Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A night to remember at the Pilton Working Men’s Club, 27 February 2015.

We played at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007 and 2008 but, although it is obviously an honour to be invited to play there, frankly I didn’t enjoy myself.  Being behind a steel perimeter I found vaguely claustrophobic, I found the audience largely indifferent and the sanitary arrangements positively abysmal.   As a consequence, I swore that I would never play there again and we haven’t.  However, last night we played at the Pilton Working Men’s Club.  Now, in case you’re wondering what the connection is, the Glastonbury Festival used to be known as The Pilton Pop Festival, as it is held in an area east of Glastonbury, close to a village called Pilton.  The Pilton Working Men’s Club was established many years before the pop festival was thought of and, whilst retaining its original name, it has evolved over the years into something really quite special.  Today it is more of a folk club, and it is a great place to play our sort of music.

They provide a brilliant PA system and excellent lighting – so much better than the usual absence of any such arrangements we find in most pubs but, best of all, the audience are really appreciative.  They sit at round tables distributed throughout the room, they don’t talk inconsiderately during the performance and they give us fantastic feedback.  This was the second time we have played at the Pilton WMC and it left me even more certain than before that I will never play again at the main Glastonbury Festival.  It’s just such a shame that there aren’t more folk clubs like this around.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Olde Boston Tea Party at the Chetnole Inn

Sunday evening 23 November and the Chetnole Inn was packed – not with diners for a change but an audience keen to hear The Old Boston Tea Party with long time Hermitage resident Jeremy Cozens on mandolin, experienced song writer Charlie Boston on (most) lead vocals and guitar, Pete Orgill on fiddle and highly accomplished versatile bassist David Hatfield.

The excitement was palpable as the band kicked off on the dot of 7.30 and continued for most of the evening. Jeremy explained how nervous he was as he has rarely played a gig so near to home, but he need not have worried, the Wriggle Valley was fully behind him. Using American bluegrass as a nexus they moved through a variety of musical styles of songs, instrumentals, jigs and reels that left the audience exhilarated and delighted. 

Charlie is a songwriter of much creativity and invention and we were treated to a number of his own songs among the more traditional country and western songs that could be expected. The set finished with a setting of Tom Paxton’s “Last Thing on My Mind” which was faithful to the original yet had the “Olde Boston Tea Party” touch. Dextrous work around the fret board from Jeremy and Pete was frequently applauded and the Chetnole crowd was much appreciative of the individual skills in the band and the vocal harmonies that often underscore.

Michael and Jim Aldhouse
Wiggle Valley Magazine (no.272) February 2015