Saturday, May 26, 2018


Audlem today.
Some people just seem more alive than others.

I know it's a cliché but Alex Bennett really was one of those few people who would light up any room or situation she walked into, would be the life and soul of every party or... would soon start a party if there wasn't one already. Never in a selfish 'look at me' way either, she was always thoughtful and wanted you to have a great time, too.

I met her as a fellow narrowboater, hearing her bell-like voice happily bellowing around the marina, before I even met her face to face a few minutes later. It soon became clear she was absolutely nuts about live music, and would on an average week, perhaps go to 4 or more live music events and in a festival week (like this weekend in Audlem), I'm not sure she even slept. She was the kind of person that, on persuading you to join her for a quick beer on a Tuesday night, it would soon be well after midnight and I'd start saying things like 'I'd love to but I've got to be up up at half 6', "you'll be FINE, I've got to be up at 5 tomorrow and I'm not going home"!

She cared and campaigned with a passionate vigour for her patients in her very demanding role in the NHS, she constantly moved not one, but two boats around the canal system along with her beloved rescue pooch Dexter, and seemed to be out 7 nights a week, and all weekend, dancing at the front of every gig she could get to. She was even making her first forays into musicianship in later months after buying a cajon, so that she could be part of the band on open mic nights and jam sessions.
Where she found the energy, I'll never know!

Although she had huge traumas and problems in her life, she was absolutely irrepressible, always fun fun fun to be with, and seemed to eke every nanosecond of possible pleasure available in life, hence the social-media hashtag #BeMoreBennett, a call to arms to all of us not to waste our lives but to make the most of every moment, and every person (including 4 legged people) we care about.
Today was a special event in honour of Alex as well as Dexter.
The wonderful artist and musician Michelle Martin also performed, and Paul joined me on Cajon, both were out with Alex having a great time with her on her last night alive before the horrible boat fire. There was also a raffle for her favourite charity MIND and there were stories, songs, a lovely poem and lots of anecdotes from about just some of the amazing scrapes and adventures she was constantly getting herself into.

Every one who knew her will miss her so much.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Playing the Tracks.

Today I was out with the gang, The Blue Yellows playing amid the historic railway paraphernalia of Crewe Heritage Centre for Rock and Rails Festival. It was a struggle to get into the set for a while as we had a few sound issues that are sometimes inevitable at such events, but it was a good chance to practice some new songs on those who made it along.

Today we were in traditional 'national dress' The 'knotted hankey' being in jokey support of the UK for tonight's Eurovision Song contest, myself and Dave from the band having appeared in a crazy Eurovision-themed version of The Doorstep Mixtape on the radio, two nights beforehand, with Dave sporting the infamous head-gear.

The BYs Rhythm Section not messing about. Thanks to Tim Lee for the photo.

Don't laugh, you'll all be wearing them by next summer. 
Thanks to Martin Butterworth for this photo!

Thanks to Tim Lee for the photo.

Em somehow managed to look good in hers... not fair!
Thanks to Tim Lee for the photo.

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