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

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