• Trombonedaddio

Funeral, care home and brassograms

Updated: Feb 20

I’ve been doing well with funeral gigs recently. Another one on Tuesday. This time it was in a small village in West Sussex, nearly 2 hours drive away – either heading west and anticlockwise round the M25, or east and clockwise. It doesn’t make very much difference. Google suggested west was the better option on this occasion. West Sussex is full of leafy winding lanes and pretty villages. The gentleman we were playing for had been a drummer, and was obviously well known in the village. Although not many people could attend the service, many people watched as we led the horse drawn hearse down the high street. I think it was the same horses as last week’s funeral in East London. Luckily they weren’t bothered by the instruments, otherwise we might have been run down by bolting horses as we played! We were encouraged to be extrovert after the funeral service, as the gentleman who died would have approved. So our drummer played on the buildings as we went down the road. There was no wet-weather plan, so we had to just put up with the rain. Luckily it didn’t pour but we eventually got back to our cars cold and wet.

Wet Sussex funeral

On Wednesday night I was told I had another gig in the care home I’ve been playing at the following day. A centre for long term care and rehabilitation of people with dementia, neurological conditions and spinal injuries. This was to be with a young woman called Kate who sang and played the ukelele. We had never played together before. She said she’d just sing along with my songs, although I’m not sure how she would have done that if she didn’t know them! I took my bass along and she brought a pad of songs she sang with some chord symbols so we were fine. We took a Covid test before starting. I did a few numbers on my own, and we did some numbers together. Kate knew the various people living in the home, and what each of them liked, so we sang a hymn for one, some classical songs for another, Irish songs for another, blues for another... and were pleased to be able to bring a smile to everyone.

Just a few minutes ago a trumpet playing friend called – she has been setting up an agency running short, very local gigs for small groups of musicians. The idea is that the gigs are just minutes from your house, you can pop round, play for 15 minutes and earn £30. “Brassograms” for small groups of brass musicians, and other line-ups. She’s a musician with bags of energy who isn’t willing to just sit and wait. She’s putting together a database of musicians by postcode, created a website (, is spending money on advertising and isenjoying creating work for musicians. I admire her for having the idea and making it happen. I intend to find out who lives near to me so she can advertise in this area.

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