Monday, March 19, 2007

Welsh Music

Sunday I supported 'Crasdant' a Welsh quartet. The music was amazing - a triple harp, flute, accordion and the wonderfully talented Huw Williams on guitar and funny bone.

The room filled slowly – but it filled. Whilst people arrived and I had a few moments to chat, I talked with Maureen, the club organiser. In about 15 minutes we covered subjects as diverse as abuse in Irish ‘laundries’ to whether we believe in God or not, and the joys of parent/grandparenthood!

On to stage I go – unaccompanied by man nor beast (just my guitar). As there was a band on for main act, its easier sometimes if its just a solo artist doing support.

And I sang my songs (started off very depressing!) – and I chatted lightly and the audience dutifully (and very prettily too) sang along. My last two numbers arrived. Firstly, a song I had written just three weeks ago about an Irish lighthouse keeper (well, about his daughter’s memories of him). It went down a storm (well, not literally, but it went down well). Then – my new song I wrote last week – Cromarty (named after the dog). I got lost! I was nearly at the end of the song (and it was going well) when I put my fingers round the wrong way and the whole song went into a minor key! Ooops… Anyway, I got to the end of the song with a wonderful new section in the middle (um, well, I think I got away with it) and was duly applauded.

The main act were superb. The music was melodic and engaging and a couple of songs (both in Welsh). They even got the audience to join in with a chorus in Welsh and Huw managed to do some clog dancing on stage. He’s a talented man – as well as being a champion clog dancer (Welsh clog has more of the flair that I associate with Appalachian rather than the rigidity of Irish or Lancashire) he is an excellent song writer and a most talented musician. He played guitar most of the time but also did one number on a tiny knee harp. Looked like the triple harp’s baby!

When doing these supports I also draw the raffle and announce what’s on, so I get to do quite an MC job as well as perform.

At the end of their set we all yelled for more and I got them back on stage for an encore. Robin, the harp player, actually asked the audience to applaud me and Huw was complimentary about my voice. Aw shucks, that was a nice gesture.
I bought a CD (which my old man is well taken with) and came home a happy bunny – for the second time that weekend!

Being a folk musician is good. You meet nice people, have appreciative audiences and get to see quality music (and dancing!) that so many people don’t realise even exists, let alone get to appreciate.

Another good night.
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