It's another busy year on the fiddle music front. London Fiddle School has been back in action since January with two 11-week courses - Irish Traditional for more experienced fiddlers and an introductory mix of British and Irish tunes for the 'basic-plus' level class. Classes run till 25 March and you can still join. Special congratulations, by the way, to the plucky players from the basic-plus group who stood up and played so well at the school's annual Fiddle Party at the end of last year - a breakthrough into live performance that some of them hadn't expected! Thanks to everybody for coming, including Laurie Harper on guitar and sound and double bass player Alan Gibson.
Pete with first-time lead fiddlers Maureen and Martina,
Alan on bass fiddle
Laurie, Pete and Andrew
The annual London Fiddle Convention on 15 February at Cecil Sharp House was a great success, with a record turn-out for the workshops led by Chris Haigh, Gundula Gruen, me and Choro Bandido (Brazilian pre-Samba music). Everyone crowded into the big hall for the Fiddle Contest, where fourteen-year-old Joe McCann won the under-18 category with three traditional jigs and young Scottish fiddler Essa Flett won the 18-and-over with a Niel Gow air and a set of wild reels. She also played in the splendid evening concert, along with Adib Rostami on Persian fiddle, Karen Ryan (and students from the London Irish Centre), Choro Bandido, Flora Curzon, Gundula, Chris and me. 'The evening concert had me transfixed throughout,' wrote one audience member, Dave - 'totally captivating fiddle playing from all directions.' You can catch a few snippets on YouTube.
Participants at Chris Haigh's Klezmer
workshop at the London Fiddle Convention.
You may remember that last year I was enthusing about La Moreau, a beautiful farmhouse near Cognac, France, where I taught on a course for Creative Vacances with guitarist and singer Kevin Dempsey. Well, guess what - I'm going back this year, 3 - 9 May. The cost of the Traditional Folk Fiddle course, including accommodation, swimming pool and amazing cuisine, is £595. You have to get yourself there, of course. Last year I flew to La Rochelle and got a return flight for about £60. Others drove, or travelled by train. It would be great if you could join us this Spring at La Moreau.
Pete and Richard Bolton at
Walthamstow Folk Club
(photo: Rafe Culpin)
Richard Bolton and I have been delighted with the response to our new album Angel's Waltz.
'Two superbly innovative musicians at the height of their craft…Do not miss this superb album.' - Jenny Coxon, English Dance & Song magazine
'Pete and Richard's third eclectic, vigorously executed collection…' - fRoots magazine 376
'Lots of great tunes, all in stylish and effective arrangements with complete seamlessness between 'cello and fiddle.' - Tom Bell-Richards, FiddleOn magazine
We had a wonderful night at Walthamstow Folk Club at the start of February. Gone was the beer-sticky carpet of yesteryear in the upstairs room at the Rose and Crown, now a theatre pub and greatly improved. We look forward to our forthcoming appearances at The Old Nun's Head, London (13 March), Islington Folk Club (16 April) and Dartford Folk Club (2 June). Later in the year we'll be off to the Czech Republic to play at the Lipa Musica festival, 25-27 September. See Gigs for details.
Rattle on the Stovepipe are also out and about in the coming months. Dave, Dan and I have gigs at the Court Sessions folk club (27 March), the Musical Traditions Club (17 April), the Poetry Café (24 April), the Little Opry, Margate (30 May), Brighton Acoustic Sessions (1 June), Ardley Parlour Concerts (10 July) and Lewes (18 July) before our annual return to Whitby Folk Week (22-28) - see Gigs for details.
Pete with Dave and Dan at an Old Time session, Whitby Folk Week 2013 (photo: Sue Lee)
See you later,
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