Welcome to The Morrigan Songsheet
Our blog gives you information about our performances and links to reviews.
We welcome any comments if you have attended any of our events
By sjpavey, Aug 28 2020 03:07PM
Unfortunately the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic has hit Morrigan hard as a group. We rely on the blend of our voices for our unique sound and sadly it has been impossible to meet up since March and sing together. We are really hoping that we can turn this awful situation around before too long and would love it if we can return to deliver our specialist winter sets of carols, wassails and Yuletide songs.
Meanwhile we have done our best to keep singing and playing albeit on an individual basis and regularly visit various virtual folk clubs home and abroad. We have certainly expanded our personal repertoires and hope we can use some of this material within Morrigan too before too long
By sjpavey, Jan 17 2018 12:07PM
The business of Morrigan over the last year and a half has affected the regular blogging of our activities but it certainly has been eventful. We have shared our music with numerous clubs attended two Tenterden Festivals, two Lancaster Music Festivals, Two Sweeps Festivals and Two Dickens Festivals since last posting.
The highlight though has to be our collaboration and inspiration working with Leith Hill Place in Surrey (owned by the National Trust) and the childhood home of Ralph Vaughan Williams. This has tripled our repertoire and thanks to Chris Harrison's speedy and wonderful arrangements we how have a collection of over 20 songs collected by RVW. We performed at Leith Hill Place in June and July 2017 and at Christmases 2016 and 2017.
We have an exciting year ahead in 2018 with clubs such as Cheam, Court Sessions, Faversham, Folk at the Drum and Deal already booked and of course our regular festival slots. We also hope to begin work on a third CD and who knows may be even get that launched this year
Happy New Year to all and do come and support us if you can
By sarahpavey, May 20 2016 03:29PM
April started fairly quietly - except in Ros's living room where we continued to record and fine tune the tracks for our second album Dark Days or Fine which we hope to have ready June or July this year.
Towards the end of the month however things started to get busier....
First we performed as part of the Brandenberg Fringe festival at the secret venue in Covent Garden, It is where we made our debut for this event as guests 2 years ago and since then we have become a regular feature in their autumn and spring programmes. We shared the stage with two other acapella groups - Just A Capella and Kitsch n Sync. The last 10 mins of the video here show us joing in with one mass choir at the end of the evening. It was a lovely evening and everyone joined in with the choruses.
Next came the first of two visits to Mycenae House. The first for St Georges Day was to support the fantastic Wizz Jones. We did a half hour slot with our May Day songs and also some Shakespeare to commemorate the actual 400th anniversary.
We were delighted to be asked to be guests at Loughton Folk Club in Essex and had a brilliant evening with again lots of lusty singing from our audience. It is a great club and very friendly and some of the people there made it to the first of our International Song and Dance Evenings at Mycenae House the following evening.
The first of these evenings was a great success and our thanks to GFMA for enabling this to happen. It was a bit like waiting for guests to turn up at a party at the beginning but very soon the hall was full and we enjoyed a great night of singing and dancing with a band alone of nearly 20 people. There was something for everyone which is what we envisaged and we very much hope the next few of these events will be as successful
By sarahpavey, Apr 6 2016 03:24PM
Well this title mostly refers to the update on Ros's ankle - we are delighted to report she has now discarded her crutches and wheelchair and is now springing up and about again. She still has a stair lift at home and we suspect this may now be a permanent feature but it gives us entertainment on practice nights. We are indeed busy practising for the new album which will be called "Dark Days or Fine" and which we hope will be complete by June.
We did scale back on gigs during the early part of the year but had a great evening at Faversham Folk Club in February. There was a good audience and everyone joined in with all the choruses. It was a treat to have Bob Kenward being MC for the evening. We hope to catch up with familair faces when we return to the Sweeps Festival in Rochester in May.
On Good Friday, 25th March we took up our instruments to play for the GFMA Easter Barn Dance. This was well attended and Chris Harrison did a great job with the calling. We also managed to sing songs and Anne-Marie Sewell did a guest spot too between dances.
