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A very special concert in Stock

posted Jul 11, 2012, 3:36 AM by Peppy Bristlebrush   [ updated Jul 11, 2012, 3:52 AM ]
By Peppy Bristlebrush 

It has been a weekend filled to the brim with culture. On Saturday there had been the Summertime Poetry Competition and announced for Sunday was the Long and Winding Road Tour. Many who read the announcements on posted leaflets all over the Shire, and ofcourse in the Gazette, were wondering who were behind this mysterious band: the Barefoot Bootleggers they called themselves. “What’s a bootlegger?”, was the question everyone asked themselves. “Must be a bunch of Stoors, as they are known for wearing boots at the end of their legs”, some townsperson explained in one of the inns of the Shire. This explanation was contradicted by the word “barefoot” in the name of the band and was discarded by his mates. It would remain a mystery until the hour of the concert.
Sunday evening had arrived and hobbits started to gather near the Shire end of the Brandywine bridge. Just before that I had met my neighbour Master Tallic and Miss Chryssie inside the Golden Perch and they were extremely nervous about something. I dared not ask them what it was for fear of intruding in private matters, but I cautioned the both of them to not drink as much ale, as the evening was still young. It would be sad, would they doze off during the concert. “Ah, the concert..” and both took another big swig and ordered a refill. I was then distracted by a somewhat older hobbit that had entered the inn. He was a real charmer, chatting up every lass in the room. Then I heard him mention he was a drummer, in an attempt to impress one of the lasses. She was duly impressed and giggled a bit.
I followed Master Tallic and Miss Chryssie, who went outside to the riverbank to wait for the concert to begin. Quite a number of people had already gathered around that big rock near the bridge’s entrance. “Peppy, could you please play something to soothe my nerves?”, Master Tallic asked. Still wondering what made him that nervous, I climbed the rock and granted him his wish. While I played more hobbits and a handful of elves and men joined the ones already there.

It was time for the concert to start, but the stage was further down the riverbank. We were guided there by Miss Lina, who subsequently made sure everyone was within hearing distance, so as not to miss anything. It’s what performing musicians like to call a soundcheck.
With everyone in place there was a silence as everyone was waiting for what would happen next. No sign of musicians, barefooted or otherwise, until..
Playing their first song, the four hobbits of the Barefoot Bootleggers slowly walked up the sloping bank until they were in full view of their audience. It was a very sweet tune, a love song very likely and all present cheered at the band. They were dressed in beautiful robes that immediately caught the eye. And now it was also revealed who the Barefoot Bootleggers were: Dressed in yellow, my dear neighbour Tallic, next to him in blue, Miss Chryssie, pretty as a picture. They were flanked by Master Adrean, in red, and finally in pink, the drummer I saw before at the Perch. His name was Ryngo Shrubland and I had found out he’s Miss Akelay’s father.
The applause rolled over the water of the Brandywine while the Bootleggers started the next tune. Meanwhile Miss Tibba was helping by handing out official Bootleggers concert hats to the audience. They came in various colours, but, unfortunately for Miss Lina, not in yellow. Well, next day would be Market Day and fine dyes can be bought there.
The Bootleggers played many happy tunes. There was dancing on the riverbank and all got in a happy mood. The melodies were strangely familiar and although this music had never been performed in the Shire, many were humming along. One particularly merry song made us all do “Oobla-dee, oobla-doo!” Even some “Oobla-dah”’s were heard. This spontaneous singing of the audience indicated very well, that all were having a good time and were enjoying the Bootleggers performance.

The Bootleggers were heard singing too, ofcourse. There was a very nice song about a deluded hobbit who unfortunately thought he was a dwarf. But the song that was the hobbit audience’s favourite, judging by the enthusiasm with which all joined in during the chorus, it was “All you eat is pie!” I could be terribly wrong, but I think this will become a very popular song in the Shire, on par with other classics, like “Home, sweet home”.
The concert seemed to be over, the Bootleggers withdrew to the waterline, out of sight of the audience. But the crowd cheered and cheered, asked for “More!” and fireworks were lit to emphasize their enthusiasme and merriment. And the Bootleggers seemed to respond favourably, as I overheard one say to the other “Get back”. “Yesterday?”, was the answer. “No, get back, then yesterday”. That is where I lost their train of thoughts. But anyway, they did get back and this time dressed in completely different outfits. They played more of their lovely repertoire and the audience went berserk: lasses were screaming “Ryngo!!” and lads tried to outdo each other in throwing flower petals at Miss Chryssie. It was.. Bootlegger-mania, I have no other word for it. The show ended with the beautiful song “Long and winding road”. It was the “Long and winding road tour” after all.
A long, overpowering ovation, enhanced with many fireworks, was the reward for the Barefoot Bootleggers for a job well done. Their first concert in the Shire had given them the shakes and the wobbly-knees, but they performed their well chosen music in a fabulous way, all four of them. Fabulous.. four.. hm! Well, they gave us a taste of their music and it left us wanting more. We are looking forward to the next concert by these wonderful musicians.