wine. You may have got a little of that flu that’s been going round. Maybe Sundays are just like this.

Now that the worst is over, today is the first in a new series of Secluded Sundays. First up a pre gig launch party. Turns out to be just the thing. Records on the turntable. Cold beer. Barbeque. A Leafy backyard. Every now and then a cat walks along the top of the fence and the conversation recedes to a few murmured ‘miaow’s and ‘here kitty’s. A phone call, an attempt to cook a piece of cake on the barbie, and eveyone’s warmed up nicely for the exodus to the Hoey.

Ryan Daley and Jason Lowe start the gig with acoustic sets. Ryans laid back tunes, followed by Jasons inspired lap steel folk blues are exactly right. Picking up tempo and volume as the crowd gets bigger, turning heads from the bar to the stage.

Throughout this the gang from Secluded is ever present. They stir through the crowd, everyone’s got a drink, everyone’s chatting to someone. Introductions are made, announcements to the courtyard before each set so that the smokers don’t miss a note. The bands sort out their backline to take the stage.

Tracing Lines get punters on their feet. An eclectic rock n roll band is always an irresistible force, a wise thingo said. Quick changeover and The Mansons time has come. A wonderfully enjoyable one for us, one of our best we all say. The room was full, the crowd was enthused, everything flowed.

We take over half the courtyard for a quick interview. Other nights this might have caused unwanted confrontation. Such is the mood tonight, though, everyone joins the fun. Some good natured shouting and then inside where last band for the gig, Day Of The Meerkat, are exploding onstage. The room thuds and shakes and spills tired but exhilarated music lovers out into the night. Try to find somewhere still serving drinks, stretch the weekend ’til it snaps, feel too good to go home and just wait for Monday.

And, as I wait to find my way, the Meerkats drummer points out to me that he and I went to the same school, proving once and for all (as far as I can tell) that SECLUDED SUNDAYS Brings People Together.

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