The 3rd April saw us as guests at Cheam Folk Club. Such a friendly club with a big variety of instruments and voices. They gave us a very warm welcome and everyone participated in the choruses. We hope to return soon
Really looking forward to an action packed April and May including the first International Acoustic Music and Dance Night with GFMA at Mycenae House in Blackheath
By sarahpavey, Feb 5 2016 11:43AM
2016 sees us beginning work on our second CD which will be a mixture of our songs with no particular theme. We are taking advantage of the downtime while we wait for Ros's broken ankle to mend but have some exciting things lined up for later in the year.
In January we took part in the Greenwich Pleasaunce Wassail celebrations again along with Greenwich Morris and this year the weather was kind. It was another opportunity to wear our steampunk outfits and this video captures the spirit of the event.
Our only gig in February will be as guests at Faversham Folk Club where our friend Bob Kenward will be MC for the night.
The other new venture is a collaboration between GFMA and Mycenae House where we will be hosting a Song and Dance Acoustic Night on the last Friday of the month - beginning on April 29th. The idea is to have a ceilidh with a difference. There will be song and performance slots between the dances and anyone will be welcome to join the band for playing for the dances. Each month will feature a different culture and hopefully a dance from that country too - we have a Kora player and a Chinese instrumentalist lined up already. There should be something for everyone - including a bar and food on sale should you want it. More details will appear soon on the Mycenae House website.
Looks like a busy year ahead for Morrigan!
By sarahpavey, Jan 3 2016 01:05AM
The weather was pretty dismal in November and December in 2015 but Morrigan managed to spread a little festive cheer.
First a bit of a disaster struck in that Ros celebrating her significant birthday in Paris fell over and broke her ankle badly and ended up having an op and being confined to a wheelchair for a bit. However she did not let this interfere with our heavy gig schedule and was determined to take part. We managed to fulfil all our committments with a bit of ingenuity and heavy lifting from the boys!
We began at the end of November with the first of two National Trust gigs at Ightham Mote for their Christmas Fair. We dressed up in our steampunk outfits which we were using for the Dickens Festival in Rochester. We had a lovely time singing inside the ancient library of the House and had time to see the stalls outside too.
December began with the Dickens Festival in Rochester on Sunday 6th. The weather wasn't too bad but it was strange to see snow blowing out of the machines when it was about 12 degrees! We had several slots on the Star Hill stage interchanging with our friend Barry from Skinners Rats who depped for Doug Hudson in the afternoon. We drew a good crowd and the Italian Restaurant opposite was so enamoured with us singing in Latin they gave us some yummy free pasta! We also took part in the lunchtime and evening parades and ended up at the carol singing at the Castle.
The following day we headed out to Polesden Lacey for a lunchtime sing at their Christmas Fair. We were amazed at the crowd we drew and we managed to sell quite a few of our CDs.
In the evening we changed out of our steampunk outfits and rushed off to Nellies Folk Club in Tonbridge where we were given a fantastic welcome and it was lovely to see so many old friends. Doug Welch from Radio Kent;'s Folk Show was there and he had played the track Back Lane on his show the previous evening. Everyone sang along with our songs which created a great atmosphere. We certainly hope we can return again to this lovely and very friendly club.
On Friday 11th December we were supporting Martin Carthy at the Charlton House Wassail. It was good to see the Mock Tudor Band back in action albeit with a slightly changed line up. We sang through our Christmas repertoire including some new material and had a fantastic response. Martin Carthy was on excellent form and so overall it was a very good evening.
We rounded off the year on 13th December guesting at TwickFolk on a shared bill with Mike Scott. It was a lovely gig and again a really welcoming and friendly club and an amazing sound crew who gave us a brilliant sound. It was just a shame there were not more people attending but hopefully there will be more when we return in the summer.
So we now look forward to 2016 with some exciting events in the pipeline. We will not be doing a lot in January as we will be trying to record a second album while we wait for Ros's ankle to heal properly.
