As it's suddenly December, and we have a few winter concerts coming up, we've been working on a couple of festive tunes. One of which, In the Bleak Midwinter, we recorded a couple of weeks ago and have sent out as a free tune to our mailing list subscribers, as a thank you for their support and to spread some seasonal greetings from the 'bones. The lyrics were first written as a poem by Christina Rossetti before 1872, but it only became a Christmas Carol after the words were set to a beautiful Gustav Holst composition in the early 1900s. For anyone signing up to the mailing list during December, we'll email you the link for the free download. For people who aren't receiving the monthly Whalemail newsletter and have already signed up, it's probably because we can't read your email address on our list, but don't worry, you can sign up on this website by filling in the little box on the left of the screen :-)

We arrived at Clent Village Hall and played a storming little gig, we all really enjoyed playing, then arrived at the Railwayman's Arms in Bridgnorth, a very HOT but fantastic night, catching up with old Cinnamon friends and breaking strings! We then travellled down to St Michaels in Tenbury Wells, where a monthly event called The Floor is held (and is well worth checking out if you get the chance) showcasing live music and organised by a lovely bunch of people including Andy Cook and Jim Allen. On the same bill were a bluegrass band called the Toy Hearts, and a fantastic guitar player as part of the Remi Harris Trio playing gypsy jazz, swing and blues. It was a night filled with very talented musicians. 

The following day we travelled to a lovely village just outside Redditch to play Feckenham Village Hall, which was fantastic in all respects. Fantastic venue, great audience and a high standard of witty banter. We're hopefully going to return there the end of next year. Next stop was Beckford in Gloucestershire, another lovely village hall with a lovely audience and a great night topped off with some floor stamping and encores, which is always very pleasing. One of the furthest venues on this current tour was Llanfwrog Community Centre, in Ruthin, Wales, which is a fantastic round wooden building with warm acoustics as a result, and an enthusiatic and loud audience. We were lucky with the weather as snow had been forecast on the Welsh hills, but it didn't materialise on the beautiful Horseshoe Pass, so that was OK! Only 2 more dates on this tour, Wenlock Pottery this Saturday, which has already sold out, and our last gig with Beck this year at St John's Church in Pontrobert the week after. This was originally going to be at St Oswald's Church in Oswestry, but we had to have a venue change due to the flip flop wearing Father Philip moving back up north, but hopefully we'll meet up with him again at some point.

Evesham Arts Centre was the second arts centre in the tour and the first time we played in Evesham. A lovely, if slightly hot venue, with a great bunch of people making it work. We then travelled to a more local gig at Newhampton Folk Club in Wolverhampton to support Bob Fox, who has a lovely voice and a great way of setting the scene for his songs with stories and anecdotes. He sung a traditional Northumbrian folk song called 'Dance Ti Thy Daddy' also known as 'When the Boat Comes In', which grandparents would sing to their grandchildren when bouncing them on their knees. This was a revelation to Char, who thought (shamefully) that it was the theme tune to the Youngs Salmon advert on television... We’re hoping to play there again at some point in the future as it’s a great folk club with a consistently impressive line up of artists performing. We then travelled over to the Bell at Leominster which is usually quite an eventful venue for us, with drunk Dutch people and erratic dancers who refer to Sarah as ‘brilliant young girlie’, but it turned out to be relatively normal Tuesday night.

The following Thursday we returned to The Retreat in Ledbury, where we were very privileged to play in front of their beautiful new back cloth made by the hugely talented Angie Hughes. It always surprises us how late the audience turns up on a Thursday night in Ledbury, they seem to be nocturnal...

The Autumn Tour moved onto Callow End Village Hall on Halloween night and another opportunity to hook up with Beck Sian, which was fab! Donned in skeleton outfit (see here for a photo) and armed with small skeletons called Geoff, Beck played quite a few new tunes off her newly released album ‘Luminous Wings and Unseen Things’ The ‘bones added some backing vocals to ‘Mr Crow’ emphasising to the few people who ask why we don’t sing, why we DON’T sing...

