This page shows recent gigs since we re-formed as a trio. We’ve also played the St Neots Folk Festival, 2018, and were lining up future gigs, including playing on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on 18th May, though the Coronavirus pandemic has curtailed live gigs till further notice. It’s also stopped the Cambridge Folk Festival where we were due to run Northumbrian piping workshops and play in the Festival Session on Stage 2.
In the event, we were invited to create a virtual workshop for a series of online events for the 2020 festival. You can see it here.
Watch this space for further news. We launched our new EP on Cambridge 105 Radio’s Strummers & Dreamers show on Easter Monday, April 13th, 2020 – the live studio session was replaced by recorded talk and tracks. And we’re participating in online sessions and events: Northumbrian piping sessions and tune-writing sessions via Zoom and Facebook, and practising hard for a new set of recordings.
Our tune-writing group, Fine-Tuning, started by our friend Jon Shurlock, and mentored by the amazing piper Chris Evans, has produced a book of 98 new tunes for the Northumbrian pipes – you can get a copy by donating to the NHS via our Just Giving page.
Here’s a video of a selection of the tunes, played by their composers.
David and Andrew also entered the duet class of the Northumbrian Pipers Society Annual Competitions, and won the trophy. Here’s the video.
And Andrew has written a new song as part of the North Cambridge Song project, run by Emily Peasgood, celebrating the life and history of the communities of that part of the city. Andrew’s song is The Ghost of the Snowcat, about the pub on Arbury road which used to be his local, and is now a Sikh gurdwara, or temple. Details of the project and demos of the songs are on the project site. A performance, part of an online Zoom concert, can be seen below. Andrew is joined by former member of Camus Brian Cleary, on guitar.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to book us when things return to some semblance of normality, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAND PRACTICES GO LIVE!
Since meeting indoors was allowed we’ve managed four practices, working on our set for the St Neots Festival. Great to be back together!
STOP PRESS: We are over the moon to announce that we’re booked for the Saturday night of the 2021 St Neots Folk Festival, supporting Richard Digance. See you there – 25th September!
The Mayflower, November 2019
In November 2019, we played The Mayflower Club in Cambridge, supporting Alistair Anderson: a great Northumbrian evening. Here’s Alistair in full flight.
Weston Colville Reading Room, December 2019
In December we played at the Weston Colville Reading Room. It was a fantastic gig: around 40 people, who seemed to love our music. Here’s a review:
We invited Camus to play and they filled our Reading Room – we were happy we had to put out more seats. Andrew, Greg and David gave us a fantastic evening’s entertainment and we saw the passion for their music. It was so obvious they enjoy playing together – doing what they know and love. Their range made the set great entertainment, interlacing folk standards with their own songs. Lots of people have asked if they’re coming back, and they’ll definitely be asked to play for us again! Jacqueline and Alastair Douglas, Weston Colville Reading Room
St Neots Folk Club, February 2020
Our most recent gig was at the St Neots Folk Club, a favourite of ours, as we’ve played there under several guises: with Cobblers Last in the 1970s, with Camus in the 80s, with the Great Eastern Ceilidh Company a few years ago, and in our new three-piece line-up in 2020. We also played at the St Neots Folk Festival 2018. We filmed the most recent gig, so here is the full set, to give a flavour of what you can expect from an evening with us.
Three Northumbrian tunes: Air Moving, by Kathryn Tickell; Because he was a Bonny Lad (trad); Holmes’ Fancy (trad)
A song by Andrew, about the Hartlepool steelworks and his grandad, who was a foreman during and after WW2
Two tunes by Andrew: The Cherry Tree march and the Mayday Rant
A beautiful tune by Greg, Cold Fen, followed by Shove the Pig’s Foot a Little Closer to the Fire, and Tom Cronin’s Homework. This is the title track of the Cold Fen CD.
Three Shetland tunes, also in the Cold Fen CD: Da Day Dawn (trad); Christmas Day i Da Morning (Fredamann Stickle); Da Alamoutie (trad). The Alamoutie is the Shetland name for the stormy petrel.
An Irish hornpipe, followed by a traditional Northumbrian tune, which first appeared in Skillern’s “Twenty-four new Country Dances for the Year 1799”, and then in Peacock’s “A Favourite Collection of Tunes with Variations Adapted for the Northumberland Small Pipes, Violin or Flute” (1805).
The beautiful Josefina’s Waltz, by Roger Tallroth.
A variation set played on the pipes by David: Ma Dearie sits Ower Late up, which won the Open competition at the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society 2019.
A lively set of Old Timey tunes from Greg’s other life as a bluegrass fiddler: Grasshopper Sitting on a Sweet Potato Vine; Julianne Johnson; Needlecase
A radical reworking of the well-known song The Keeper. It’s suffered from years of wholesome inclusion in campfire repertoires, though it’s actually an 18th century song of sexual pursuit. This version is largely based on Roud and Bishop’s New Penguin Book of English Folksongs, with a couple of original twists from us.
Two 48-bar jigs by Andrew: The Three-Day Week, and Alan Burn’s Memorial Jig, written in memory of his dad.
Two Northumbrian tunes: Swindon, by Archie Dagg, and the traditional hornpipe, Proudlocks. These are popular tunes in Northumbrian sessions, where Greg’s lovely harmonies, featured here, are often used.