So there I was: on my way to the loo having been listening to an exquisite first set from Birds of Chicago when I stopped to listen to what Hilary was saying on stage. She was talking about it being the club’s sixth birthday and ended up with the announcement that she and Ron had decided to make a gift of six free tickets, one for each year to the person who had been to the most gigs. To my utter disbelief Hilary then read my name out and called me on stage. I was dumbfounded, speechless. If I’d had the nous to say anything this is what I’d have said:
‘Having come to the Live Room more or less since it started, I can recall the times when there were around 40 people spread thinly across the room listening to music that was new to most of us. These were trying times for the club and it took quite a while to establish. Look at the change now: packed audiences fighting for seats in what could be described as a community of music-lovers.
The style of music might change from one week to the next but the quality does not: high-quality performers setting the scene alight. Between them Ron and Hilary have saved the Caroline Street club from extinction and changed its way of working. They have developed the club through the ‘Chorus’ and website and last year rightly won a Yorkshire award for music eventing.
Having spent much of my life hovering around music events and clubs, this is undoubtedly the best club I’ve ever been to. The welcome is great, Ron’s sound engineering is now legendary and Hilary keeps the organisation sweet through her hard work and empathetic input. I trust their judgement about bands implicitly and always look forward to the next gig. My free tickets will all be used, no doubt, so thank you Ron and Hilary and happy birthday the Live Room.’