|Keston Cobblers Club
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Keston Cobblers Club
It all started back in 1988 on the day my brother was born.
Clutching my new TinyTears doll, (a gift that my parents had bribed me with to avoid ‘new baby envy’) I skipped into the hospital and peered inquisitively into Matthew’s cot. I expected him to cry or at least do some kind of baby dribble, but instead, he let-out seven consecutive, perfectly tuned notes, in the key of G minor. I knew, right then, in that maternity ward, that two decades later….BAM!….we would definitely form a band*
Skip forwards two years. Matthew, now a dribbling, crawling, toddler… bumps (most likely literally) into a tiny wide-eyed boy called Tom. They click instantly, (not their fingers, they don’t learn that till chapter 4) and spend the next couple of decades making gigantically dangerous skate ramps in our back garden, “bases” out of big cardboard boxes and recording ridiculous films over my one-and-only VHS tape of me as a bridesmaid (I’m not bitter at all.)
Matthew, Tom (my now surrogate pain-in-the-neck brother) and I started Keston Primary School, where, as happenstance has it, we all started learning the trumpet, we played regularly, we were relatively rubbish, but all the Mums clapped and that made us happy / play louder.
We soon joined the local Youth Orchestra (because we wanted to spend our Saturday mornings spending money in the tuck shop and practicing scales) but it turned out to be pretty damn cool. At the back of the room, elevated above the whole entire band was the biggest, most elaborate drum kit you have ever seen. I’m talking – timpany, those bells that hang down and sound like waterfalls, etc etc… and behind them was the one and only – Harry Stasinopoulos – smashing it (quite literally). I am still, to this day, totally in awe of how Harry can hit so many things at the same time, and still look cool.
If I remember correctly, it was one summer’s day that Matt suggested we start a band. So we did.
Matt had stumbled across a rather peculiar but ingenious tale of a Cobbler who had lived locally a couple of hundred years ago. He had played the violin in the local tavern, to lament the sadness of the lack of business coming in. Soon, villagers from all around had joined him to make music and dance. Then, ‘hey-presto’ – all that dancing made people’s shoes wear out! The Cobbler was pretty chuffed.
We really liked the Cobblers story, so we thought we’d bring back the Cobblers’ Club – shoes and all.
This chapter is devoted to the wonderful people that have played in Cobblers over the years. You might see them sneaking into our old photos sometimes! There was Dan Slade, our first incredible tuba player. He snuck into Cobblers to save the day when my fingers were too small to play the electric bass guitar part that Matthew had originally written for me. Then there was Dan T, our first brilliant drummer, who is now an esteemed architect! Matt K, who also tooted his Tuba for a while. Then there was Helen, our wonderful fiddle player. You chaps are four in a million.
As previously mentioned in the last chapter, we were lucky enough to have a tuba player in the band. Feeling rather smug about this fact, we were all left aghast when Dan Slade suddenly left us for a better life in China!
So, the hunt began to find a replacement. Little did we know that the substitute would come in the form of a beautiful and feisty teeny-weeny lady called Bethan, who would blow-our-socks off when she came to show us her ‘ninja tuba’ moves. We all fell in love with her, and her tattoos and bright red lipstick ensued. Yes. Bethan Ecclestone, you win!
So that just about takes us up to now! We’ve had a pretty incredible four years, stuffed with musical madness – sold out tours, sessions at the BBC, interviews, festivals, and travelling round the world playing music. The one thing we just cannot forget, is you….the movers and shakers who dance at our gigs and clap “at a SONG – we’ve LITERALLY – MADE – UP!” (I still can’t get over this fact!) You have bought our records, worn our t-shirts and made us very happy indeed. So, get your faces on, shoes off and we’ll hopefully see you at a show sometime soon, you wonderful things.