Monday, 30 August 2010

They've All Gone to Whitby - Except The Masher!

I don’t know why I’m writing this really as I know you’re all under canvas or sheltering in caravans at various Festivals throughout the land.

Having said that – last week’s Blog which included my review of The Mashers at Worcester had near record readership.  So thanks to those who took the trouble to check it out.

A bit of strange week really.  The Internet sites have been very quiet because you’ve all been away or doing other important things like buying school uniforms, preparing young adults for Uni and the like.  

Despite this someone out there must love us as we’ve recorded near record plays of the what must now be referred to as the early Mashers tracks via our Reverbnation player which has rocketed us back up the Reverb Charts.  So whoever the, some might say, mad person or persons are, thank you, you’ve made two old men very happy in strange sort of way.

You to can get the ReverbNation experience by going HERE and while you’re there why not sign up for the News Letter and become a – and I hate this word Fan.    Of course you can find it all HERE

I think it might well be October before some decent recordings of Phil and I reach the sites.   And if you’ve not listened to Phil’s own songs head HERE and you’ll realise what a talented man he is and how lucky the Mashers are to have him on board.

As one gets older the old memory goes.  Monday night being clear proof of this.  We tuned up at The Bridge for our Monday practice to prepare for our trip to Topcliffe this Sunday, when we heard the sounds of music making from the main upstairs room!  
Yes indeed, Nellie Folk was in full session.

So it was truncated practice – in as far as we did only what was needed before heading along the corridor to join the good folks of Nellie Folk.

For the new Mashers line up this was to be our first Folk Club appearance, and I don’t think we did bad…………..   the need for some new songs was highlighted though, if only for Nellie Folk, the clue being in the room harmonising the choruses!!  Even Gates of Hell!! A song which had caused so much havoc at Worcester.  Good to know the songs are remembered but it rather goes against the Mashers ethos of surprise.  Another time perhaps.

Attendance was down, only a select few had gathered, the sad one’s left behind as the main body of the Club headed for Whitby.  I just hope it wasn’t their tent I saw fly past the window of The Bridge.

Some classic performances though so well done Rob and Roy. 

Much talk this week about auto tuning as X Factor got underway.    The frightening thing for me was that this programme will run every Saturday until near Christmas.  
I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, the shame of this programme is that it does little to encourage or foster the joy of music making, it’s geared towards those who merely see music as a means or short cut to fame and fortune. 

It does very little to encourage any innovation in music, or allow artists to develop their own interpretations of songs, as they are instructed in the art of Cowell’s well tried formula which appears like a magnet to draw the £ coins of the young teenage audience.

Yes it’s all a huge money making machine, not helped by a media driven by winners and losers.  Perhaps it’s no accident that we can only remember the odd winner.  I’d much rather see our Simon advising the “losers” on how they could go on to be professional singers and make a healthy living, if they were prepared to accept that the media would not be chasing them throughout the Universe and that they would have to really sing and work for their money. 

Of course those close to the Mashers know perfectly well that we don’t use auto tune technology during our performances or on our recorded material – yes I know this hard to believe but it’s true, each note is perfectly constructed. 
And so it was that the members of Friday Folk were to discover just how true this announcement was to be. 

I think Phil and I can call this our first proper outing, and for me it was so good to get truly out of the main Masher haunts after four months.

Friday Folk is a growing concept, pushed on by the enthusiasm of Charlie Barker.  As from October it becomes a bi-weekly event at The Venue in Stocksbridge, and in September it’s sister ship Dearne Valley Folk will be launching at The Park In on Manvers Way, Wath.  It’s great to see Charlie using her charm and standing in the Folk Community to open up new venues and develop Folk in the area.  So a Mashers, caps off to you Charlie.

As ever it was entertaining evening with Club regulars providing some entertaining floor spots, but the eye opener for me was the showcase performance of Lucy Ward who is fast gaining an excellent reputation on the Regions circuit. 

Here’s a young lady with personality, with a voice to kill for, and just for good measure a talented multi-musician as well.
Too often I find acts of the “tradition” just a little dry, even if they try to lighten things up with a bit of humour, but Lucy laid this to rest with a set that was full of variety,  lively and entertaining while losing none of the songs beauty and in the rendition stamping her own personality upon well-worn songs. 

Yes, Lucy Ward will go a long way.

As for the Mashers, we had a good outing, I think, and the new sound seemed to be well received. 

