Wednesday 1 June 2011

What a session!

We went to the Spittal Brook in Stafford for a folk session last night – standard Tuesday night fare at this pub. I haven't been at anything like it for ages. About fifteen musicians had brought a range of instruments – several guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, fiddle, mouth organs, and a strange sort of triple pipe thing from which the player produced a great train whistle sound at one point. Our friends Roger and Mirjana took their melodeons. Anyone (or a combination) started up a tune whenever they felt like it, and anyone who felt like it just joined in. I found myself accompanying on the guitar some melodeon tunes I'd never heard before – the challenge was to guess the next chord sequence before it arrived (or adapt pretty quickly and make it look like you were being creative!). The range was traditional English and Irish material to protest songs, with some humorous ditties along the way. Mirjana contributed a fabulous unaccompanied song she'd written about the Welsh village where she grew up.

So, thanks to everyone who made the evening so special. Not just the musicians but everyone else who was listening or joining in the songs. It reminded me again that great music depends on appreciative listeners as much as talented performers.


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