Playing on the Village Green
The band was started in 2010 so now we are 6.
We’ve come a long way in that time. David and Jem are sadly no longer with us.
Karn, Roland and our Caller Jenny have joined Martin and Alan to form a tight line up suitable for pubs, parties and Ceilidhs.
We’ve learned our trade as we went and our range of tunes and songs now covers all the traditions of these islands ranging from full on Irish for St Patrick’s day to a number of what we term “off piste” numbers such as Lily the Pink, My old man’s a Dustman, GI Blues and even The Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.
We always aim to tailor the repertoire to the event and we can guarantee an entertaining evening.
If you would like to hear us play before you book us we host two regular sessions in local pubs.
On the evening of the first Sunday of the Month we play in the Crown in Newick and on the third wednesday we are at the Rose and Crown in Fletching. All are welcome.
Or you could always buy our twin CD – the Burnt House Sessions featuring the late Jem Cooper. 30 tracks for £10
The band has been busy recently with more to come.
After our 3 event St Patrick’s tour we have played a St George’s Day Ceilidh and appeared at Crowborough’s Sussex Day and Newick Festival. This last weekend we have appeared at a couple of small local festivals – Glasstonbury and the Black Pig Orchard weekend.
In the next couple of weeks we are playing at a number of local weddings and parties and we are playing for the South East Green Party conference.
You can see all our future appearances on the gig list page. Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Here we are at the Black Pig do.
At the Black Pig Festival
Jem in Action
It’s with great sadness that we need to tell you about the recent death of our great friend Jem Cooper who was a founder member of the band and our wonderful concertina and harmonica player.
We first met Jem in the Bull at the Open Mic maybe 7 or so years ago. He had encouraged Martin to get up and play the whistle in public accompanying him on the Harmonica. His attitude to playing was always “the more the merrier” and over time he inveigled David Hill, Steve Browne and most recently Roland Batty into playing with us. Whenever we played he would always be scouring the audience for people to sign up for the mailing list because he truly believed in company.
When we first started playing sessions at the crown, Jem would always have anyone back to the house who wanted to come and over beer and his favourite Anchovies some truly remarkable musical atrocities developed. Perhaps the most effective was the game he invented whereby everyone had to take it in turns to play a tune on an instrument they couldn’t actually play and the rest of us had to guess what it was.
But there was much more to Jem than the happy musician. He had an extremely keen mind. He was always interested in both technical and political ideas and this stayed with him right to the end. If he was on the other side of the discussion you had to really up your game because with Jem there was no chance to get away with any flannel.
He will be sadly missed. Typically he was keen to take part in the recording session held a fortnight before his death and we are delighted that his playing has been captured for us to continue to listen to.
Here’s him singing PollyWollyDoodle at the last session.
Burnt House Sessions – 30 Tracks for £10 spread over 2 CDs – You can buy it here
Contains many of the band’s favourite tracks including Galway Girl, Haste to the Wedding, Wild Rover, Ships in Full Sail, Sally McLennane etc.
Track listing from CD 2
Building on our existing successful sessions at the Crown in Newick every first Sunday of the month, we have now been invited to run a session in our neighbouring village, Fletching at the Rose and Crown. Both of these pubs have been acquired by local people and have good kitchens and a nice range of beers.
The Rose and Crown Sessions are starting on the 20th May and will continue every 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Like the existing crown sessions we are planning that these will basically be acoustic, unamplified sessions.
We hope that our ususal supporters will be able to come along and that other local musicians will come along and join in. We will run it in session rather than “open mic” style so people can play along as appropriate. While most of our repertoire is folk music of one sort or another our definition of “Folk” is pretty elastic so if you want to play some blues or acoustic rock you will be very welcome.
Hope to see you there – we’re very excited about this new opportunity.
We’ve had a busy year playing a number of barn dances as well as lots of private parties and some local festivals at Newick itself, the Black Pig orchard and Townings Farm.
We’re continuing to play every first Sunday of the month at the Crown Inn in Newick and this is gradually attracting more musicians and an ever increasing standard of music.
We’ve also got a couple of new members in the band. Karn Broad who plays Bass when we’re doing Ceilidhs and who has increasingly been depping for Steve and “Professor” Roland Batty on Piano. Roland is an incorrigible boogie player who has both added attack to the dance gigs and has greatly extended the range of numbers that we can attempt.
We welcome them both to the band. Here’s a video of our currently Ceilidh line up performing The Leaving of Liverpool with a brief cameo from Jenny Walton – our splendiferous caller.
David was a key member of the Band up until his accident in 2012 from which he never recovered and sadly died in March 2014.
He made a great contribution to the band not only for his melodeon and fiddle playing but also from his kind and enthusiastic personality.
He was a lovely man and we all miss him terribly.
His funeral is at 1.30 on Monday 17th of March at Woodvale Crematorium in Brighton and afterwards at the Elephant and Castle in Lewes.
Here are some MP3 files taken from our performance at Chailey Beer Festival last Year
First Tune is Galway Girl by Steve Earle
Followed by the Battle of Brisbane – a Pogues number.
Next up is the Band playing Sally McLennane
And finally The Mucking of Geordie’s Byre followed by Lannigan’s Ball
Following on from playing for a wedding Barn Dance last week this weekend has seen us in action locally.
Saturday and Sunday Lunchtime, Jem and Martin were supporting Newick Amateur Dramatic Society’s youth camp at WOWO – the nearby Wapsbourne farm camp site.
In the evening the band played a set as part of WOWO’s saturday night entertainment, where some amazing musicians played all kinds of imaginative stuff — the high spot being Stewart’s “The Beer Monkey flies tonight”
Sunday saw as back at the Royal Oak in Newick providing entertainment for Howard Venter’s tractor run in aid of the St Peter and St James Hospice while Monday night saw us visiting the session at the Bull in Ditchling.
This week we are at the Bull, Newick, tonight, playing at Townings Farm open day on Saturday at 12.30 and Sunday night we’re running our traditional monthly session at the Crown in Newick – all musicians welcome.
This summer we seem to have branched out into becoming a ceilidh band.
We’ve done a 30th birthday party and a wedding with the help of caller Sean Goddard and they’ve both gone extremely well with a few songs thrown in to help the evening along.
We have another party – a 60th this time – coming up soon so we modestly think we may have arrived.
See you at a party soon