One of the more local gigs of the Autumn Tour was The Gateway Arts Centre in Shrewsbury, a nice luxury to only have a short drive to get there and back, and a good evening was had by all when we got the hang of the semi-automatic doors at the venue! Then on to 'Housmans' in Church Stretton, a newly refurbished Cafe Bar that has been lovingly restored by its owners and is well worth checking out. The menu is fantastic and the food delicious, however Sarah was secretly pleased we were travelling in separate cars after both the guitarists opted for the steak mushroom and garlic salad...

Then the Autumn Tour moved onto Clows Top Victory Hall, which as the name suggests is on top of a hill, which was cold! Here is a pic of the night taken by Rob, and here is a photo to prove Char has smiled whilst playing guitar at some point in time, also taken by Rob at Kidderminster Station a few years ago!

We then travelled over to BrFm radio in mid Wales to hook up with Dan James and do an interview and session ‘Live from the Vault’ to promote Llanbedr Village Hall gig later that week. The gig turned out to be unexpectedly late due to a huge car malfunction, the RAC were employed... Then onto the Three Tuns at Bishop’s Castle the following day. This is a wonderful pub that has an amazing building where we played in a room we didn’t even know existed, despite visiting the venue as customers on numerous occasions... We’ve played in Bishop’s Castle a couple of times this year, SpArC in the spring and a couple of weeks back at the Michaelmas Fair and have always enjoyed ourselves, big thanks to all who came.

The following morning we travelled down to Choice Radio in Worcester to do another interview and to play a couple of tracks. After a week of living on pre packed sandwiches purchased from Garages (Housmans being the only exception) we had time to have a HOT full English breakfast from the canteen beforehand, which made us far more productive! Choice Radio is the radio for the Worcestershire Royal Hospital where we were interviewed by Pete Philips and undertook the first live session held in their new headquarters. Hospital radio provides a very beneficial resource to patients and the hospital community and is often run by dedicated and talented volunteers. We’ll be posting a bit of audio soon so you can have a listen...

As far as the website goes, we have put a new contact form on the ‘Contact’ page, so if you want to get in touch or ask us something please do so, and we’ll get back to you.

Ludlow Food Festival was a massive success for all involved. We played the whole 3 days and did a very enjoyable final set on the Saturday night. Fabulous weather, record attendances and plenty of fantastic food and drink made the festival a great experience. One of the good things about being called Whalebone is the huge amount of scope for puns. This weekend we coined the phrase 'Whaleburn' and learnt that after playing most of the day on Friday, in full sun, that drinking lots of water was the way forward. We also met a very talented chap called Louis who makes amazing chocolate called Chokolit, which after sampling extensively we can categorically state is fabulous.

The following weekend we spent playing at the Bishop's Castle Michaelmas Fair. September seems to be a safer bet nowadays for outdoor events with the weather, so we had another great weekend. The town was full of people and the vibe was lovely. Michaelmas is traditionally a celebration of St Michael the Archangel and coincides with the autumn equinox and the end of the harvest. Old Michaelmas Day falls around the 11th October and according to an old legend, blackberries should not be picked after this date because Satan was banished from Heaven on this day, fell into a blackberry bush and cursed the brambles as he fell on them... Don't say we didn't warn you! We played both days outside at the Six Bells Brewery and were looked after very well by Nev and Sue. The lead guitarist sampled a couple of their products so we have it on good authority that the merchandise is excellent. We will be heading back to Bishop's Castle in a few weeks on the 17th of October to play at The Three Tuns as part of our Autumn Tour. Talking of which....

The first date of the Autumn Tour kicked off at Ditton Priors village hall, with Rich McMahon and The Father Teds. It was great to meet up with Rich again, and a great night was had by all. The following week we played at Rushbury village hall with Daylevel and we always have a giggle and a nice time with Bri and Sal. The next date is in Shrewsbury at the Gateway Arts Centre on Friday 2nd October. Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/whalebone.

Our live album, Roosty...Folky...Live and Funky... has received a 4 star review from Kindred Spirit Magazine! Click here to read it!

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  • Sep 26
    Oswestry Library,  Oswestry
     
  • Sep 29
    The Edge Arts Centre,  Much Wenlock
     
  • Sep 30
    Samlesbury Memorial Hall,  Samlesbury
     
  • Oct 7
    Credenhill Community Hall,  Credenhill
     
  • Oct 14
    Preston Brook Village Hall,  Preston Brook
     

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