By sarahpavey, Oct 31 2015 03:30PM
After our summer break we spent some time sorting out our programme for Tenterden Folk Festival and introducing some of our new repertoire including The Ripe and Bearded Barley which we arranged having heard Bob and Kathy Drage sing it at the Woolpack last year.
We began with a return visit to the Cheshire Cheese as part of the Brandenburg Fringe Festival on 15th September. This time there were only two acts (we shared the stage with Vocal Eclipse) so we had a slightly longer slot allowing us to showcase a range of our styles.
On the first weekend of October we set off to the wonderful Tenterden Festival. We began at guests at the singaround at the William Caxton pub where Festival organiser Alan Castle told us that Gordon Tyrrall had pulled out of the Festival for personal reasons and asked us if we would be willing to do an extra slot “Meet Morrigan” or “argue with Morrigan” as we prefer it on the Sunday afternoon.
On Friday evening, about an hour before the Saddlery concert Chris E realised he had left his performance clothes behind and a mad dash to Matalan saved the day ….or so we thought …unfortunately the shirt inside was actually a size smaller than what was stated on the outside packaging so poor Chris was looking a bit like the incredible hulk. We had a great concert sharing in a round robin style with Mick Ryan & Paul Downes, Roy Clinging and Pete Castle.
The next day we headed to an instrumental session at the White Lion at lunchtime and then joined Chris Harrison at the Caxton where he was performing his songs and we sang Willie to Jinny together at the close of the session. We then followed Chris H to the Saddlery for his workshop on Carols from the Coalfields and again joined him for one song. After a bit of a break and banter with friends in the chip shop we got ready for our 2 hour slot at the Vine. Despite the alternative attraction of the world cup rugby (an important game for Ing ger land we were told) we drew a good crowd and particularly welcomed the support from Alan Castle (I was only going to stay 5 mins but I’ve been drawn into staying for an hour) and Adrian O (Ah that will be the magic of the Morrigan). We were able to sing lots of songs and play some instrumentals too.
We began Sunday with the singaround in the Caxton garden – the weather all weekend being amazing and then moved on to The Saddlery for our Meet Morrigan slot. We had some interesting questions fired at us from the audience (notably morris people in disguise as members of the public) but the session was ably facilitated by Pete Castle who gave us opportunities to play and sing throughout. It was nice to see our friends Scold’s Bridle and Doug Welch from BBC Kent there too.
We finished our festival at where else but the William Caxton in the evening. A rousing chorus of songs brilliantly compered as ever by Bob Kenward, Malcolm Ward and Roger Resch – so looking forward to guesting at their folk club Nellie’s in December. We were very touched by Alan Castle thanking Morrigan publically for our support and contribution to the Festival and very humbled by the huge round of applause that followed from fellow performers and festival attendees.
To end October we paid a flying visit on the following Saturday to Lewes Folk Festival and joined in the singaround at the Elephant and Castle with Brad and Carol Chick, Valmai Goodyear and others. We hope we will be able to attend more events here next year – another great little festival.
Looking ahead we have an exciting November and December with many Christmas themed events lined up. Folk club visits, National Trust Christmas fairs, GFMA Wassail night with Martin Carthy and the Rochester Dickens Festival.
By sarahpavey, Jul 27 2015 02:35PM
June began with a fantastic session at The Trafalgar in Wimbledon. Our rendition of The White Cockade that we sang is on our YouTube Channel. It was a packed pub and we sang and played until late with a great crowd of diverse musicians
We then travelled up to London to the Music Traditions Club run by Peta Webb. The guests were Roger Digby and Liz Giddings and there was a special appearance by Bob Davenport. We sang a couple of songs which seemed to go down well on this hot and sutry night despite the Thunderstorm outside!
Next on the agenda was Orpington Folk Club at the Change of Horses where we were the Guest artists. We had a great time and really welcomed everyone joining in with the choruses. It was lovely to see some of our supporters there too which all helped make a grand evening.
