Gus and Heather invited Jenny and me, together with Richard, Bubbles and Lindsay round to their place for another barbecue, or braai as they call it, on Saturday evening. Jack and Phoebe and Bob and Sarah were invited too but they had other arrangements and so couldn’t come. It was a very last minute thing when Gus checked the weather forecast for Saturday and thought – let’s enjoy it while we can.
After it got dark and cold and we had retreated to the lounge Bubbles spotted a Peter, Paul and Mary songbook on the coffee table. She asked Gus about it. Gus said that he had ordered it from Amazon after watching a DVD that one of his friends had kindly sent him for his birthday of the Newport Folk Festivals in the sixties which had featured the group quite prominently. Gus remembered how much he had enjoyed their songs in the sixties himself, which was when he had first started to sing and play the guitar and now seemed like a good time to re-visit them.
Assiduous readers of this blog may remember that Gus had been involved with the Folk Club when he was a student at university. He had continued playing in folk clubs down here in the south after he got his job here at USE, but in recent years he had not really played very much.
Anyway Bubbles wondered if he would get his guitar and entertain us. After initial resistance he succumbed, particularly when he mentioned that he had two guitars, a six string and a twelve string. Bubbles said could he get both guitars as she could play one of them. She used to have a guitar but she had had to sell it a while back when she needed the money.
So Gus fetched the guitars, along with various other song books for Bob Dylan, Ralph McTell, John Martyn and someone called Jez Lowe who I hadn’t heard of. And so we were entertained with versions of Blowing in the Wind, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Streets of London, May You Never and a nice Jez Lowe song called Old Bones. Bubbles played the twelve string and picked up songs she didn’t know very quickly. We were all impressed by the way that the two of them sounded together. Maybe they should perform together as Gus and Bubbles. The name had a nice ring to it. Heather said that maybe Gus should think about getting back into singing as it would give him something to do when he retired. Gus said that he wasn’t quite ready for retirement just yet, but he would perhaps play the guitar a bit more, particularly if Bubbles was willing to play some songs with him. He said that she could borrow the twelve string and the sheet music books if she wished. She hugged him and said that would be wonderful.
Richard was looking a bit sheepish through all this. As an avid Beatles fan he asked if Gus knew any Beatles songs. Oh yes, said Gus, and he went back to his study to collect a Beatles song book. So the evening ended with renditions of Yellow Submarine, Michelle and Yesterday, amongst others that were not quite so successful on first take. Still, I look forward to more music from these two. Maybe they could do a set at a Staff Social sometime.