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December Gigs Round Up...

The first gig in December was performing at the Cross Keys in Sellatyn, where we took part in the ‘Xmas Xtravagenza’ staged by Offa Events. The night was great fun with a variety of performers including John Snell – a poet, Five Speed Box - a Ceilidh Band, Kiuydanto - a string quartet, Nostalgia – a female acappella group, John Neilson and Meri Lawes. The night started off the festive season nicely and gave us a chance to run through a couple of seasonal tunes we had been working on for the Kaleidoscope Midwinter Melody shows later in the month. The following night we played at Wenlock Pottery and had a lovely night, met up with some old friends again and continued to get into the festive spirit. We’re returning next month to play a Burns Night... Made in Shropshire in Shrewsbury went very well again. Thankfully it stayed dry and we’ve been colder! The following day we travelled to Kemberton to play the first concert of Midwinter Melody dates at Kaleidoscope Theatre and the following week we played the second date. It’s the first time we have collaborated with Kaleidoscope and the show went really well. They wrote two brand new beautiful cameos to our versions of A Fairytale in New York and Londonderry Air, with snow and everything which were very memorable and we are planning to work together again in the future. It was really nice to finish off the year with sold out concerts and working with hugely talented people. Hopefully next year will be as positive and enjoyable. Talking of which, we’ve finally had the time to put up some dates on our calendar for next year, we are doing a spring tour of village halls starting in March and through to May which will see us travelling round and about again. Hopefully we’ll catch up with some of the people we’ve met this year and look forward to playing new venues and meeting new people.

The Bleak Midwinter - Free Download for Mailing List Subscribers

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 :-)

Tour Review Part 3 and Gigs...

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.

Autumn Tour Part 2 and Gigs...

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...

Autumn Tour reviews

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.

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