Unfortunately our Two Brewers slot had to be postponed in June until 23rd but this drew a good crowd with some new faces too. We are having to abandon the July session for logistical reasons involving football and we will be taking a break in August. Hoping to see our regular crowd and a few more maybe in September.
At the very end of June we ventured up to London again to Sharp's Folk Club and enjoyed a wonderful evening of singing and entertainment. This is such a friendly club and there were some good acts at this singaround night. We were lucky to be invited to perform 4 songs and they were very well received by all.
We returned to do a floor spot at Orpington in July to support our friend Malcolm Ward who was the main guest.
We rounded off the summer with a trip tp Deal Folk Club where there was a singaround. We couldn't have picked a worse night weather wise with the rain lashing down, flooded roads and surface water and a high wind - so much for a balmy summer evening at the seaside. To add more misery Operation Stack had closed the M20 and there were long delays on the M2 and surrounding roads. It took nearly 5 hours to get there for some of us. But the welcome in contrast to what was going on outside was warm and friendly and a welcome sanctuary. Although we were not all there until the second half we were given 4 songs to sing and made to feel part of the family. We are looking forward to returning to this lovely club and hope to see some of the regulars at Tenderden Folk Festival.
So now we take a summer break and look forward to performing again at the Brandenburg Fringe Festival in September at the Cheshire Cheese in London
By sarahpavey, May 26 2015 01:12AM
Morrigan have been out and about this month with a selection of new songs which had their first airing at the Charlton House concert with John Kirkpatrick. We have added into the repertoire The Lark in the Morning, The Bonny Hawthorn, The Crystal Spring and Dink's Song. It has also been good to revisit our spring May Day songs such as Hal an Tow and Padstow.
We began the month with a chance to sing at the Rochester Sweeps Festival. Chris E, Sarah and Ros played some individual tunes and songs at the sing around in The Good Intent at lunchtime as Chris H could not make it until later in the day. We then did an hour long set at The Man of Kent which was full and very noisy but everyone joined in lustily with the choruses and several of our friends came along to support us which was fantastic. After a bite to eat we then headed back to The Good Intent for the evening singaround stopping to hear our new aquaintances Sur Les Docks en route at The Man of Kent. We sang 3 songs at the singaround and it was good to see Bob Kenward there too. Many thanks to Doug Hudson for inviting us to perform at the Festival at short notice.
On the Friday of the same week we were the main guests at Orpington Friday Folk Club. In their brochure they described us as "beautiful acapella harmonies and great traditional songs interspersed with accompanied material". It was a pleasure to return for the main slot after our performance at one of their singarounds. Our thanks to Sue for inviting us and it is so sad that this friendly club will be closing later in the year due to lack of support.
The following week, on a cold, wet and windy night (we should not have sung that song!!!) we were the main act at Otford Folk Club following an invitation from Sheila. The Crown is a lovely venue with a real pub atmosphere and very nice beer! We had a great bunch of floor singers and everyone was in good voice by the time we took centre stage. Our tunes and songs went down well and lifted the atmosphere after a miserable day weather wise. It was good to see some of our friends there too and it was a great evening all round.
We now have some exciting events lined up for June and July before we take our summer holidays in August so do come and support us if you can.
By sarahpavey, May 25 2015 11:55PM
April saw Morrigan celebrating St Georges Day and Shakespeare's birthday in style this year.
We kicked off with a ceilidh on Good Friday at Charlton House, one of our regular venues, in aid of GFMA. Chris H did the calling and we had a good crowd and a fun evening and it was good to show off our instrumentals to people more used to hearing us sing. It all went down very well and was a good prelude to our performance at the same spot later in the month.
Just before we returned to Charlton House we performed on 23rd April itself at Ruskin House Folk and Blues Club in Croydon for their St Georges Day event ably organised by Luke. We sang a number of songs and played some tunes too and received a good response from the audience despite being on rather later than anticipated!