To see the pictures head to our Facebook page.  HERE

I’m afraid the rest of the Blog will read a little like a Commercial – as there’s plenty up and coming.

Most important though – if you want tickets for Artisan act NOW – either book on line HERE or contact me direct on 07507588964 to reserve your tickets.   The concert is 14th September with The Rawmarsh Mashers and Folk on Fire providing the support.   Should be a real fun folky type evening.

On The Myke Barritt Music Trust page you you’ll find the details of the MP3 downloads at most reasonable prices of Rhiannon and Toein’ In The Dark, with all proceeds going to the Trust.  HERE

And if you’re into this Internet thing then you’ll be pleased to know that the following addresses will take you to the pages you want

Bookmark them and you can access all the up to date information as and when you need it.

Don’t forget the September Diary HERE – plenty going on, with the launch of Dearne Valley Folk, Wirksworth and much more, including a full programme of live music at The Bridge in Rotherham.

We’ll see you next week then – once the cherubs are back behind their school desks, we’ll have a full report of our trip to The Angel at Topcliffe, and of course it’s Play On at The Fat Cat Kelham Island on Friday – don’t be surprised to see a Masher or two.

And of course you can find all the News HERE

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Worcester Music Festival Review + Trust News

My brain is still buzzing from what was one of those special musical days that we get from time to time as musicians, or performers. 

I take my hat off to the organisers of the Worcester Music Festival.  This is exactly how a City wide Music Festival should be organised, and some other Festival organisers might just learn a thing or two from this event, for it had everything, from thrash rock to traditional folk, with American style bands, jugglers, and street dancing added, just for good measure. 

Over six hundred bands, and organisations applied for spots at the Festival, the vast majority local to Worcester, around around two hundred seventy were selected by the Committee to fill the limited slots available. 

Coming from way out of the area, even if Dickie has strong Worcester connections, The Rawmarsh Mashers were lucky to be offered two slots – our thanks to the Committee for granting us that privilege, and thank you to for allowing us to be part of your fantastic event. 

The Mashers were lucky.  Having entertained Marzipan Moon, The Abbot of Unreason (Our Gaz) and Sam Eden at Acoustic Rotherham, all from the Worcester area, I think we slipped in by the skin of our teeth.   But I hope more of the talent I saw during my day will head North to entertain the folks of South Yorkshire. 

Joining me for the day as the wing Masher was Mr Gary Emms, an old friend and criminal in music.   We had not played together for five years, and before that it had been well over thirty, life and a few hundred miles having got in the way.  But it’s just such great fun to play with an old mate, even if his only chance of practicing the rather narrow Masher material was by way of MP3s and lyric sheets. 

Before heading into the City we all met up at my Sister Rosie’s house, where we commissioned her conservatory for our first play through of the set.  OK not the tightest of sessions, but it sounded OK for me, and for the Mashers. 

Egg and bacon rolls gratefully consumed, we headed off into the City. 

And there is something about a City, or any Town come to that, hosting an open Music event.  Wherever one walked the sounds of music making could be heard, be it a band sound checking, or setting up, to Irish Dance bands, or English Morris dancers doing their thing.  I think I spied a bit of line dancing as well………….  Well it gave the Morris men something to laugh at!

The Mashers first set was played out in the historic Tudor House Museum, wrapping up what had been a fantastic afternoon of Folk Music from across the genre. 

Introduced by the hard working John as “not knowing what to expect” I think we fully fulfilled his wish, opening with “The Gates of Hell”.  In retrospect, not clever as there were a couple of young children in the room and I forgot in my excitement to give out the normal Masher health warning.

Sorry!  but it's what we do - mostly.   

But it was great to see a good sized audience, including my Mum – now into her eightieth year - bouncing along to “My Old Guitar” and to my amazement “Dance on The Grave of Mrs Thatcher”. 

I even bought a new hat for the occasion. 

All can be seen in the photographs which will eventually find their way onto the Web Site HERE, or if you can’t wait are already up on Facebook.  

Having told the audience how “Bloody Awful” they were, we headed off back onto the streets to seep in the atmosphere of the event and prepare for the evening set. 

Just a special mention for a special young man who made up part of The Deadmonkey Duo.  Here was a multi-instrumentalist of considerable skill and if you get a chance to catch them, make the time.  Very special, very talented – it just makes limited artists like me sick.

