So…end of January is sort of in sight, it’s cold outside, Easter eggs are already on sale (yes, I’ve had one but purely for taste testing purposes) and I am 5 disco’s down already – it’s been a brilliant start to 2016.
The first disco was an 18th birthday for a young man with special needs and I have to say that it was both humbling and eye opening to be part of the evening. Sad fact of life is that disability exists but when you witness first hand the sheer joy on a child’s face when you play their favourite song, it’s extremely uplifting. I expect that most people are like me is that we take our health for granted but for some families this sadly isn’t the case. It’s also the impact to family life too that I really didn’t appreciate until seeing it for myself. There were parents, friends and relatives present who all act as a carers for their children from the simple act of helping eat their food to more complex tasks. It was a great night, the birthday boy woke up Sunday morning and asked if he could do it all again that evening (for the record I would have jumped at the chance) and it was such a rewarding night for me personally and a night I will never forget.
Following Friday was a 21st birthday party which was a real family event and the birthday girl looked beautiful in a long pink dress. They made me feel so welcome, bought me some birthday cake and also dragged me on the dance floor for a boogie; I didn’t need much encouragement to be honest! At the end of the evening the birthday girl asked if she could say a few words…this is never a problem but I have to admit I am slightly wary at the end of the night in case they are slightly worse for wear. She gave a lovely speech though saying she’d had the best night of her life, had some lovely presents, been spoilt and also took time to compliment me. It was another great disco with lovely people.
The next day was a post Christmas party for a kayak club and that went really well. Apparently the ‘youngsters’ hadn’t liked the idea of a sit down meal pre Christmas so that event was postponed and replaced by this party. Judging by the fact the most of the club members turned up, regardless of age, and danced, the night was viewed as a great success and I have been asked to return for future events so can’t argue with that. It was a real mixed bag as it started with young kids and some party games which then involved some adults and then dancing for the rest of the evening. I think the highlight was being told that one of the young kids Dad’s wanted to go home but his son was having such a great time, he was ignoring him and intent on dancing for as long as possible!
The next Friday, all of a sudden it feels likes a hectic January, it was a friends daughters 11th birthday with a Hollywood theme so the girls got glammed up, the boys mainly dressed as Star Wars characters and I’d have done exactly the same aged 11! It was a great night and concluded with them all on a stage in front of me singing and dancing to the last song…quite what their parents must have though as they arrived to collect them I am not quite sure!
Final disco of the 5 was a 30th birthday in a lovely country pub…lovely venue, landlord has invited me back anytime and the people there were all great fun. Pubs are sometimes difficult venues because they are not set up to host a disco but I squeezed in, had a cracking playlist from the birthday boy consisting of rock songs and everyone had a great time. I always look to ‘read’ the guests and figure if I see people tapping their feet or singing along, it’s a good sign.
It has been a great start to 2016…5 unique gigs, all memorable in their own way.