We’re back again! See post number 2 in the series (https://www.miltonhide.com/2-60-the-royal-oak-tunbridge-wells-8-9-23/) . This time our mate Delby couldn’t be there but The Harveys played as a duo to kick off the evening. Pete’s mate did the sound for them and got us set up before he had to leave when Pete took over on sound duty for our set. This time we were back in the main bar, where we played the first time we came to the Royal Oak. On that occasion there had been an entire rugy team in for a celebration! This time we had a seated audience of about 20 with lots more in the other bar. Bob Kenward, who we know from Rochester Sweeps and other Kent folk clubs and is a regular here, came in and everyone sang a hearty Happy Birthday to him, much to his extreme embarrassment as it wasn’t his birthday at all, just his fake Facebook birthday! A lovely young couple stayed until the end and we had a chat afterwards, knowing we recognised them from somewhere. They had seen us performing at Hastings Jack In The Green last year then had come to see us at The Jenny Lind – we remember because we were surprised to see someone there singing along with our songs. They’d liked them so much they’d been listening on Spotify. And it was great that they’d spotted we were playing here and had come along to see us again.


Another long standing family friend, Barry came along, someone we haven’t seen for many years. He’s a musician still playing with several big bands and it was really gratifying to hear how much he liked our performance. We played just one long set without a break, which suited the evening. I think we’d have lost audience if we had a break.


The pub doesn’t do food anymore – not since covid restrictions – but they have a pizza van twice a week in the car park and people bring the pizzas in to enjoy with a pint which works really well for everyone. They’re considering holding special events where different people take over the kitchen for themed food evenings, which again sounds like a great idea.


Parking was easy once again, just free street parking a short walk away – two trips to carry the stuff in then Pete, bless him, helped us carry back at the end of the evening. This pub is used to live music and the tradition of handing around the jug so we got a decent amount of donations.


3CDs sold, 2 stickers given out.


We sat and had a long chat after our set so left Tunbridge Wells pretty late. I (Jo) had found my voice cracked a couple of times in the set then I started a tickly cough as we set off home. I got extremely tired and had to have the windows open as we drove. Really we should have stopped for me to have a quick kip. We talked about it in the morning and decided we would look for a vehicle that we can convert to a sleeper for late night gigs and make ourselves sleep, or for long distances would take the caravan and pitch up locally, even if in a layby. On Sunday I felt rough and slept for most of the afternoon, which was the start of a kind of ‘flu and chesty cough that lasted 10 days and is now an irritating tickle. We’re going to try a singing practise tonight as our next gig is in just over a week’s time in Battle.