The Celtic concert featuring Bob Bickerton held last Saturday evening at the old Courthouse was pure delight.
The first thing I noticed was that the seating was done very imaginately. The Creative Arts exhibition room is a very rectangular room but the Creative Arts folks found a way to think outside the square and make a large semi-circle so we all had a good angle to see the performer. The room was just near filled to capacity with folks from Otautau, Winton and Invercargill.
Adorned around the room was a nice display of giclee prints by John Hicks, formerly a veterinarian at Otautau Vets. His photographs highlight some of the very special plants, wildlife and landscapes he has found in Western Southland. They added a really nice touch to the whole evening.
The lighting for the show (mostly table lamps from home) gave the room a cosy, intimate feeling but was at times was a little lacking, however Bob's talent, humour and warmth was the real highlight of the show. At one point he joked that the people seated behind the judges bench at the back of the room made him feel like he was facing a jury. We all laughed at that and many other jokes in his bag of quips.
But all kidding aside, he was a one-man show with his many instruments flanked around him, going easily from harp to penny whistle to Irish pipes and many other instruments. What really impressed me was that many of his songs were his own composition, and he has quite a talent not only for creative heartfelt Celtic melodies but also for meaningful and clever lyrics.
Bob is a real showman, and it was a great pleasure to have seen him in concert in our very own little town.
Thanks to Bob Bickerton for bringing Celtic music to us and for the Creative Arts Trust, namely Viv Hicks, for making it all happen.