Blues Camp helped me to fulfil a dream

Chas Hodges ANL-150608-132325001
Chas Hodges ANL-150608-132325001
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THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis

So, when I was 9 years old, I wrote a letter to Jim’ll Fix It, asking if he could fix it for me to sing with Chas and Dave. In the light of recent events, it was probably a good job that he never replied to me. I got over the disappointment and forgot all about my little dream.

Last weekend, I went down south, to something called Blues Camp. This was an intense 3 days where musicians of every ability come together and write songs and perform to each other, with the help of a tutor.

I was a little bit nervous about going as I had never been before and I wasn’t sure I would be confident to sing amongst such talented people. On the first day, there was a list of names on the wall to show which group we were in and what instrument we were playing. I quickly scanned the list and to my horror, realised that I had been put down to play the drums.

Now, I can play the drums…I taught myself when I was 15 which was…well…a few years ago and I only knew the basics. My husband bought me an electronic drum kit for my birthday last year and I had every intention to practice daily.

I have played them 5 times in the 7 months I have owned them.

So with my heart in my mouth, I went into the music room and sat at the drum kit. There were a lot of guitarists in my group and the first thing we had to do was to write a simple 12 bar blues. I offered to write some lyrics and scribbled down the first thing that came into my head:

“I don’t feel like I belong here, I’m out of my depth!”

I sat down and played the drums and began to sing at the same time, which was a complete revelation to me.

We performed in front of everyone and it was great…a few guys came over and said they had never seen a female drummer that could sing at the same time…high praise indeed from these top rate musicians.

On Saturday, having been given the task to write a song in 30 minutes, we performed it and in the afternoon, met the supercool Mr Chris Difford ,from Squeeze, who taught us about lyric writing.

On Sunday, we were to perform a couple of songs from the weekend in the afternoon, so that our friends and family could come and see us. We were to be joined by a special guest, who would play piano on our rock and roll number.

Which takes me back to my introduction…Chas Hodges was the special guest, my hero from all those years ago. It was fantastic to play alongside him.

Afterwards, I went up to him and told him my story, how I believed God had orchestrated events in my life so my dream of playing with him was fulfilled. He thought it was wonderful.

So, 30 years after Chas sang “Ain’t no pleasing you”, my God has shown me there is.