In preparation for the Backyard tour next month we’ve got lots of updates on the local supports. Scroll down for the details! We’ve started going through the suggestions made on www.backyardsongs.com – lots of great ideas so far! But we still need more. If you have any ideas please let us know
Diss Corn Hall suggest a song
Dancing dolls have been used for at least the past one hundred and fifty years in Great Britain, and are also known in Ireland and North America. Step dancing is a vernacular form of tap dancing, where individual dancers improvise a sequence of steps, most frequently to a hornpipe tune. These two stalwarts of East Anglian Tradition are being showcased at the Diss Corn Hall before the Spiers & Boden show.
Haverhill Arts Centre suggest a song
Since emerging from the flooded bog of the fenland in 1984, the Ouse Washes Molly Dancers have been proudly performed the traditional molly dances of the Fens with vigour, panache and humour. Many of the dances performed by Ouse Washes Molly have been inspired by the rich heritage of story in the fenland region. They are one of the first and few traditional dance sides to explore the synergy of the story and dance as part of their routine. The powerful dance and mysterious stories from the marshland provide a memorable performance! Based in Norfolk (UK), the side regularly perform at major international festivals in the UK and beyond. In February 2012, we were involved in Morris in Oman.
Molly dancing was performed by Norfolk and Cambridgeshire farm workers on Plough Monday, the first Monday after Epiphany, as a way of raising funds after Christmas. Although the tradition goes back a very long way, it died out in most places at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers have helped to revive molly dancing, including the tradition of Straw Bears in the streets of Ramsey (Cambridgeshire) in recent years (see www.ploughmonday.co.uk). They have also been very active in bringing knowledge about the dance (and associated traditions) to local primary schools as part of a number of Heritage Lottery projects, and teaching thousands of pupils along the way. In line with tradition, the side dress in attire that could be deemed more suited to proms and garden parties! Heels and brogues, however, have been swapped for the trade-mark boots. Oy!
Ouse Washes Molly will perform in the venue in advance of the show.
Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall – Uffington suggest a song
Uffington is in the very heart of traditional Cotswold Morris country. Tonight, we see some local traditional dances performed by Icknield Morris Men.
Ellesmere Port – Hungry Horse Folk Club suggest a song
It was in 1795 that, supervised by chief engineer William Jessop who was assisted by the then relatively unknown Thomas Telford, the eight-mile-long Wirral line of the canal was cut from Chester to the hamlet of Netherpool, on the River Mersey, with the object of linking up with the Ellesmere Canal system in Shropshire, and thereby, to provide an outlet to the sea for the manufacturers of the Midlands and Potteries. To facilitate the transhipment of goods between the canal narrow boats and seagoing vessels, Jessop constructed a tidal basin at Netherpool (now the site of the museum and present day Canal Centre). This new outlet to the sea was thus the port for the Ellesmere canal system and, in a very short time, it acquired the name of Ellesmere Port. Before the performance tonight and during the interval, local volunteers from the Canal Centre will be demonstrating some of the crafts and traditions from the canals. These include rag rugging, belt embroidery, canal costumes, crochet, canal painting and pegloom weaving.
Stockton-on-Tees – ARC suggest a song
Steve Dawes and Helen Pitt – Helen & Steve have been singing together since 1996 and have a varied repertoire that includes both traditional and contemporary songs. On the show night they will be performing exclusively locally collected and locally written songs in advance of the Spiers & Boden show.
The Stables – Milton Keynes suggest a song
Mummers Plays are one of the oldest English traditions and often contain mythical characters of English legends. To celebrate St George’s Day (23rd April), the Stony Stratford Mummers will be performing a traditional play in advance of the Spiers & Boden show. The Stony Stratford Mummers have been performing and collecting for charity since 1974. www.stonymummers.org.uk
Deal – Astor Theatre suggest a song
Talented harmonisers, the Tarry Trousers Choir have been working on a repertoire of folk songs from the town of Deal and outlying regions. This is a rare opportunity to hear arrangements created in part for this tour in advance of the Spiers & Boden show.
Arnside WI Village Hall suggest a song
Please note the change of venue for this gig to one of a larger capacity. As part of the Backyard Songs strand of the Spiers & Boden spring tour, l ocal Cumbrian singer, Pete Ord, will be opening the show with a selection of regional songs.
Bristol – Colston Hall suggest a song
The Roaring Trowmen are a group of six hearty men in Bristol who sing sea shanties and folk songs and will be performing in advance of the Spiers & Boden Bristol show.
Exeter Phoenix suggest a song
Dartmoor step dancer and local musician Matt Norman will be demonstrating some local steps and performing some local tunes in advance of the Spiers & Boden show as part of the Backyard Songs element of the spring tour. Matt is joined and accompanied by Mark Bazeley of Dartmoor Pixie band fame who will also be demonstrating some local Jig Doll traditions.
Cardiff – St. David’s Hall suggest a song
Support tonight comes from DnA, a mother and daughter duo of Roedd Delyth Jenkins and Mae Angharad Jenkins, who will be performing a selection of local tunes. Both Delyth and Angharad have toured extensively in their own rights, but after several invitations to perform together at festivals and arts centres across south Wales, they are now officially joining forces. Angharad guested on Delyth’s latest album AROS, and their musical chemistry most definitely caught the attention of the reviewers: ‘Delyth has a vibrant musical rapport with her daughter Angharad.’
Constantine – Tolmen Centre suggest a song
The local community choir of Constantine have been working on some special arrangements of local Cornish songs and will be performing some of them in advance of the Spiers & Boden show at The Tolmen Centre.
Salisbury Arts Centre suggest a song
Local folk group ‘Tinkers Bag’ will be performing a selection of Wiltshire folk songs in advance of the Spiers & Boden show in Salisbury as part of the Backyard Songs project that runs across the Spiers & Boden spring tour.
New Milton – Forest Arts suggest a song
Southampton based band Jigfoot is working with step dancers Jo and Simon Harmer to research and reinvigorate tunes and step dance styles from the south coast, and will be performing in advance of the Spiers & Boden show as part of the Backyard Songs project that runs across the Spiers & Boden spring tour.