Sunday 17 June 2012

Middlewich Festival

For us, there were two musical highlights of the festival. The first I mentioned in my last post – the wonderful Shetland sets of Lana Elaine, Calum Morrison and Stephen Henderson, all students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Yesterday we went to their early evening session at The Narrowboat, where they were joined again by (17 year old?) Robbie. It was a significant challenge, because of the competition from a pubful of noisy drinkers interested in jocularity at high volume and not at all in the music. They played through it, and we were just about close enough (3 feet away) to hear the magic.

The second was an afternoon with Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson (Aussie and Irish), with a strong delta blues feel. They were stunning. Cara played flute, whistle and percussion, and has an extraordinary wash-board with some extra bits and pieces that she dons and plays with a couple of bear-claw gloves. She has a great, strong jazz/blues voice, which complements Hat's guitar playing and singing fantastically well. If you get the chance to see them live, take it.

This morning we finished by joining in "Festival Praise" from the live stage – MIddlewich Churches Together and a band called Unite leading it all. Something special for Dad's day, and a special focus on the Middlewich Street Pastors – volunteers out at the weekends, making a significant difference to the town. We've seen the good, the bad and the ugly in Middlewich. I'm glad that our final experience has been a celebration of lots of good things going on in the community – there was a real sense of hope conveyed this morning along with the recognition of the challenges that the days hold.


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