Photograph by Brian, our very excellent caller for the evening.
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Just some pics:
And in my spare time…
Oh dear x2:
A fine example of a flying kettle, aka Suzuki GT750 2 stroke triple:
Lymm Rushbearing:(Anyone spot the Long Suffering Rick?)
Marmalade in Manchester:
And in my spare time…
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Friday 17th AugustThe Marmaladies have done this ceilidh before and reported back that it was fun. Held in the Friend’s Meeting House in Manchester city centre and run by the Quakers. The building is adjacent to Petersfield, site of the Peterloo massacre of 1819.
The event promised to cheerful and gay. I’m not a religious type at all, but I’ve got a lot of time for the Quakers. The event was certainly gay.
The Marmaladies were operating with extras at this event. In addition to Clur on whistles and flute, and Marian on fiddle, we had Kathy on flute – she’s a long-time member of the band but has been in Glasgow for the last 4 years, John on guitar, Mike on Cajon (and a very excellent sound man), Brian as caller, and me on melodeon. It was a lively musical mix, with and excellent caller and a tremendously enthusiastic, and sometimes colourful audience:
An early finish (10pm) left us enough time to pile all the gear into Mike’s Tardis of a Landrover, squeeze the band in too, and then head to the Beech in Chorlton for rehydration.
Saturday 18th AugustA different band for this one – Midgebites. We were one down for this one – Bill, our very excellent percussionist, has moved up to Morecambe to look after his poorly lady. The band insisted he stay with Gina, whilst she’s under the weather. Fingers crossed for her full recovery!
We were down to John W on guitar, Emma on fiddle, me on melodeon, and Brian as caller….. but no drum. This could be a problem.
We decided some time ago that if Bill couldn’t play with us for some reason, we would turn the booking down. What to do?
A couple of hours of messing about with bits of wood came up with a stompbox. It’s simply a box that has a microphone inside. I tend to stamp my feet in time with the music – so why not capitalise on my footwork. The box worked a treat. Okay, it didn’t have the fiddly, frilly drum sound that Bill produces so well, but we had a beat for the band to ‘lock’ on to – and it seemed to help the audience too.
The ceilidh was an Anglo-Chinese wedding…well he was British, she was Chinese. The reception was at a small church hall in Hale, not far from JJ Towers. As is often the case with weddings, it was a late start. We were booked from 8pm until 11.30pm, but the speeches etc delayed kick-off until 9.30pm. It was curious to see one half of our audience dressed in sober, western attire, whilst t’other half were dressed very brightly indeed.
The Bride’s brother…I think
Brian, our caller, doing his very best to explain a dance in English to our audience, many of whom only understood Chinese. It worked!
The evening went well. It was extremely hot and our little band were rather pooped by the time we left for home.
No more ceilidhs for a week or two now, there are backpacking trips on the horizon.
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Lymm Festival 2012 is underway as I typeThis local village event attracts performers and audience from near and far. Timperley in my case. Every year local organisations put huge amounts of effort to help make this gala the success it has grown into today. One of these organisations is Lymm Folk Club run by the very fine Bernard (available for weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs, funerals, divorce parties etc). Bernard arranges for all manner of events to take place during the festival, including a ceilidh, very many folk concerts, and of course Breakfast with Marmalade.
The Marmaladies, previously featured in the pages of this blog, run a singaround / music session for a couple of hours during festival, entitled ‘Breakfast with Marmalade’. Click here for a better photograph than mine of the Marmaladies in action at Lymm Festival 2009.
Honorary Marmaladies are called on for the occasions when more noise is required, and today I was one of those called to assist.
Enough of this…on with the day!
The weather was good so I decided to ride Diana (my Dawes hybrid….well what else would you call a Dawes??) to Lymm. Apart from the first mile I followed quiet lanes for the 8.5 mile ride into Lymm, and in particular the Spread Eagle (JW Lees) – the venue for today’s musical bash. The ride took around 40 minutes – it probably took longer to load and unload the bike at each end of the journey.
The performance was due to start at 12 0’clock, and at about 12.06 prompt the music and singing began. The audience steadily grew until at one point there were so many people trying to ignore us that their numbers could be counted on the fingers of not too many hands.
Seriously though, it was good. The beer garden of the Spread Eagle filled up with festival goers as well as passers-by who just happened to be, er, passing by. Brief rain-showers did their best to interrupt the proceedings but we were there to have fun – a little bit of rain wasn’t going to bother us!
I was delighted when Lynsey rolled up with the not-so-baby Isabel. They were looking for some entertainment but were sadly disappointed when they realised that they’d be listening to me.
The music and singing finished just after 2pm. Our audience and other singers & musicians either went on to the next festival event – or like me, they went home. I loaded Diana and made for the Bridgewater Canal towpath. Before I could get there the sky darkened, there was a flash, a rumble – and the heavens opened. Big time. Fortunately I’d spotted friend Sue in the village and we stopped to catch up with any gossip and / or scandal – there wasn’t anything worth reporting. The good news was that we’d chosen the stand under a shop awning (yes, Lymm has REAL shops!) which offered shelter from the downpour.
The road became two fast-flowing streams separated by a narrow strip of tarmac. I was so glad to have spotted Sue! Half an hour later the rain eased and I was able to continue my homeward journey. The canal towpath had been re-surfaced in parts so the first part of my bike ride home was fairly clean….then it became muddy. Very muddy indeed.
I left them to carry on their expedition, whilst I carried on Eastwards (now where have I heard that before?) to get muddier. Leaving the towpath to get onto tarmac at Broadheath was a Joyous Thing. No more mud. 10-15 minutes later I was home.
I’m not sure if I was muddier than the bike. Whatever – it was a close-run thing. Buckets of water had the bike looking better than it had for months. A hot soapy shower had me not looking much different, just with less mud.
Another good, if slightly damp day. I really should get out cycling more.
Vital statistics: 16.5 miles with around 250’ of upness:
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