Celia and I trekked over to Blackpool last night for a concert in St Paul’s Church in Marton. This is becoming a popular concert venue in the town, with a lot of work being done behind the scenes to make it happen by a number of dedicated, regular members. A lovely man called Will was responsible for the organisation of our concert last night, at which he did a fine job!
We decided to try a slightly different approach at this particular concert, in that the the first half was entirely made up of music and stories about notable 16th/17th Century Irish harpers, including Thomas Connellan, Blind Rory Ó Catháin, Cornelius Lyons and, of course, the great Turlough O’Carolan. Celia’s expert harp playing was the main focus of this part of our concert, and she mesmerised the audience as always. She also delivered her Lancashire dialect poem about O’Carolan: ‘On his Horse, with his Harp, in his Hand’, which raised a few laughs.
The second half comprised of some of our more regular favourites, and focused a little more on the flute and whistles. We played a mixture of mainly Irish reels, jigs, hornpipes and airs, along with ‘Lancaster Lasses’, a minuet from the local Winder Collection and an Eastern European tune in 11/8. We finished the set with a Swedish tune that we both love to play, Kirkwaltzen, followed by Carolan’s Draught to bring us back full circle.
All in all it was a very successful night, and was followed up by a very friendly pint with several of the organisers in The Saddle just round the corner, one of my old favourite pubs in Blackpool. It was nice to be back in my area of origin for a night – in fact, as I pointed out to Celia, I was born nobbut a stone’s throw from the Saddle, on the very same road. There was even an old mate of mine (Mike Evans from local band Thistle, which I was actually a founder member of in years gone by) drinking in the pub. It is indeed a small world!
One thing we are finding at present is that we are constantly being asked for CDs of our music, and last night was no exception. The good news is it looks like we will start recording next Monday, so watch this space for further info!