Saturday, September 18, 2010

Angel Canal Festival

the Angel Canal festival has become a regular in our programme - all sorts of odd bands and music and funfairs etc.

just deciding what to dance...

Pheonix Gardens agricultural show

We danced for the wonderful Pheonix Garden Agricultural Show

We danced in the church yard of St Giles, you would not imagine that we were in the centre of London and next to Centrepoint and Oxford Street.
The garden is beautiful, with banana plants even.
the gardener's blog is here

I was sent some photos of us dancing by Rory O'Callaghan:

Myrtle had special dispensation to attend the show as she is a very well-behaved morris beast and had her bells on. She used a rustic lead for the occasion
Checking out the bells in the belfry

The bunting was all made by the committee, and there were cakes on sale from the West End WI, local honey, fancy pigeons, bell ringing, farm animals from Surrey Docks... all very countrified

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

6th Croydon Night of Dance

We had a good night out with Blackheath, Northwood, Old Palace Clog and Marlings Morris, dancing in the streets of Croydon...

Lovely evening,
Thanks to James Denny for arranging it and inviting us

(side note - I saw 6 foxes as I cycled home)

I haven't any photos, but here's Myrtle in her chariot preparing to go and be a morris beast

I think she likes it

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chelsea Tour

on 13th July
we were at the Anglesea Arms in Chelsea and then at the Scarsdale in Edward Square

Kensington Tour

at the Elephant and Castle Holland St for 8th July where we were joined by Al and Debs of Sharps' Morris and then the Uxbridge Arms near Notting Hill Gate
Big apologies to Linda, the landlady of the Uxbridge Arms, who is always welcoming. We'll give you notice next time so you can tell the neighbours.

Notting Hill became a village for the evening.
Here's Allen dancing a jig

Fiztrovia Tour

Back to the Duke of York and then on to the Fiztroy Tavern for 1st July

Well received, and here's a photo of us joined by a hen party

at a school in Clapham

we were invited to dance for an international evening at Sacred Heart Primary School, on 25th June and hadn't been out for a bit and it just worked...
(I'm sure I took photos but can't find them)

Gt Ormond Street

I've been very behind with my blogging but let's get some things up to record the year

We had another lovely evening for Great Ormond Street on 4th May, dancing for and with some of the children at the Great Ormond Street Scout group
No photos I'm afraid

Monday, May 03, 2010

Folk Against Fascism's Village Fete

It was British Folk's finest hour on May 2, as Folk Against Fascism celebrated on the South Bank, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

We were there, being happily outdanced by the energetic Nonesuch from Bristol, by Thrale Rapper, the wondrous New Esperance, and the Belles of London (suffering from injury and the loss of a Top Hat, after mingling with Tories on St George's day).

This picture tells you all you need to know about the outside dancing conditions, and our battery ran out after this...

Among other things, the day included great cakes from the Women's Institute, a rare, sweaty and high-powered ceilidh from the Oyster Ceilidh Band (and another with Old Swan), and an evening gig of politically-motivated (* see comments below) folk.

It all stemmed from the BNP's ill-judged efforts to co-opt folk into their vision of British-ness. British folk may be British, it may even be patriotic at times, but it's not xenophobic. Take that, Nick Griffin!

Following The Jack...

Another nice May Day following Fowler's Troop

They find nice beer in good pubs

And a pleasant amble

What could be nicer?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Morris As Comedy - Some Common Threads

A couple of weeks ago in a Soho junk shop, I found two books of comic strips of The Cloggies, the classic Private Eye comic-strip clog dancing dating from the 1960s. A favourite strip is on the left. After practice, we noticed a couple of things about it
  • Bells on the arms
  • No musician in sight
  • A recurring theme of disciplinary panels and authority
All three things are also true of last year's Life With Bells On movie. So I wonder if there's a reason Morris (or clog) has to always be that way in any comedy production, regardless of what medium, whether strip or film.

Certainly bells on the arms look good visually (even if they don't add much to the sound) and in any fantasy where you don't actually have to perform, a musician can be a needless complication. And Morris is an anarchic activity which shows up well when set against authority figures

One other thing I found on the Cloggies' Wikipedia page, is that there was actually a real side called the Cloggies, formed in tribute to the Bill Tidy cartoon. Their finest hour, bringing to a close a student performance of John Milton's Comus, got a snotty review from the Guardian theatre critic, which the lads quite rightly regarded as "a complete vindication of all they had stood for".

Comus, of course, is the perfect vehicle for any celebrity Morris, as it was performed in Cambridge in 1908 by a team (left) including the poet Rupert Brooke and the mountaineer George Mallory (more details here).