The other splendid acts at The Tudor House were, Driftwood, Julia Davies, East West Infusion, Rex Waldron, and MaKale.

We had been warned.   The Cricketers is a cosy City Centre Pub, decorated throughout with signed cricket bats and other memorabilia.   On a Saturday night it was buzzing, and surprisingly full.   If only the Pubs of Rotherham could make a similar boast, especially at their live music venues.

Opening the evening was Dave Onions.  We had been told that he was an OK singer song writer!   I fear this was a slight understatement.  He lit up the venue with some supreme blues and skilled guitar and mandolin playing to make us mortals feel sick.  Absolutely brilliant.  If you get a chance to see this guy anywhere make a point of seeing him.

It’s a bit scary going on after such a brilliant set with the sort of stuff The Mashers do.  It could hardly be described as blues…………… could it.  

Bravely we set off though – this time giving the health warning.  This was the sort of set that The mashers with Myke loved so much, taking our rough folk out into venues not associated with Folk. 

And once underway, that old feeling came back in volumes…………..  it was as if Myke was giving me a real kick up the arse…………..  what’s more as the punters bounced along to the various songs so we won them over.  

And thanks – if you’re reading this, to all who came up afterwards and said how much they enjoyed what we did and wanted to see more.  It’s great to know that our songs hit the mark. 

And a mention to a great Blues Band Black Cat Bone who not only managed to squeeze a five piece band into the space where even Dave on his own was cramped but sounded absolutely great.

And then sadly, it was back to the Motorway and the drive home.  Being completely exhausted it was son number one in charge of the driving.   So thank you Jack for your time and effort in transporting me about.

The real joy of this weekend was that there were no major concerts with big names.   All the money was put into promoting local musicians and local live music, which in my humble view is what these events should be about, and all put together by a keen volunteer staff who were doing a fantastic job of making sure everything was going according to plan. 

It’s a great pity that more Festivals do not take this on board – or if they want to put on headline concerts, put more effort into promoting the local artists as well.   

Well done Worcester.

Meanwhile, new member Phil Hartley was enjoying a well-earned week off from Masher duties and work.   But we’ll be heading to Topcliffe next Sunday in full voice – we hope. 

Musically the rest of the week had been quiet…………   love to get out more but just at the moment it doesn’t make a lot of sense. 

The Myke Barritt Music Trust.

However, The Myke Barritt Music Trust had its first full meeting since the Birthday Bash at The Bridge on Monday night.
And a good turnout it was to.

The Officers were elected.   Phoebe as Chair, Sylvia Treasurer and Jane Secretary and there was a general feeling that it was all beginning to take a bit shape. 

At long last the Bank Account has been set up and a healthy balance was reported with proceeds coming in from donations made at Myke’s Wake, The Birthday Bash and the sale of some of Myke’s personal Train collection.

Fuller report can be found on the Trust page HERE
Very soon we hope to add a sleek and stylish range of T Shirts to the general merchandise available to help swell the coffers of the Trust. 

We were all overwhelmed by the generosity of the boys and girls of Toein’ In The Dark, who very kindly donated the download proceeds from their well established and critically acclaimed CD “Such A Long Way Back Home” to the fund.  You can download your copy of this fantastic CD HERE.

And don’t forget “The Birds of Rhiannon” also available from HERE.

South Yorkshire Folk / Acoustic Rotherham joint promotion of Artisan’s Re-Union Tour....
Limited Tickets for this event on the 14th September are available for £10.   You can buy On Line HERE or call Richard on 07507588964.   You’ll need to be quick – tickets are selling very fast. 

Pete has sorted the support for the evening – with The Mashers doing the warm up spot and the fantastic Folk On Fire also doing one of their super spots. 

A fantastic night of Folk Music is in store. 

And so the Mashers move on to Topcliffe and The Angel Inn next Sunday.  We’re on around 3:00pm with Phillip doing a solo spot around 5:00pm.  There’s some top music throughout the full weekend though – so get yourself over there on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th August.   And of course there will be the Chapeltown Festival  at The Commercial on Bank Holiday Monday – followed by Nellie Folk.   

But – thanks again to Worcester – we hope to be invited back again soon.

Mashers On The Road - Loads coming up and Exclusive Down Loads

Top of this week’s News Blog – and just because I might well forget, is to invite one and all to a meeting of The Myke Barritt Trust, on Monday – yes that is TOMORROW / TODAY depending upon when you get to read this – the 16th August.  Sorry about the short notice but I only found out myself yesterday.  Oh – where is it – The Bridge Inn, time around 7:30pm in the small upstairs room. 

