After the gig: Kitchen Garden, Birmingham | 31st OCT 2023

Before the gig I met Richard, probably early 30s, and he was with a friendly garrulous man, his Father. Several times he mentioned that his dad was suffering from Alzheimers – although it wasn’t obvious, he just seemed very friendly. Richard was a classical guitarist and we talked about my guitar. I said I would introduce him to my luthier Tony who would be arriving later. Richard told me that his dad also played guitar and sang but that since the onset of his illness he was limited to only three or four songs, one of which was my song ‘A Child Was Born In Birmingham’.

We compared notes and release dates and so on, but we were baffled as to how he could’ve known this song for as long as he had. During the gig I played the song for him and Richard was visibly moved. To finish the first set I played a song from 12 Silk Handkerchiefs (my song cycle about the triple trawler disaster of 1968 in Hull). Afterwards Richard‘s Father came up to me his eyes wet with tears he pointed to them and said these are for my lost friends and it turns out he was a trawlerman in Grimsby and four of his friends died from falling overboard.

I introduced Richard to Tony and as far as I know there is a new Goldcrest guitar in the making…

Another man came to visit me at the merchandise stall and he asked for a request for his daughter. “Third time lucky Joanna” he said. It turns out she had been planning to see me three times and on every occasion she had been too unwell to attend but tonight she was here and in the break she came and told me how much she’d been looking forward to seeing me play I asked if she was Joanna and she said “Yes, third time lucky!”

I played ‘Good Night You Birmingham Ladies’. It was a full house and a beautiful gig! Lots of requests and new and familiar faces. Great to see Brett again and compare favorite obscure songs.

Good to see Mike Davies too!

I was changing my shirt in the van before the gig and a young guy about seventeen on a bike came up to me getting out the van with my shirt out and said “Excuse me”. And when I turned round he said “Oh my god! are you a musician? I know yr face!“

I thought this was all a spiel and he was gonna ask me for money but he said “since it’s Halloween and that, would you like a spare fag?” and he offered me his fag packet I told him I didn’t smoke and he just smiled and said “good for you” and rode off!

Reg x

Reg Meuross Singer Songwriter Storyteller