We’ve been touring our way down the east coast of Australia, starting up near Cook Town at the Wallaby Creek Music festival, then flying down to Brisbane, buying a van and driving south to Byron Bay.
While there, we got a call from Craig’s Auntie regarding his Granny’s health and had to make some tough decisions. We all wanted to see Granny, but the final plan didn’t allow for all of us to go. Instead, Craig flew from Byron Bay down to Melbourne on a Wednesday and the plan was for him to fly back up to Sydney on the Saturday and meet us at the music festival we were booked in for. The only glitch was that the kids and I would have to pack up and drive the five and a half hours down to Port Macquarie to perform at a the Kimandi House Concerts. And, then rise before the sun to drive the five hours to the Northern Beaches Music festival so as to be on the stage by 1pm. Logistics aside, it also meant that we, (Graciana, Banjo and myself ) would be performing without Craig (our anchor). After sussing out all of the options, this one seemed best and so we decided to go for it.
So, with Craig on his way, the three of us got busy rehearsing our songs, finding new life in them, each taking more ownership and as we worked through our limitations we found new abilities and the songs began to take shape. We were feeling pretty confident until we arrived and found out 65 people were coming to the house concert, and that they were mostly all choir/musicians.
However, our hosts, Marie and Grant welcomed us to their beautiful Port Macquarie home and as we explained our circumstances of a missing member they seemed calm and reassuring. We had a lovely pre-show dinner. However, Craig’s absence was noticeable as we shared story. We were really missing him!
Soon the guests started arriving and we moved to the living room to tune our instruments. Anticipation was high and the three of us were all a bit giddy. The crowd was buzzing and you could feel a sense of excitement in the salty air.
The concert started, then a break, and then another set. It felt as if we were floating on a cloud and then in a blink, the night was over. As a mother, I couldn’t help but take delight in my children’s amazing abilities and professionalism. I was standing in the middle of two stunning performers, both excellent in their craft and for the first time really having to carry the load.
Graciana was sensational and picked up the slack by engaging with the audience, telling stories and speaking eloquently between songs. She lead songs she didn’t normally take the helm on and even shared some of her own writings. And, Banjo was fantastic too! He was able to temper his drumming to fit the room, providing the perfect frame-work for us to dance around. He was considerate and strong, playing just under our voices so as to complement and not over power. Of course, we missed Craig dearly, but it was definitely a rush to have to learn how to depend upon each other and the experience really stretched all of our abilities.
The night turned out awesome! And, the response from our hosts, as well as their friends, was outstanding. What an honor to walk into a situation and be allowed to infuse goodness into an already wonderful community!
We said goodbye to our lovely hosts that night, as an early morning awaited us. In the end, we made it down to the Northern Beaches Music festival just in time to connect with Craig and hop on stage and sing our hearts out. It was in that moment, that we all looked at each other, the four of us, took a deep breath and delighted that we were all back together.