Last weekend I had the pleasure of playing for a wedding ceremony in the world famous Roman Baths, (Bath). I have played there many times before but it is always the most wonderful atmosphere and privilege to get to be there especially in the quiet moments between tourists leaving and wedding guests arriving.
It is quite a trek to get down to the water with guitar, amplifier, bags etc, but well worth it when you arrive. The humid heat and slightly sulphuric smell from the water bubbling straight up from the earth on the warm summer's evening just add a special ambience.
Once set up and plugged in I had a few moments to walk around and soak up the mood of this ancient treasure (and take a few photos of course). You can't help but feel like part of a long tradition in this place as you walk on the original paving slabs - they would have been holding celebrations and socialising here nearly 2000 years ago and we are still doing so today.
Then a little while before the guests arrived I sat down and began to warm up and sound check - a real joy to hear the music echoing around the walls and imagining what music might have played here 2000 years ago. If the walls could talk what tales they could tell!
The guests arrived and I played a range of modern / easy listening guitar tunes as requested. Then as the bridal party made their entrance I played my arrangement of Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
During the ceremony I sat and listened as the couple took their vows, then at the end I played Here Comes the Sun, and the post-ceremony festivities began.
Guests walked around sipping champagne and taking photographs, and I played for about another 45 minutes. Before I knew it they were called upstairs to the Terrace room to start their meal and I was left alone by the water. So I carried on playing just for pleasure - until the staff came and brought me a little food and drink and told me they wanted to lock up!
Then, just time for a quick selfie by the water before packing up and going home...