It is the intention to carry on with the Delta Ladies, which was very much in accord with Vicky’s thinking. We had discussed what we would do if either one of us had to leave the building, though we had not expected it to be quite so sudden. We were both saddened at the number of musicians that had left us recently. The plan such as it is is to take a short break, whilst we work out the practicalities of rearranging some of the songs. The line up will be as before a duo, trio or 4/5 piece, though also on occasion possibly solo as well.
One problem is that many of Vicky’s contacts were kept in her phone or on post it notes and I have some access to these but not all. We are intending to gig from around June onwards all being well.
It’s that moment when you think, am I doing the right thing. I hope so, but time will tell.
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
I think just possibly I may have taken on a little too much. There is a storm blowing up and no captain to steer the ship. But the first mates crew is still loyal. Will they though think on and abandon ship.
I cannot attend Vicky’s funeral and Vicky’s name will not be used. That’s hit me hard even though I was expecting it.
I will ether bend or break whilst trying in a small part to help keep that memory alive.
It’s a weird place to be in though.
“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Just about everything that was worrying me has now paled into insignificance. Funny how that happens. When some people leave there is a very big hole in you life, that is impossible to fill and you just have to live with it. And so it is now.
Since then we played around 3500 gigs of various kinds. We met through Roses forum when Vicky posted a thread about coming out having formed a band in 2003 and deciding to start performing as Vicky at that time. She was at that time looking for a keyboard player. I had been playing music and recording for many years but till then had not done many live performances.
When I joined I expected that it might be the case of the odd gig at the weekend twice a month. Vicky had other ideas and by the start of 2005 we were already doing around 10 gigs a month on average. A lot of these were in pubs, some of which were a bit rough at best. In those days I often travelled to gigs alone and having not having adjusted to musician time, I would turn up early and be “the only Tranny in the pub”. That was a rapid learning curve. The smoking ban had not come in yet either so a lot of these places were the brown nicotine stained variety.
The years went by in somewhat of a blur. I left my full time job at the Civil Service in 2008 and most of my time was spent with music of various sorts. THere were really about 5 different bands that we had in all the various combinations.
Elephant Shelf, Jessie Pies Cleavage of Death (Jessie was at the time a very talented Burlesque Performer, and is also a songwriter and a very good artist and painter), The Delta ladies, A swing/jazz group, and and another act that filled the gaps between.
Over the years we were also privileged to met and work with some very wonderful musicians and also managed to interview quite a few others too.
Whilst we were doing that Vicky also wrote for music magazines, acted as an agent for other acts, which she was still doing and still being an ordained minister of the church often gave the service at funerals when money was a bit tight.
Vicky had fallen away from the church, but was a person faith though in later years in the agnostic sense.
“the truth values of certain claims — especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not God, the divine or the supernatural exist — are unknown and perhaps unknowable”
Her belief was a bit like the famous Patrick Moore quote about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life ” We just don’t know”
Recently we were intended to set up a folk club at a URC in Enfield. The church of England often has a close relationship with real ale drinkers and so it was that Vicky became friends with the local Rev and his Mrs after meeting at the Little Green Dragon, a micro pub near to Vickys apartment.
We had an event planned “Concert against Racism” on Friday 3 May organised with the Local Labour Party which Vicky was also member of for about the last 4 years. After some debate we have decided to go ahead with it as a combined fund raiser for various charities and a celebration of Vicky’s life with live music and some Ales. We hope that many of Vicky’s friends and co-conspirators will be there.
Vicky’s health was reasonable up until the last, though Vicky had a quadruple bypass op in 2014 and also had congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation so we knew she would not be around forever. In the last few months it was apparent that she was tired and finding things much more of an effort and we were reducing our gigs to around 80 a year.
Vicky’s death was sudden though and she leaves a very big gap. She also helped many people over the years without making any fuss.
I was with her in her last moments and she had shown no signs of distress at any point. Our last words were about the next gig we were to play that weekend.
We have an event which will be my first performance without Aunty Vicky:
Enfield Stand Up To Racism/ Vicky’s memorial gig Friday 3 May
Friday 3 May Winchmore Hill United Reformed Church 77 Compton Road Winchmore Hill London N21 3NU