Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Winter Certainly Feels Warmer Now

I look from my window this Sunday morning and once again the landscape has been turned white by a 1.5 inch thick layer of snow and I can’t but help wonder where the bright sunshine and green fields of rural North Yorkshire had gone.

It was a tiring day for The Mashers as we made our way up the M1 to join in with the Winter Warmer festivities in Kirkby Fleetham. To help beak up the duo syndrome, we were joined on our travels by Phoebe, she of Wyrd Witch fame.

Paul Arrowsmith, he of banjo playing fame, mainly with Blind Summat, puts together a couple of weekends a year drawing on the Folk talent of Yorkshire and for the evening concert, well beyond.

The day session we attended was a five hour sing around. A veritable feast of music from across the spectrum of folk music. And it was so good to hear and meet up again with Acoustic Rotherham friends and other friends of The Mashers. It was also good to put faces to people that up to now we had only met via the pages of Facebook and Myspace.

With Joolze Cavel in solo mode and Husband Glyne keeping us all in order, we were able to relax to the classy sounds from the likes of Barbara Helen, Heather Woodhead and the very entertaining Hamish Currie who also demonstrated his, I think immense was the word he used, talent by becoming MC for the main concert.

It’s hard to be critical – but I think Hamish’s showcase did deserve to be part of the main concert performance, as it was interesting to see that many people did not arrive until the main billed Evening Concert.

The atmosphere for the main Concert was crackling, and what a kick off with the unlikely duo of Canadian fiddler Sophie Lavoie and her Irish Bag Pipe expert Flachra O’Regan whirling us through a series of Jigs and reels. Where they got the energy from I don’t know, it certainly left me completely exhausted.

And it was then we had to leave to make our way back down the M1 – with those lucky enough not to have such a long drive able to stay on and enjoy the songs of Dave Gibb followed by the Ruth Notman Duo.
I’m told we missed a real treat.

We’re also proud to say that South Yorkshire reigns supreme as Champions for the “No finger In The Ear” Singoff competition. The Wyrd Witch took on all comers from around the World including The North East and North Yorkshire to take the Kirkby Fleetham title.

This is said to be an ancient County Durham thing, where two singers, face to face, with only eighteen inches to separate them sing a song of their own choice, importantly different to their opponent. The winner is the singer who can hold melody, key and timing throughout and not choke.

So well done Phoebe.

But where was the prize? Come to that where are all our raffle prizes?

And while we were all enjoying ourselves poor Wendy, violin safely packed away, was slaving away in the kitchen preparing all sorts of goodies to keep those of us who made a day of it going, except that is for a short interlude at the end of the singaround when a banjoles Paul provided us with a song accompanied by Wendy on guitar and then Wendy gave us a song.

It’s worth checking out the Kirkby Fleetham Folk Club programme for the year, a special line up of talent and I’ll add the list to our Gig section on the Acoustic Rotherham News page later in the week.

Oh go on then, typically, just as we were leaving, our Terry (Ferdinand) gate crashed the Party. Great to see him and I think his Mrs. What a supporter of local talent and events that man is. Hats off to you Terry and keep the good work up. And you North Yorkshire lot, get tuned into Bishop FM Do we get that spot now mate?

Earlier in the week The Mashers had one of those surreal experiences at the end of their practice session on Monday.

We tuck ourselves away in Conference Room at The Bridge where quite clearly we are forgotten by everyone, including it seems, the Land Lord, Ben.

You might well be able to guess the look of total confusion on our faces upon attempting to leave the Pub to discover that all the doors were firmly locked against us. Worse, the dogs were a barking, sounding a little less than friendly.

I think Myke had made up his mind that he was in for the night and was already eyeing the optics very closely, but the barking dogs had him on edge so I boringly went and knocked on Ben’s door praying that he would not let the dogs free before finding out who it was.

Fortunately he had not got into his PJs so it was only a couple of minutes before he had kicked us out into the cold night air.

Thursday and we both made an appearance at the Thursday session at The Bridge for the first time in ages. It was a bouncing evening with everyone in Party mood to celebrate Phil’s sixtieth birthday. Yet another of our number hitting official “Old Bugger” status.

It almost seems churlish to comment upon the childish antics of some who clearly still hold a grudge against The Mashers for having ended Stan’s short involvement with us. Neither Myke nor I understand what it is all about, and I won’t pretend that we do not notice the little antics, we do, but to be honest if people do not discuss the issues they have with us then there is very little we can do about it.

On a more positive note The Mashers Influences page has been fully updated, and at last all the Links work. HERE It's a trip down memory land.

As many will already know The Mashers are great fans of Matt McGinn the song writer / poet from across the Northern boarder. While I was updating I noticed that his Web Site has undergone a major face lift. It now boasts some super video of film associated with some of Matt’s songs, and video from the various Tribute Shows that have recently been taking place of other artists singing some of Matts songs. Well worth a visit. HERE

Currently the Jon Isherwood site is down, but I’m told that it will not be long before it is back on air.
Big thanks to the guys who are down loading the Making Your Musical Footprint E- booklet, your donations to the Acoustic Rotherham cause are much appreciated. By the way, if anyone did not get the download message and are wondering when I’m going to send it please Email me and I’ll Email the file over to you. And if you’ve no idea about what I’m talking about GO HERE

A big welcome to Chris Milner, who joins the artists listed in the Acoustic Rotherham CD Shop with his latest CD Four Fields Meet. If you’ve not come across Chris in the Clubs then check out the sample track from the album HERE

And the message goes out to all you artists with a CD to sell. The more the merrier. And if you are listed on Amazon and would like your CD listed in our Amazon Associate Shop then please Email HERE You’ll find Anna Shannon’s Over Land MP3 version in the shop now for an amazingly low price of £5.99.

Incidentally, you Winter Warmers will also find offerings from Barbara Helen and Heather Woodhead in the Shop – go listen and buy.

I’m told by The Barnsley Folk and Acoustic Club that their meetings will continue at The Shaw Inn, certainly in the short term. So all you Barnsley Folk your Monday nights remain unchanged.

While in Barnsley, make a note in your diary for the 1st May when Barnsley Folk and Acoustic / Folk Against Fascism is putting on a short afternoon outdoor session near the market place. Look out for the Mashers, we’ll be there somewhere.

This week you will find The Mashers at Nellie Folk on Monday Night and on Thursday we’re doing a spot at the Princess Royal, Crookes, Sheffield. Go to their Web Page for directions………….. Here

And I think that covers another week in the life of The Mashers and Acoustic Rotherham.

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