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Local band Walker Broad recount their gig at Haslar Immigration Removal Centre

2 September 2013

You never really know how a gig is going to go and it would not be unreasonable to say that we were all experiencing a little trepidation at the booking we had for Wed evening (7th Aug). We were requested as part of the local Music In Detention project to play to the gentlemen in the local Immigration Removal Centre.

It was to be an interactive gig with encouragement to those interred to join in with percussion, voice and movement. So, we went in, very slowly, only one car allowed, picture ID required - (guess who forgot their passport and had to go home to get it - answers in the comments box, here's a clue - who's always the biggest challenge in any band!? ) many gates and doors locked behind us and into the exercise yard. It was, without doubt the most complicated access procedure we have ever gone through to play!

We were finally all in and settled in the yard and the detainees began to filter out into the yard after tea. Well, our nerves were all in vain, it was one of the most satisfying gigs we've ever done!

They listened attentively, as soon as the percussion instruments appeared about three songs in, they were immediately joining in and some were dancing too. After about 2/3 of our set a couple of gents decided they would like to sing too so they came and requested the mic and we had some lovely traditional Punjab songs and a wonderful song to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The whole atmosphere was one of collaboration and celebration from start to finish. Such a surprise considering our trepidation. So you just never know which ones are going to be the best gigs and they can be so surprising!


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