Other Trust News
A huge thank you to the boys and girls of Toein’ In The Dark for their fantastic generosity in donating all monies from the download sale of their CD “Such A Long Way Home” to The Trust Fund. 

The CD is available for download, exclusively via the Acoustic Rotherham Web Site from either the Myke Barritt Trust page HERE or the CD Shop HERE at the fantastic price of £4.99.  The download package includes all the art work. 

Also I’ve finally tracked down a reasonable copy of the Rhiannon vinyl LP, “The Birds of Rhiannon”, and Track 9 is fully repaired – a copy of Spanish Ladies will be Emailed to all those who have already purchased the down load digital package.

For those who have not got their copy of this rare Album you can down load the package from the Trust page HERE or the CD Shop HERE again for the very reasonable price of £4.99.

And don’t forget the pewter key rings etc.  Really great value for £5.99 Link on the Trust page HERE

It’s an exciing couple of weeks for The Mashers coming up.  This coming weekend we travel South to The Worcester Music Festival.   Saturday 21st August.

Apparently we are one of around 270 bands appearing at this three day Festival, and are very proud to have been selected out of the 650 + Bands who had applied for a spot.

The Mashers are very lucky to have two spots, the first at the Tudor House Museum on Worcester’s Friar Street at around 5:00pm as part of the Folk Club Session and again then supporting Dave Onions with Black Cat Bone at The Cricketers on Angel Street from around 9:00pm.

I’m really looking forward to linking up with my old mate Gary Emms who will become a Masher for the day.  Gary and I played in a Folk Group way back in our teens, so as we both near 60 it just goes to show how friendship within the music community often survives a lifetime. ....
Should be a day to remember.

Then the following week it’s The Northern Branch of the Mashers back in action as we head of to The Angel at Topcliffe for an afternoon set at their Acoustic Festival.   That’s Sunday 29th August.  Another new venue for us and Phill and I are really looking forward to it. 

Incidentally, Phillip will be appearing as himself for a solo set at the end of the afternoon.

No doubt the Chapletown Festival at The Commercial will also get a look in on Bank Holiday Monday as Phil and I laugh at the hangovers returning from Whitby!   Only ‘cos we can’t be there ourselves. 

A short break and then on the 12th September we’re off to Wirksworth for the Street Music Festival.  This will be the third year running that we have made this trip and one that we always enjoy.  If you’ve not visited this two day Festival then it’s highly recommended. 

Yes The Mashers did practice this past week – to prove it you can hear three tracks of classics – just – as it sounds as if I’m at The Bridge in Rotherham, while Phill is working away somewhere the other side of the town.    If you want a laugh – find them HERE for a short period of time.

Don’t’ forget the Diary Pages -  get to them via the Acoustic Rotherham News page HERE 

Finally - The Mashers NEED YOU  -  Please sign up as Fan / Supporter of the Mashers on the  Reverbnation site and of course Phillip Hartley to - both Phil and the Mashers have had their chart position slightly watered down by some Johnny come latelys  - so pay us visit HERE play a couple of tracks and sign up as a fan if you've not already done so.  It all helps. 

Finally – as you know I very occasionally get across to my local Club on a Saturday night.  Last night was just such an evening.   I have to say I was really impressed with last night’s Band “Just a Girl” A four piece guitar, bass vocals and drums, with a little assistance from a backing track or two.   But don’t be put off by that news as they played though two sets of covers in a currently unusually for the Club scene, tight and professional manner.  The Las ha a fantastic voice and her version of the latest Lady Ga Ga single was executed brilliantly, even though she claimed it was the first performance of the song. ....
The musicianship of the members of the band was of an extremely high standard with some excellent guitar solos and a drummer that knew how to drive a band – something I’ve not seen in the Club for a very long time.
So look out for them if they visit a Club near you.

It was their first appearance at Rawmarsh Trades and I hope we will be seeing them again ain the not too distant future.

And that brings ye up to date with the goings on.   Short but sweet this week.  

Mashers Live

This time last week I was just a bit down.

The Big News Blog had been completed, the immediate Myke Trust business concluded and well, still very much undecided about the future of The Mashers.

