After our summer break we spent some time sorting out our programme for Tenterden Folk Festival and introducing some of our new repertoire including The Ripe and Bearded Barley which we arranged having heard Bob and Kathy Drage sing it at the Woolpack last year.
We began with a return visit to the Cheshire Cheese as part of the Brandenburg Fringe Festival on 15th September. This time there were only two acts (we shared the stage with Vocal Eclipse) so we had a slightly longer slot allowing us to showcase a range of our styles.
On the first weekend of October we set off to the wonderful Tenterden Festival. We began at guests at the singaround at the William Caxton pub where Festival organiser Alan Castle told us that Gordon Tyrrall had pulled out of the Festival for personal reasons and asked us if we would be willing to do an extra slot “Meet Morrigan” or “argue with Morrigan” as we prefer it on the Sunday afternoon.
On Friday evening, about an hour before the Saddlery concert Chris E realised he had left his performance clothes behind and a mad dash to Matalan saved the day ….or so we thought …unfortunately the shirt inside was actually a size smaller than what was stated on the outside packaging so poor Chris was looking a bit like the incredible hulk. We had a great concert sharing in a round robin style with Mick Ryan & Paul Downes, Roy Clinging and Pete Castle.
The next day we headed to an instrumental session at the White Lion at lunchtime and then joined Chris Harrison at the Caxton where he was performing his songs and we sang Willie to Jinny together at the close of the session. We then followed Chris H to the Saddlery for his workshop on Carols from the Coalfields and again joined him for one song. After a bit of a break and banter with friends in the chip shop we got ready for our 2 hour slot at the Vine. Despite the alternative attraction of the world cup rugby (an important game for Ing ger land we were told) we drew a good crowd and particularly welcomed the support from Alan Castle (I was only going to stay 5 mins but I’ve been drawn into staying for an hour) and Adrian O (Ah that will be the magic of the Morrigan). We were able to sing lots of songs and play some instrumentals too.
We began Sunday with the singaround in the Caxton garden – the weather all weekend being amazing and then moved on to The Saddlery for our Meet Morrigan slot. We had some interesting questions fired at us from the audience (notably morris people in disguise as members of the public) but the session was ably facilitated by Pete Castle who gave us opportunities to play and sing throughout. It was nice to see our friends Scold’s Bridle and Doug Welch from BBC Kent there too.
We finished our festival at where else but the William Caxton in the evening. A rousing chorus of songs brilliantly compered as ever by Bob Kenward, Malcolm Ward and Roger Resch – so looking forward to guesting at their folk club Nellie’s in December. We were very touched by Alan Castle thanking Morrigan publically for our support and contribution to the Festival and very humbled by the huge round of applause that followed from fellow performers and festival attendees.
To end October we paid a flying visit on the following Saturday to Lewes Folk Festival and joined in the singaround at the Elephant and Castle with Brad and Carol Chick, Valmai Goodyear and others. We hope we will be able to attend more events here next year – another great little festival.
Looking ahead we have an exciting November and December with many Christmas themed events lined up. Folk club visits, National Trust Christmas fairs, GFMA Wassail night with Martin Carthy and the Rochester Dickens Festival.