In an effort to seek revenge for the time misers wanton disregard for my casual mornings I set out to return the favour by moving the getting up time backwards from a balmy 9am to a brutal 7am.
Unfortunately, being a time miser, he was used to early nights and earlier mornings leaving me to toss and turn until 4am and bolt up at my alarm set just three hours later.
Men with Ven
The van arrived soon after driven by our trusted wheelman MacStally Culkin. Before he had even parked outside our flat both the Time Miser and I had shouted "shotgun" out of the window, as there was something we had yet to reveal to the other band members.
Once we had finished loading the van it dawned on Michael! and Jim that they would in fact be spending the two hour journey in the back of the van, in the dark.
After an hour we stopped at Burger King for a second breakfast, but didn't feel the need to tell Jim and Michael! as we thought they probably weren't hungry or something. So we just banged on the side and told them to "BE QUIET!" and "DON'T GET OUT!"
An hour later
After some terrible directions from the Time Miser we finally arrived at the Regatta, greeted warmly by the organisers.
We were two hours early, which felt like a small victory to myself. But I soon realised that the Time Miser was more than happy with the situation.
We set up our equipment only to find both of the keyboard pedals we brought with us didn't work. And jamming a screwdriver into one of them didn't fix it.
So in the end Michael! mustered his musical brilliance and defiantly managed to make it work.
Glamping at Henley
As a reward for Michael! I decided Jim and himself could share my one man tent, while I bunked with the Time Miser in his four man tent.
My assumption being that Jazz musicians like extreme proximity and confined spaces.
Went off without a hitch, I even managed to get a coffee in a rendition of "All of Me" during the redoubtable Michael!'s solo.
I think we can all agree that the best gig moment was working "play that funky music white boy" into the bridge of "Work Song" by Nat Adderley. At the request of an enthusiastic gentleman in an elaborate leg-brace.
The After Party
We stayed inside the Courtyard enclosure for most of the night, which was surrounded by a one half meter high white picket fence. And several large security guards in nice suits.
As often happens when there is a fence separating two groups of people, people kept trying to get over ours. Often to be thwarted by said large men in nice suits.
The best attempt made was by one young man who decided to use the music of Lady Gaga as a disguise for his entrance attempt, incorporating leg-lifts in time with the melodies. His one error was staring directly into the eyes of two of the large men in nice suits, albeit while shrugging as if to say "Hey, I'm just dancing here fellas"
Interestingly, while during the day there was a large gap between the fifty or so parties along the Thames in terms of the quality of music, food and guests attire, by midnight everyone was dancing precariously to the same generic club music, eating whatever was warm and greasy and had adorned their lovely outfits with mud and sweat. I found this odd synergy quite comforting.
The Serious Bit
We were genuinely very well looked after by the nice people at the Copas partnership, something that can be quite rare at gigs.
We were fell fed, watered, boozed and cruised. So a big thank you to them for helping us put on a great night.