OK Phil and I had talked and set up a practice, but I have to be honest I was still very much in two minds as to whether The Mashers could really take to the road again given that such huge character had been ripped away. Could anyone replace Myke? The basic answer to that is of course NO, and if that were the case could it ever be The Rawmarsh Mashers again?

So it was with more than just a little concern that I approached Monday’s first session with Phill at The Bridge. Yes we’re back there on a Monday to thrash out and tighten up our songs.

Phil and I had become quite good friends over the past couple of years, an amazing supporter of Acoustic Rotherham, and a singer song writer who has worked very hard to make his name on the local and National grass roots music scene.

We’ve shared stages – done Gigs – all in our seperate compartments. But if anyone knew what the Mashers were about then it was Phil and if he was happy to join an act with a fairly well defined repertoire and profile in theory it should work.

BUT – there is always that nagging thought about introducing a new face.

I need not have worried. By the time we reached the first chorus of “The Gates of Hell” it was quite clear that not only was it going to work, this was going to be whole new rebirth for The Mashers.

So my personal thanks to Phillip and judging by the success of the first practice long may this collaboration continue.

Of course it’ going to take time for us to learn our little on stage habits etc and to iron out the glitches but one feels it’s going to be a worthwhile exercise, and will become great fun.

So how did the first main set go?

The Star Festival, Rawmarsh, is organised to support the “When You Wish Upon a Star” Children’s Charity, and this was its second year, following the success of last year’s event.

Many of the top local Bands, of the rock and blues genre, turn out to produce a fantastic afternoon of music.

This year the folks of Rawmarsh and Rotherham turned out in force – The Star was heaving – producing a fantastic atmosphere.

All power to Chris the Land Lord for organising the event and long may it continue.

And a nice touch to. Chris had arranged for posters of those who wouldn’t be here this year to be made and placed around the pub, and it was really generous to find that Myke had been included. You can see the posters in the pictures of the event. HERE

Another reason I like the event so much is to see them youngun’s doin’ there stuff in their various rock bands.

It’s great to see so many young people involved in the music making process and while some of the music was beyond our understanding (well we are but simple folk) it was creative and exciting and at worst the Band members were really enjoying what they were doing.

This was The Mashers first outing in the new format and as one would have suspected Phill and I had much to learn about each other in the face of a Festival audience, especially one being fed a diet of Rock!

Last year we played inside the pub which provided an intimate setting and a great sound, but this year we were on the main stage outside with all its associated difficulties with sound and weather etc. But for a change, while it threatened, the rain held off.

Despite various mishaps – like the wind blowing Muriel over – poor girl – in the middle of Rich Man’s Paradise – and poor Phill not able to hear a note he was playing, because as it turns out he had not secured his plug into the Mandola correctly we fought on, with once again Dancing On The Grave of Mrs Thatcher winning the audience back after our minor setback. And to my great surprise, even Bloody Rotten Audience slipped down nicely at the end.

It’s so difficult at outdoor gigs just how much people are taking in, but judging by comments afterwards it went OK – and I have to say, Phills solo in Shine was double amazing given that he could not hear himself, and I shouted “take it away Myke” oh dear! To start him off.

So a good first outing but plenty of room for improvement as they say.

The pictures – including of Dickie trying to sort out his music after the only gust of wind of the afternoon had done its worst can be found HERE

And thanks to all those Folk Clubs who have contacted us inviting us along so that we can murder your ears with the new sound – rest assured we’ll be out and about for real probably from late September. ....

On all other fronts it’s been a quiet week.

However, there will be a meeting of The Myke Barritt Trust during the week commencing 16th August. We would love to see you – and if you would like to come along then please Email Phoebe at we really need input and help from as many people as possible as we start to think about the autumn and Winter Fund Raising activities. ....

Good news is that I now have a decent Track 9 for the Rhiannon download and all those of you who have bought a copy will have the track Emailed to you by the end of the week. If you’ve not got your copy yet you can down load it from HERE.

And don’t forget them pewter Keyrings and pins – you can’t be a Masher without one and all for the very reasonable price of £5.99 with a commission going to the Trust funds.

There will also be exciting News in the week of another CD that has been donated to the Myke Barritt Music Trust for people to download from one of the areas top Folk Bands – ....

The list for Acoustic Rotherham 9 on October 31st, is now closed. In fact I’ve probably overdone it again. And what a line up we have for you again……………………. You can check it out HERE

The list for January is open and we’ve already started to add names. ....

