The audience was mostly old fans, though I saw some teenage faces in the crowd too. In the hopes of making new fans, or at least explaining where some of our chanty sing interest comes from, we invited tamnonlinear and teky4lf along with us last night. The ever-observant teky4lf remarked on how everyone seemed to know just when to start clapping during the songs. After a lot of thought, I pointed out that usually it's the second time the chorus repeats, after the first line of the chorus, and is often three or four verses into the song. She countered that the first song where everyone came in exactly right didn't have a repeated chorus. Since I can't remember what the song was, I can't go back an analyze it specifically, but I completely believe her. There are so many songs of theirs that are old friends of mine, and we were some of the younger people in the audience! Schooner Fare released three live albums, so we have those to practice to when we aren't seeing the group live. Most of the fans have at least the First Ten Years album, which is older than my knowledge of music. (Some ladies behind me in line for the restroom were talking about when Schooner Fare released their "First Ten Years" on double-LP. I have it on double-cassette and CD.) I didn't get into the discussion about different clapping rhythms for "Calgary" - Birchmere has a triple, Wolf Trap has a 4/4 square - but that tells you what kind of a fan base Schooner Fare has in this area.
I realize it's been almost four years since Tom Rowe died, but I've been listening to them for... twenty two years. The first eighteen were with Tom's bass right there in the mix. So last night, while my ears were enjoying Chuck and Steve's playing, my heart was trying to fill in that missing bass line, the clapping, the drumming, the warbling tenor. Some of the harmonies were rich to the ears, but hollow to my memory. I got sentimental at odd times in some of the rollicking songs: Tom's "WOOO!" in Portland Sound was missing from the last chorus; Steve cued the audience to fill it in for them and I teared up.
All in all, it was a great night. I'm glad I went, and I'm glad I took a vacation day today (another story) so that I could wait to talk to them afterward. Now I need to get a copy of The Pyrates Royale "BlackJack" album and send it on up to them so that Chuck can hear what they did to his "We're All Here to Drink the Whiskey" song.
*Steve blew the introductory verse. Argh!
Today is chores this morning, and then I'm off to Leeds Parish Church in Markham to help set up for the craft fair tomorrow. Wheee.