Bush Rush and Melodrome Allstars at Bentham Carnival

The Bush Rush made a splash at Bentham Carnival last weekend, basking in the sun as we flounced around banging on Yorkshire windows and demanding that Heathcliffe let us in.

13321927_10154206229709817_2797752949597015363_nAfter performing the Bush Rush in the Horse and Farrier car park along with a fabulous group of locals who were game for a laugh, Lucy and I got to lead the parade through the village, along with Anne the lovely vicar of Bentham who Bushed up and did all the moves with us. We had a reet good time.

After the parade was over we spent some time enjoying the carnival as oddly-dressed punters, then met up with the rest of the Melodrome Allstars at Hoggs and Heifers for our late afternoon gig. What a lovely pub, a great venue with a really enthusiastic and attentive audience.

A reet good day out was had by all adjacent to the wild and windy moors, oh yes indeed.

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Bev Whelan, Lucy Reynolds and Roger Purves playing in ‘Ear Sounds’ (part of the Melodrome Allstars collective) at Hoggs and Heifers in Bentham 


Melodrome Allstars at the Robert Gillow

Gigs with the Melodrome Allstars are always different. As it is a loose collective of musicians, our gigs are usually made up of whoever is available on any given night.

13220782_10209330098907536_4754179019478708128_oLast Thursday at the Robert Gillow in Lancaster – 12th May 2016 – the emphasis was on showcasing duos and trios, rather than the full ensemble. Lucy and Roger were first up. The highlight for me of their duo set was ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, sung in Lucy’s inimitable style.

Lucy left the stage for a bit while I joined Roger for some Irish trad-influenced tunes. Roger and I have been working for a while now on a version of Dave Brubeck’s fantastic melody ‘Take Five’ played in a 6/8 Irish jig rhythm. It shouldn’t work but somehow it actually does! We play the usual 5/8 melody, then skip into 6/8 in the middle, and we used this piece to finish our short set. Other tunes we played harked back to the 1970s folk rock era of Horslips, reflecting the early influences of both Roger and myself.

Ear SoundsLucy joined Roger and myself again for our trio ensemble. Audience favourites seemed to be our cover of Going Up the Country, complete with flute solo as recorded by Canned Heat, and also Echo Beach in which the flute takes the keyboard motif from the original recording. Fun times!

No pics of all three of us on stage together, but here we are posing a la 1970s folk rock album cover.

After we’d finished our set, the stage was taken by Tree of Songs, AKA Chris Watkins and Sarah Thornton. Sarah is quite new to this performing malarky but you’d never know it as she sings and plays with great confidence, and her voice is exquisite. Chris’s vocal harmonies blend perfectly with Sarah’s amazing voice. They are really great to listen to, and highly recommended if you ever see them on anywhere.


13198419_10209330098987538_3333072635483102624_oNext up was Brendan and Jody Cronin. Brendan has possibly the largest and most varied repertoire of anyone I have ever met, and tends to do themed performances. He and Judy did a mixture of covers and their own songs in this set, with some lovely vocal harmony work from Judy.

After a short break I joined Brendan and Judy on stage to finish off the night with some Irish classics, including an instrumental version of The Shamrock Shore, and a few well-known singalong numbers.

That was the end of another enjoyable night playing with the Melodrome Allstars. Next up, we will be playing at Bentham Carnival in June – see my 2016 Performances page for more details as I get them.