The next day we had our big performance at Charlton House and were honoured to be supporting John Kirkpatrick. We were anxious throught he floor spots as we hoped no-one would perform our May songs before us but all was fine and from the opening notes of Hal an Tow to the final Oss Oss Wee Oss call of the Padstow May Song everything went well and we had many accolades from the audience and John K too. With a stunning performance from John Kirkpatick it was a fantastic evening and another triumph for Global Fusion Media Arts, Louisa and her team.
Spring is in the Air
By sarahpavey, Apr 1 2015 01:17PM
We have had some fun over the last two months despite a few winter coughs and colds
February saw a return to the Cheshire Cheese in Little Essex Street as part of the Brandenburg Fringe Festival. Our co-performers were Academix and Treblesome. We had a fantastic evening and lots of support for our performance. We managed to include some new material too and this was spotted by the organiser. We really enjoy these performances to a varied audience who seem so interested in the stories behind our songs as well as the music.
In March we were honoured to step into the residents slot at the famous Cellar Upstairs Folk Club supporting Roy Bailey. What an evening! We had earlier performed a ceilidh in Nunhead but made the venue easily with time to spare. We had some surprises meeting old friends from abroad and some regulars from other clubs. We sang for two 20 min slots giving a good range of our songs and hope we will make a return trip before too long. Roy Bailey was amazing and some lovely thought provoking songs.
On Mother's Day (15th March) we were back to St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham providing entertainment for their Sunday Lunch. There was a great crowd and despite the fact we were actually providing background music a surprising amount of interest in our songs. One member of the audience told us our rendition of the Jute Mill Song had brought a tear to his eye reminding him of his native home.
And so onward to April and kicking off on 3rd with a ceilidh at Charlton House. We will also be returning there at the end of the month, 24th for the annual St Georges Day celebration supporting John Kirkpatrick. In addition we will also be performing at Ruskin House for their regular St Georges event.
By sarahpavey, Feb 12 2015 12:11PM
The 4th January was a busy day for Morrigan both in reality and on the airwaves. We started the morning with a performance at St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, South London where we entertained both patients and their relatives ans staff over lunch. We received a warm welcome from everyone and applause after every song or tune. We were rewarded with a much appreciated roast dinner and look forward to returning to this venue.
In the evening we were invited to visit Cheam Folk Club and felt honoured when asked to perform an additional slot by a couple of singers who said they would rather hear us than sing themselves! This is such a friendly club and is really inclusive with lots of participation from everyone in both tunes and songs. We will definately be back here before too long.
BBC Radio Kent also played one of the songs from our CD "As the crow flies" - The January Man on Doug Welch's Folk Show that same evening - we caught it using the listen again feature.
A few days later on the 8th January we ventured across the Thames to Loughton Folk Club where we were supporting Thursday's Band with Mark Gamon. We had two spots - one in each half - and the songs seemed to go down well as we sold some CDs afterwards. Again this was a lovely club, very friendly with a tradition of singing "Take your Glasses to the Bar" at the end. We were surprised by a last minute request to lead this in 4 part harmony to the tune of Will Ye No Come Back Again - so popular that we were asked to do it twice!!!
The following Sunday we had our annual visit to the Greenwich Pleasaunce for their wassail celebrations annointing the fruit trees in the orchard with cider. It was cold but luckily sunny when we did our spot. We drew a crowd and sold an amazing number of CDs at the end. We stayed on for the procession but the cold and by now overcast sky meant we left to find some hot food and sadly we missed the afternoon performances.
...and so on to February and practice for our forthcoming return visit to The Cheshire Cheese with the Brandenburg Fringe. We are looking forward to meeting up with the Academix again and newcomers Treblemakers at this venue. It is quite small so do book in advance if you want to come and see us.
We have had exciting news in that we have been invited back to the Tenterden Festival in October and this time will be performing in the acoustic concert as well as in the singarounds. Chris Harrison will also be running a workshop on his Joseph Skipsey poems set to music. We are also booked in as guests for Otford Folk Club, both Orpington Folk Club and Friday Folk Club, and Nellies Folk Club for later in the year.
