Calling all ye Folkies

Arrange a meet-up, start a community or tell us about an event in the area

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RevdTess
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Calling all ye Folkies

Post by RevdTess »

ImageI'm not sure what the peaknik/folkie crossover rate is but I'm finding a lot of pleasure and wistful sanity in the sentiments of the old gaelic folk tunes, so I am. I wrote the following in my blog today, and it occurred to me that if anyone in the (south or west) London area would like to meet up weekly for conversation, beer and company in the gentle yet rumbustious atmosphere of very talented folk session players, the Kilkenny in South Wimbledon (just next to the tube) might be as good a place as any.

I'm there every Tuesday from around 9pm till late come hell or - uh - peak oil, and as well as the players there's also a group of green-lefties who hang out there and chat politics. I've found a friendly response to the peaknik message among that group especially as it relates to the need for relocalisation.
I bloody love going to folk sessions. I just love it so much. I love the welcome you get, the idle banter, the wistful airs, the jigs and reels played so fast your fingers blur. I love the cliqueyness, the music for music's sake, the old beardy men with pipes and squeezeboxes who appear to have stepped aside from the 'rocky road to dubberlin' only minutes earlier.

At about 11pm last night I suddenly realised I was in Tess heaven. A couple of bottles of Magners had stripped away the world outside the music, they were playing a tune I know and my hands, breath and instrument were one. Endorphins, come on down!

I'm so glad I was immersed in music when I was little. I did not appreciate it at the time, all the hours of unwanted practice playing or singing music I hated. But now I'm so glad I did; so glad I can just pick up the flute and be playing at breakneck speed after a month or two of easy practice.

It's all rather serendipitous. JohnB was learning to play the mandolin, and I had the idea to (re)learn the irish flute so I could play along when next we met. Then a friend suggested I check out the flutes at Hobgoblin, thus I came to own a flute for the first time since the one I learned on was stolen in 1995. Then a new friend from church invited me along to the pub one evening in to what turned out to be an irish folk night at the Kilkenny, and I was immediately hooked and inspired to dedicate myself to the cause.

It is only odd that despite having enjoyed all kinds of folk music since I was introduced to Fairport Convention in the mid 90s, I have never until right now felt the absolute bliss of being part of the performance.

Well, never mind, all things have their time and their place, and mine is at the Kilkenny in South Wimbledon on Tuesdays at 9pm.

I see in my future much studying of the genre. Here at least is something to which I can bend my 'need to excel' that will not consume the planet and/or harm the poor. I sense a calling! :)

I am going to live on a narrowboat and play wistful airs across the water.

And if my career plays second fiddle to the flute, maybe I could let go of the career that so poorly sustains my self-esteem, and focus on what I love?
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JohnB
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Re: Calling all ye Folkies

Post by JohnB »

Tess wrote:It's all rather serendipitous. JohnB was learning to play the mandolin, and I had the idea to (re)learn the irish flute so I could play along when next we met.
And you got all that inspiration from hearing me play half a tune :lol: :lol: :lol:
John

Eco-Hamlets UK - Small sustainable neighbourhoods
RevdTess
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Re: Calling all ye Folkies

Post by RevdTess »

JohnB wrote:
Tess wrote:It's all rather serendipitous. JohnB was learning to play the mandolin, and I had the idea to (re)learn the irish flute so I could play along when next we met.
And you got all that inspiration from hearing me play half a tune :lol: :lol: :lol:
I know!

Which tune did you play, by the way? Must remember it so that in thirty years time when I know a thousand tunes I can tell the story of how it all began... ;)
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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

It may have been Hunt The Squirrel, but I'm not sure. Can you play it on the mandolin yet?
John

Eco-Hamlets UK - Small sustainable neighbourhoods
RevdTess
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Post by RevdTess »

It's going to take a while for me to catch up with the mandolin. I'm still at the stage where I have to think through every note I play, like first hearing in my head, then figuring out the 'dots', then deciding which string that note is on, then working out the fret number, then moving my hand to the right position, then sounding the note... Once I get to the point where brain says 'two notes higher' and everything else happens automatically, then I might start being able to really enjoy it :)

It's rather like trying to play flute left-handed - reminds me how much of the music memory is in the hands and fingers, not the mind!

Hunt the Squirrel! Nice and short - will definitely have to try that on the mandolin!
frankd2689
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Post by frankd2689 »

If anyone's looking for traditional music sessions generally, try
www.thesession.org It's got listings of venues nationwide. :D
Cheers
Frank
RevdTess
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Post by RevdTess »

frankd2689 wrote:If anyone's looking for traditional music sessions generally, try
www.thesession.org It's got listings of venues nationwide. :D
Cheers
Although be sure and check the comments as quite a few of the sessions stop happenin' as landlords and organisers move on.

I'm off down to the Blythe Hill Tavern nr Catford tonight. Apparently there's a session there from 9pm. Can't find any record of it going away, so hopefully the craic is alive and kicking!
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