Don’t forget you can keep up with all The Myke Barritt Trust, Acoustic Rotherham and Masher News by subscribing to the regular News letters by tapping in your Email address into the box below.

All the News can be picked up on the Acoustic Rotherham news page HERE.

My apologies if the News seems a little out of date sometimes, but time is short as they say. ....

And that’ it for this week folks.

Acoustic Rotherham 8 Reviewed + Myke's Birthday Bash

What a week!!

A big week of activities for everyone this week, starting with Acoustic Rotherham 8 at The Queens, Rawmarsh.

This quarter we added an extra for artists and music enthusiasts, a tour of Rawmarsh and the surrounding area.  The folks at the Gas trunking place decided that last week was a good time to shut off the road leading to the Queens, requiring people to take a trip  either around the Village or more interestingly what seemed a 5 mile detour out into the countryside.

The good news is that everyone made it, eventually.

I’m going to be honest, the organisation for this Acoustic Rotherham had not been as sharp as previous events.  So much has happened and with two events in three days that it was hard to stay on top.  ....
While on that subject, a couple of the planned acts held things up a bit.  One finally pulling out less than ten hours before the event and one other who did not even have the courtesy, given they had asked for a spot, to respond to any of my Emails or messages.   Sometimes I despair of some acts and their lack of professionalism or simple good manners.

Fortunately with so many acts wanting to play at Acoustic Rotherham we were able to fill in – but it’s unfair even on these people because they did not have the time to prepare as they would wish.

But what a great afternoon?

The standard of music was as high as ever, and everyone produced standout performances.
So with most people avoiding The Mashers sound check set, proving that they are true music lovers, and with a ready excuse about circling Rawmarsh it all got underway at the set time.

Big thanks to Richard (Eskimo Kissed) for providing this quarters sound for the afternoon.  Once again a late inclusion, yet every artist without exception were over the moon with their experience.  Thank you Richard.

Mr Phillip Hartley then produced one of his fine sets made up from his growing collection of self-penned songs.  It’s so good to see that Phill is getting so much more recognition these days for both his songs and his live performances, and Sunday’s set was as good as ever.  His latest CD “A Perfect Face For Radio” is available in the CD Shop, packed with tracks old and new.   HERE

Our relatively new friends Jools and Pete who together make up Whipstaff – not Whiplash as advertised – then produced a superb traditional set for us.  With Pete demonstrating some brilliant guitar technique and Jools providing some lovely vocals they held the audience superbly.  Well worth checking their track on the player out, and while they boast at not having a CD to sell, perhaps they should give some thought to it. 

Not a lot can be said about the next performer, Lou Marriott, always great value and a legend of the South Yorkshire folk scene.  His mixture of contemporary and traditional songs is always entertaining and delivered as only Lou can.  Here’s another artist who has nothing recorded, so I’ve cheated and if you nip to the Acoustic Rotherham Reverb Player you’ll find a song and in the Video three videos of Lou in LIVE action, or as live as he gets.  HERE

Then a real treat, having travelled all the way down from Darlington, Stormcrow.  A strong powerful performance of some brilliant edgy songs – right up the street of The Mashers.  Someone in fact commented that they were cultured Mashers………… I’m not sure that they would really appreciate that – but we do.   There’s a track on the player, and their CD can be found in the CD Shop.  HERE

From one powerful performance to another.  Will Padfield wowed us with a set of songs, some self-written that had the audience bouncing in their seats.  Super stuff.  No CD as yet but it can only be a matter of time.

Filling the room with both bodies and instruments came Bandersnatch.  Six talented individuals who together make a great Americana Folk Roots sound.  Someone whispered, not too loudly, that their average age challenged The Mashers.  However, their set was lively, entertaining, and delivered with energy.  YES, they have a CD and you can details of how to grab a copy by going to their Web Site HERE

The Rawmarsh Mashers are heading down to the Worcester Music Festival later in August so it was fantastic to welcome Sam Eden who had made the trip up from that part of the World – Malvern in fact – and a “friend” of son number one.   A singer song writer Sam gave us a set that demonstrated his technical skills to full.  Well done Sam and we hope to see you again in the future.

Offering a complete contrast the next up were Half The Rogues, as Martin and Kevin made enough noise for four as they played through what is a typical Rogues set of Traditional Irish, and more contemporary folky numbers.  Well done lads – well up to standard and it certainly woke me up.  And why have the Rogues never recorded a CD?  We will never know!

