Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Boise, Bath, A Gig and A Monday Night Adventure!

Remember that one time just over a year ago when we got married? It was in the wilderness of Idaho and we were surrounded by family and friends. To make that wilderness wedding ready there was plenty of preparation and while Soiree Weddings did a lot of the planning, we also received massive support from Laura's school friend Julia.

Julia is a childhood friend of Laura; she is an artist and an all-round awesome person, one we have thankfully been able to catch up with on every return trip to Laura's home city. We even got her to Vegas for our bachelorette party! Julia designed our wedding invitations, save the dates, and seating plan globes, she also recommended our photographers - who were amazing - and our band Hillfolk Noir! Julia knows everyone who is talented in Boise - or so it seems.

It is actually the band that I wanted to write this post on -with all the events of the day we barely got to see the band perform so we couldn't really share our memories, we just heard our guests' reactions. They played as we walked down the aisle and as we left but it was only on the way to the cocktail hour that we finally heard a bit before being whisked off for our introduction.

We said on the day that we were sad that we hadn't been able to see more of them but we were just glad that they had been such a success. We agreed that we would track them down if they ever came to the UK though, so we could see what everyone was talking about.

So on Monday evening we made the 200 mile round trip to Bath to see them perform in the Bell Inn. We also invited my parents along and thankfully they could make it. The four of us met outside the pub and with Bisbee in tow we went and found some seats - it was a great live music venue, not particularly big but big enough to fit a crowd and get a good atmosphere going on. We got a chance to say hi before they started but only briefly. It was a good turnout!

Hillfolk Noir play 100% original Junkerdash! This is from their website:
Fronted by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ward, Hillfolk Noir is a trio of neo-traditionalists playing traditional music on traditional instruments for non-traditional times. They call it Junkerdash, and it’s a sound brewed from folk, bluegrass, punk, string-band blues and other influences musical and otherwise.

Hillfolk Noir’s touring line up consists of:
Travis Ward: Guitar, suitcase, harmonica and singing
Alison Ward: Musical saw, washboard, banjo and singing
Mike Waite: Double bass

They are not your average band - They are far better!

As they started their set we were loving it and then came the stories - they explained they from Idaho (not somewhere known by many Brits) and painted a picture of the place that made both me and L want to grab the next flight there. A few songs later they said before starting the next song they wanted to explain a memory associated with it.

Just over a year ago they had packed up their van and headed up to the mountains of Idaho for a vacation and to do some fishing. After arriving at their destination Travis decided to head further into the wilderness to find the perfect fly fishing location. Some 7 or 8 miles up the road his van blew a tyre. It was super hot, with no phone signal and no spare he thought it best to make the trip back to the cabin they were staying at rather than wait for help. En route he found a pack of beer that had (presumably) fallen off a truck. He drunk the beers as he walked and eventually made it back at about 1am, by this time to some very concerned friends and family. They were able to call for support to repair the van but it was going to take a bit of time. The next day they had a gig so time was not something they had. They called a family friend who was able to make the 3-4 our drive up with a truck, they loaded all their instruments and made the drive to another isolated part of the mountains, Garden Valley, to get to the gig.

They pointed us out at that point - that gig was OUR wedding! We had no idea. We hadn't realised that less than 24 hours before they had been stranded somewhere else, or that they turned up with their stuff thrown in the back of a truck. We were so lucky they (and all their instruments) made it. And we would had never known had we not made it to this gig.
Rocking our wedding - that's right Alison is playing the saw!
At the break we rushed over to them, we got to reminisce about the wedding and the craziness they had gone through, we chatted for a good 20 minutes. They gave us copies of their albums and we bought them drinks. They were awesome. It was like we had known them for ages. They told us about their tour of the UK and how they had spent quite a bit of time in Scotland - cue my Mum getting excited - it turns out they played gigs not far from her home town. And then the Boise link - they had met Julia at a music festival years ago, and Julia had designed the art work on their latest album. How awesome! We like to think that if we all lived in Boise we would all be friends :)

Sometimes in life putting in the extra effort is definitely worth it. The buzz we had from the concert sustained us on the 2 hour drive home and through the next day at work on 5 hours of sleep. It was worth every minute. Even Bisbee agrees. Throughout the gig she sat on my lap watching the band, making everyone around fall in love with her without making a sound. She got a quick walk at the break courtesy of my Dad and then she slept anytime we were in the car - we got so lucky with her that she is happy to go wherever we do.

However, the very next day Bisbee committed a terrible sin - she chewed the album we had been listening to! I had foolishly taken out of the laptop and left it on the table in the rush to leave for a hairdresser appointment and she had managed to reach up, pull it over......and chew it! We won't lie, there were tears!

By sheer luck my parents had stayed down in Bristol to see a football game and were able to track the band down to their next gig and get a replacement - we were so lucky! We will definitely make time to see them when they are back and if they are ever in your area we suggest you drop in :)


  1. I love the Wards! They are some of the nicest human beings in Boise and I am happy to work with them, see their shows and just enjoy their company.


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