Merci vilmal!!

By Zest Events Management
Wed 02 December, 2015

This is an article from our friend Folkiebooknerd who was part of the team running the inaugural Soup, Song & Standup in Nov. 2015:

Merci vilmal!!

My friend Nici is possibly the most positive and ‘can do’ person I know.

I’ve got to know her over the last couple of years as she’s contributed her considerable project management skills to the organisation of Liverpool’s annual World Mental Health Day festival – and she’s been a joy to work with. She hails from Switzerland (somewhere in the Basel area, I think. She’ll correct me if I’m wrong!) – hence my title for today’s blip! – but has lived in Liverpool long enough to know far more people here than I do. Her contact list and networking skills are the stuff of legend and her ability to ‘get people to agree to do things’ leaves me in awe!

Tonight she launched a new venture. A monthly ‘soup kitchen’ with a twist, for local people without a home or a roof, and anyone else in need of nourishment not only for the body but for the soul.

Based in the basement gallery at the Black-E, the evening offered two choices of soup, bread, hot drinks, biscuits and… entertainment!

Nici’s husband, Gilf, was the head chef and Spokes and I turned out to peel and chop vegetables and serve the food and drink along with the lovely Sarah and Steve. We were all worried that nobody would turn up but there were around 40 people in the end and the atmosphere was absolutely brilliant. Nici had not only put posters up in key places around town (including in Spokes’ shop window) but had personally been out and spoken to people living on the streets, giving them cards with information about the event, and it had clearly worked. She’d also managed to get local businesses to donate food, drinks, cups, cutlery etc. And she’d got her DJ pals, The Walrus Said and Rebel Soul to play the most wonderful music all evening. Not one bad tune amongst a set which opened with some Bob Dylan (long-time readers will know what a Dylan anorak I am!) and continued via Captain Beefheart, Joy Division, Dead Kennedys, The Clash, Ian Dury, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin and many, many more. The diners loved it and so did the volunteers!

Some of the folks who came along said that they’d like to contribute next time by playing their own music or performing their poetry – which will really be something to look forward to – and the plan is to get some stand-up comedy incorporated into future events too.

All being well, word-of-mouth will mean that even more people come along next time.

Here’s Nici, looking contemplative, just after everyone had left and we’d cleared up for the night.

Congratulations, Nici. You’re a marvel!

This song wasn’t played last night but, given recent precipitation levels, it feels appropriate.