With a couple of slots to fill I was able to press gang Rachael Barley into giving us a few songs.  Here’s a real talent deserving of more exposure.  If you’ve not seen her performances with Papa Legbas at The Bridge, then get down there one Saturday night, or better still check out the live track we’ve put on the Acoustic Rotherham Player, or Video Player HERE   The good news is that she’ll be doing a full set at Acoustic Rotherham 9 on October 31st, full details HERE

Then the Mashers could not resist lowering the tone of the afternoon tempted by a few requests to sing one particular song.  Yes, "Dance On The Grave of Mrs Thatcher" was dug out and sung with typical Masher feeling much to the approval the massed choir of the public bar, who seemed to be able to hear it despite the fact that it was performed without PA.  Well done to all who were in the backing group.   ....
And rounding up Acoustic Rotherham 8, another late inclusion, came Eskimo Kissed, Julie and Richard.  It was a brilliant performance of powerful acoustic music, with a set of self-penned songs and one or two covers.  It’s never easy taking the last spot at these events but they held the audience superbly with their upbeat performance and presentation.  And to think Richard had been hard at work on the sound all afternoon.

But no CD or track yet.  We’ll be hoping to put that right when they return for their planned appearance in October.

So thank you one and all for making Acoustic Rotherham 8 such a great afternoon of music keeping up the tradition of our events.  Thanks to my greeter for the afternoon Sue Sutherland and Barry Official photographer, backed by Linda Ganston on her own machine.

We need to get more people in and for longer.  The artists towards the end of what is long stint can often be playing to the embers.  If we could get more local people in perhaps we could hold more towards the end.   So anyone out there who can help with the publicity for the next event in October please contact me by Email.  

I’m pleased to say that all slots for October, Acoustic Rotherham 9 are all full, you can see the list of artists HERE and I’m sure you will agree it promises to be a fantastic second birthday party for Acoustic Rotherham. 

You can find a slideshow of photographs from the event HERE or a Gallery on my Face Book Page HERE

Monday night found me as part of the enthusiastic Nellie Folk gathering at The Bridge in Rotherham.  This monthly Club is one of the best singers Clubs in the area and always has a warm welcome for new or visiting performers.  Well worth popping in and paying the Club a visit.  Fourth Monday of every month or check out the August date HERE

And so to Myke’s Birthday Bash

Some of us had to work Tuesday, me included, but there was music all the way at The Bridge from 2:00pm. 

The afternoon session was led by the brilliant David Kidman, thank Dave and it’s about par for the course that you were going out the door as I crept in.   I’m told that the afternoon session provided some great entertainment from the sundry gathering with special performances from Story and Song, and later Tina and Matt. 

Thanks to everyone who came along for that session with many of you staying on for the evening session, with some having the stamina to stay right until the end. 

Before getting into the evening there are a whole host of people that Phoebe would like to be thanked in helping to raise around £300 for the Myke Barritt Music Trust.  The money is still coming in. 

First and foremost a big thank you to Olivia and Ben for allowing us to use The Bridge for the event, and allowing us carte blanche to use the whole Pub as we wished.  A tiring day and we hope that everyone who came made you work hard on the pumps.   

Sue and Barry Sutherland, demonstrated amazing stamina , aided by Grand Sons Mitchell and Daniel transporting some of Myke’s stuff, selling raffle tickets, singing and anything else.  Sue also had a T shirt made which she was selling on an order basis.  You can get details from Sue.   You can see it modelled in the Photographs of the event HERE or in the Facebook Album HERE

Others who should be mentioned – Andy Senior of the Handsworth Poets for the donation of the Teddy that was raffled, appropriately won by Rotherham poet Terry.

Claire for making the Train shaped birthday cake – consumed with relish by The Bridge Thursday session boys and girls.

And of course there was the team of happy helpers who were behind the Plant Stall lead by Phoebe’s sister Sylvia.  Her little helpers included Jane, and anyone else she could press gang. 

We’re sure that we have left many people off of the list, it’s not intentional, so let’s just say a BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE, you know who you are. 

And that included the musicians for the evening shift, which was kicked off with the humour of Welsh Geoff who was close friend of Myke’s.  Incidentally, Geoff is appearing as the Showcase  guest at the Handsworth Folk Club in August.

