The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146628   Message #3396664
Posted By: Matthew Edwards
28-Aug-12 - 05:46 PM
Thread Name: Whitby 2012
Subject: RE: Whitby 2012
There were far, far too many highlights so that to single out any one seems totally unfair, and besides for every event I attended there were another ten or so I had to miss.

I loved the Traditional Nights Out at the Football Club most of all; Ken Hall just appears so happy to be surrounded by so many great performers - he looked like a schoolboy who has found the key to the tuck shop! Sid Calderbank who stewards at the Football Club is one of my heroes - he said that he was getting worried that after all these years people are beginning to understand him - so he sang 'Warrikin Fair' in a 16th century Lancashire dialect!

It was lovely to meet Racker Donnelly whose linguistic convolutions had me howling with laughter; I suspect that some of the tortures he inflicts on the English language may actually be banned under the Geneva Convention.

The Traveller's concert was absolutely brilliant with the wonderful Doyle family, along with Thomas MacCarthy's gorgeous voice, Bob Knight's fine songs and Elizabeth Stewart bringing her amazing store of ballads on her first visit to Whitby. The Yorkshire singers were fantastic too - John Greaves could sing his song about the Tailor of Whitby a hundred times and I would still find it fresh each time!

The lunchtime ballads sessions at the Conservative Club were a daily treat, and the quality of the singers among the audience was almost without exception as good as that of the artists themselves.

There were some excellent talks and presentations by Peter Shepheard and Arthur Watson, Steve Gardham, Martin Graebe, Grace Toland and the inimitable Doc Rowe at the Coliseum - all of which were very passionate, stimulating, and engaging.

On a personal note I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the John Birmingham Cup competition for songwriting where I was very impressed by the quality of craftsmanship all round, and I'd like to congratulate Ruairidh Greig for his winning song drawing on his knowledge and love of Grimsby. As Paul Davenport has said elsewhere this competition has the potential to stimulate - so I hope there'll be lots more entries next year!

I learned a lot about dry stone walling from the Noble family! Great to see Scott Gardiner and Siobhan Miller making an impact too, and lovely to see the Davenports in various combinations, while those Hissyfits are lovelier than ever.

Somebody told me that Sisters Unlimited had reformed but I don't believe it! They are totally unreformed characters, and better now than they were nearly a quarter of a century ago.