Wednesday, 25 August 2010

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.

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