Sunday 11th October 2020

It was so delightful to be back performing at Ronnie's just 3 weeks after it reopened following the cancellation of our gig on the 5th April once the club closed on the 17th March for 6 months.  We knew that there would only be at half capacity but knowing the club I knew it would be fine - even socially distanced we can still fit in quite a lot of people.

Steve was on sound and he had already set up before we got there.  Gavin arrived first and shocked us all by his 4 1/2 stone loss in weight during lockdown - well, really since January.  I looked forward to seeing his lovely wife Ruth and daughter Ivy, whom we hadn't seen since last April when Ruth had been celebrating her birthday.   A year and a half on and all we have to talk about is the corona virus. Ruth works at a publishing house and she has been in about 4 times since and so they are all trying to cope working together at home.  It's not easy.  Freddie and Arthur got caught in a lack of public transport this morning.  We unusually didn't drive because of the ultra low emission zone and congestion zone fees so arrived much earlier to park and come in by public transport. This is just us, one small event and everything is affected by Covid-19. 

The timings were the same and we came onto the stage in the same way as we always do, we wait to be introduced and then we start.  Today we started with Stardust.  The audience, whether due to the amount of the restrictions or the strangeness of coming out again, seemed subdued.  They laughed at the right places and clapped, of course but there was something missing.  It's hard to put my finger on it.  Everything went as well as it normally does: the band played well, the sound was good, we performed the same amount of songs and I did the same spiel that I always do but something was missing.  It made me nervous and I stayed nervous until the end.  No one could sing along, I couldn't 'cuddle up' with Freddie on Bumble Bee because of social distancing, I was aware of spacing on the stage, not facing Gav too much when we sang.  Gavin sang Young At Heart, the new number to the set and now he has quite a chunk to do, which I love and as always he sang brilliantly. 
Freddie seemed a bit apprehensive about his playing.  It's hard work for him getting back into shape after so long.  He explained that even if you've been practising the whole time, playing live is quite another thing.  He was  fine, of course but it's interesting to observe how this has made everyone feel. I know my words without even thinking about them yet I forgot the opening words to Que Sera Sera - how did they disappear from my head?  Nerves of course!  I always have so many words to remember. Practising had been fine - we've actually had more gigs that usual.  We ended the set with Day By Day and left the stage.  It was lovely to chat to Sally (Simon P's wife), whom we haven't seen in years. She hadn't seen my green dress before, ('I've seen the yellow one. That gets wheeled out every gig!') although she told me that she was telling Arthur's mum and dad, who were sitting at the bar next to her, that it was my wedding dress. It was hers and Simon's wedding anniversary - 20 years, a day before our own of 18. It was lovely to see Ivy and her friend backstage chatting and for Ivy to tell her dad that he got some of his words wrong - I didn't notice. They all left and I knew it would be a while until I would see the same faces altogether again.