Alternating between two stages, it was then the turn of The Rawmarsh Mashers, enough said!!....
Tyburn (In duo mode), with Craig of Rhiannon fame, one of Myke’s Bands of the past,  on keyboards provided a super near acoustic set.  It’s a pity that time and organisation did not allow for the full electric affect to be enjoyed.  But this was a super set put together at short notice, that even had me laughing in places.  Well done lads. 

Toein’ In The Dark, one of Myke’s favourite bands gave us their usual high quality set of traditional and contemporary songs.  So thanks Andy, Jenny and Bob.  Carmel was on holiday but she was certainly there in spirit, and Andy voice held out nicely. 

Drafted in late to replace The Troubadors who could not be there because Steve’s Wife had been rushed to hospital in the night with suspected kidney stones, (we hope that she that it’s all sorted for her – not a nice medical problem to have) came Lyn and Mick Padfield, who together are Taylor Maid.  A brilliant set of swing, blues and jazz all played acoustically.  Brilliant stuff. 

Good friend of The Mashers Paul Pearson took to the stage next with a typically intense and hypnotic set.   The Mashers shared an evening with Paul and Christine his Lady at The Butchers Arms in Braithwell, an event that proved to be the last outing for us and for that reason will always be remembered. 

Upping the tempo and sound level came Jack’s Rake playing their traditional Celtic tunes with gusto and high energy.  Another of Myke’s favourite bands from the local scene they never disappoint or fail to get your feet tapping or, if there’s space, a dancing. 

“Follow that” was the cry, and that’s exactly what singer song writer Phillip Hartley did.  Well done Phill I knew you would be able to pull off that ate and difficult slot.  Another good friend of The Mashers. 

And finally came Myke’s rocking Band Earthtales, with Phoebe guesting on bass in place of the missing Myke.  A number of Myke’s own songs and other Earthtales classics were thrashed out and had the audience bouncing up and down.   The Prof on drums setting the pace, backed by Karl, Andy and guest guitarist Andy Prescott, who I am told travelled a great distance to be with us.

A fitting end to a brilliant evening of music.  

So thank you one and all for the joy of the evening, and to those who stayed away for reasons that had to do with the organisation, you missed a great celebration of grass roots music, the sort of evening that Myke’s Birthday Bash was always about. 

So three great sessions in three days left me absolutely exhausted.  But I get a real kick at bringing so much talent together to do their stuff and with venues closing by the day, and many Land Lords lacking the cash to invest in live music these self-promoted events have to be the way to go, if we want to be heard that is.  

As far as Myke and Acoustic Rotherham events are concerned there will now be a Summer break – but watch out for news of an Autumn / Winter Programme and other fund raising events for the Trust coming soon.   
And so to Masher News.  

Immediate Masher problems have been solved.  We’re Branching out.  

The Northern Branch will see Dickie Masher joined by Phillip Hartley, who will no doubt have his name changed to protect his already excellent reputation. 

Our first outing should be at The Star, “When You Wish Upon a Star” Festival, on the 8th August 2010, we’re due on stage around 7:00pm – they’re saving us until everyone is either drunk or gone home so if you can spare the time to come and give us a cheer I know we’ll appreciate it.  

Phill will also be joining me for the Topcliffe Acoustic Festival and hopefully Wirksworth as well.

AND we have a Southern Branch, Dickie Masher will be joined by his old friend Gary Emms.  We use to terrorise the Folk Clubs of Gosport and Portsmouth together in our teenage years, and for those who like a little emotion, it’s worth getting to the 5:00pm slot at the Museum in Worcester to see Dickie’s Mum cry as she once again recollects what it was like in our kitchen when we practiced…………   we ain’t got much better so……

This is really good news for The Mashers – OK not so good for Folk Music – but who cares? ....

You will have noticed that I do slip into the Royal “we” from time to time in my chat about The Mashers, it’s a habit and not one that will be broken easily.  

Rest assured it will be The Mashers repertoire – and delivered The Mashers way. 

I hope that I’ll be able to twist Phill’s arm into joining me on a few visits to Folk Clubs as the Autumn hits.
All Mashers Gigs appear HERE
I’m sure I’ve got to talk about something else but I’ve gone on for far too long.  And you must be getting bored.  

To keep completely up to date with The Myke Barritt Music Trust, Acoustic Rotherham and The Rawmarsh Mashers, sign up for the regular News Letters, or Spam as my younger brother calls it.