Chippenham Folk Festival is a regular fixture in the Havoc calendar. We’ve had to deploy umbrellas more than once in the past, but Saturday May 23rd was a perfect day.
We started on the main stage and then proceeded to various dance spots about the town.
About to launch into ‘Constant Billy’ at the Chippenham Folk Festival.
It was a day for running into dance types less often encountered. Slovak dance group Morena plough a very different furrow to English folk.
Slovak Dance Group Morena at Chippenham.
We were on more familiar ground with Lancashire’s very own Regency Rejigged. A couple of Havocs have done Playford, and much looked familiar, or so they said.
Regency Rejigged at the Chippenham Folk Festival.
Havoc spreads to Berkshire – a splendid night out in a delightful rural idyll – lots of free food, great dancing, great pub and FREE beer! A grand dance out with OBJ from Bracknall to an ideal Morris venue. Oliver seems to struggle on his third pint – “is this really a pint and have I got to finish this one!” Mind you as the night drew on a motorist managed to run over his foot as they left the car park – many thanks to all that rallied round.
A splendid early summer evening saw Havoc at the Railway Inn, Culham, with good friends the Towersey Morris Men.
The Railway Inn is an ideal spot for anyone who likes to combine a bit of Morris with a bit of train spotting. Trains pass regularly, which can lead to problems hearing the musicians.
‘Sidesteps’ at the Railway Inn, Culham
What with the baggies stuffing the blues!
The rain, wind and a glorious rainbow!
The havocs joined Mr Hemmings at a new venue and explored a new formation (4 member Morris) and a new approach to Morris music – ‘She’s playing a cello, that’s a first’! said one Mr Hemmings – little did he know it was a first in many ways or us all! Brilliant effort – mandolin, cello and fiddle all acquitting themselves with aplomb – and a Litchfield Hey to die for!
More catching up on past activity.
After the frenetic excitement of May Morning, it was back to normal on Thursday 7th May. The pollsters may have got the result of the day’s General Election wrong, but in the sunny early evening we were still blissfully ignorant.
The General Elliot re-opened recently after quite a few years closed. I’m glad to see it open and trading again.
Balance the Straw at the General Elliot, South Hinksey
We got plenty of takers for Shepherd’s Hey, and even had a few brave novices have a crack at Bonny Green. Certainly the first time in my memory we’ve had French people trying out Morris with us.
It was a near perfect evening, only spoiled from our point of view when the pub asked the music to stop at 10 for delicate ears upstairs. Pity – we were just getting into our stride, and were also about to seriously consider it as a post-practice venue.
Well, I suppose the May weather had to revert to normal at some point.
Thursday 14th May (Ascension Day), and we’re at The Cock Inn, Coombe, with Wychways. So Cotswold (us) and Border (them) for the price of one.
Unfortunately, as you can see, the weather was not kind. It didn’t actually rain, but it was damp and not very warm.
Stand by! Constant Billy kicks off in adverse conditions.
Still, we danced until 9 and them fitted snugly into the pub by the wood stove for a music session until closing time.
Levellers day May 16th Burford
Getting ready – to march them up to the top of the hill – but fortunately not to march them down again!
We processed to the recreation ground at the top of the town from the church at the bottom
At the top the musicians, apart from playing splendidly played that old game – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and wot me evil! Your guess!
After a massively fun May Morning, we’ve even popped up in some of the media.
First up was the Daily Mail website. You’ll have to scroll down a long way, but you’ll find this:
The Mail bought that picture off Getty Images. Getty have some others of the morning, including a fine portrait of John our Foreman.
Even the Twitterati took notice. This next one was even retweeted by Val McDermid, the crime writer.
May day 2015 – dancing from 515am till much later! Once the beer flowed we forgot we had started so early and no one can recall when we stopped! Ben made a welcome appearance – keen to dance out – or keen to sample fine ale at 6am – your guess! Our two youngest members got a good workout before going on to school! Some of the more mature members had to lie down in a darkened room later in the day!!
may day – a fine band of minstrels