photograph used by kind permission of Valentina Bernardi
We have been busy working on chords and backings throughout July into August for Debbie’s songs in addition to preparation rehearsing the current repertoire, including our songs from the Debut album and the Avalon album.
Five songs now have full structure and finalised melodies to them and we also gave a one song performance of Debbie’s John Barleycorn song. Carrie and Matt were stuck in traffic and then took a wrong turn and couldn’t get to the Long Man of Wilmington in time but made it to the circle in time before Dave Smith (Damh the Bard) closed the circle and there was a suggestion to go and play the song down at the pub as a three-piece, after Debbie had sung unaccompanied at the Andereida pagan meet for Lughnasadh (Lammas). It was a fantastic day and we had the best weather that day, as it was not sunny anymore 24 hours later.
The fields leading up to the Longman were abundant with harvest corn and we saw harvesting lower down and it was great to be surrounded by the ripe but uncut fields so close to the circle. We have fallen in love with this place, it has a special peace and calm and no surprise in how Damh and Cerri have found this the perfect place for not just celebrations throughout the year, but many choose to be handfasted there and other special life moments.
So off we go to the pub and after a discreet word with the landlady, we played the Barleycorn together informally and in a lovely laid back atmosphere and so we did get to play it after all after all the traffic delays earlier on in the day. Our first song as a trio and friend of ours took a picture. It was also great to play to Damh, as he’s a direct influence and inspiration for our footsteps into pagan music, bardic approaches to songwriting and through his working and playing with other musicians over many years. We were very inspired by a gig he did in Glastonbury in 2013 which also lead to joining the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.
In the South and South East, we did often see that people were prepared to travel quite a considerable distance to meet at the Longman, whether it be at a celebration, as part of a Gorsedd or just simply to walk amongst the abundant powdery chalk footsteps made into paths of the South Downs that are part of this special place.
So on we go towards this new album, we’re all very excited by the way they are all forming and all will start to show themselves as we head closer to the Autumn.
Lets raise a glass of mead to those that inspire, new friends and new paths and directions.
Our best wishes to you and wishing a glorious transition from harvest time to the ripening of the berries as we head towards the Autumn Equinox.
from Dancing Hare.