Filed under: Brandenburg Festival, Wassail, Tenterden Folk Festival, Otford Folk Club, BBC Radio Kent, St Christopher's Hospice, Cheam Folk Club, Loughton Folk Club, Greenwich Pleasaunce, Orpington Folk Club, Academix, Friday Folk Orpington, Nellie's Folk Club, Tonbridge Folk Club
By sarahpavey, Jan 11 2015 12:44AM
...and Morrigan were certainly kept busy over the last month!
We began with album launch at the Charlton House Wassail. Unfortunately John Kirkpatrick was unable to perform due to the sudden death of his wife and we were thrust unexpectedly into the top slot. We had some good supporters and did our best to muster as many friends as we could to come. We send our heart felt condolences to John and his family and hope he may revisit Charlton House later this year. The gig went very well and we rounded off our performance with a set of sing a long carols for the audience and other performers on various instruments including Chris E making his debut on cornett. We were completely blown away by the amazing review in the Greenwich Visitor and we are as ever indebted to Louisa and her fantastic team at GFMA for their support and organisation - not to mention selling our CDs.
Later in the same week we were honoured to be supporting the fantastic Les Barker at TwickFolk. The Cabbage Patch is a great venue and the acoustics really suited our voices with some good mixing from the TwickFolk team. Les Barker was so funny we spent most of the night with tears of laughter running down our face. We had a brilliant evening and hope to return to this friendly club soon
Our next stop was a live recording with Doug Welch at BBC Radio Kent. We braved the wind and the rain to make it down to the Tunbridge Wells' studio. The recording went well and Doug put us at ease. It was strange driving back with the radio on and hearing ourselves singing.
We also heard that Mike Norris had played The Gower Wassail on his Folk Show at The Wireless UK which was a nice bonus and were feeling quite the radio stars by Christmas! We now knoe that we have invitations to The Cellar Upstairs in March and hope to find a mutually convenient slot at Music Traditions as unfortunately we were already booked for an invited date.
January proved busy again ....more on that next month
Happy New Year to our followers!
Photos below of the stage and us performing at Charlton House Wassail and of us singing at TwickFolk
By sarahpavey, Dec 9 2014 03:59PM
On 22nd November we took part in a charity concert at Tadworth Village Hall to raise funds for Medecins Sans Frontieres Ebola Campaign. It was a really varied evening organised by Sutton Acoustic. The evening kicked off with a scratch band Blackbriar playing bluegrass and country with Molly belting out the songs. This was follwed by Sara O'Keefe and Martin Karran playing and singing some well known contemporary folk favourites brilliantly executed despite Sara's cold. Next came the fabulous Choro Bandido with a funky Brazilian sound and then Morrigan took the stage. Poor Chris E had just rushed from a ceilidh gig in Vauxhall but you would never have known it. We were asked to sing our Christmas repertoire so starting the proceedings blasting out Noel, Noel seemed a little odd on a mild and misty mid November evening. We were well received and sold some CDs and we gave all the money to the Ebola cause. The evening wrapped up with a Balalaika duo and then finally the Steve Eggs band brought the evening to a close.
All in all it was a great event and we were proud to be part of it. We raised over £500 for the Ebola Campaign.
Now forward to our real Christmas events and in particular our album launch at Charlton House on 11th Dec.
By sarahpavey, Nov 8 2014 04:20PM
After the excitement of the Tenterden Folk Festival we quickly turned our attention to our next gig at Ruskin House and the Croydon Folk and Blues Club. We had a warm welcome and sang for 35 minutes with a mixture ranging industrial songs to Shakespeare. One member of the audience commented that we had "taken him home" to his native Scotland with our renditions of The Jute Mill Song and Will Ye No Come Back Again. The Club have decided that we can come back again!!! We sold quite a few of our CDs as well. A great evening.
Our next outing was at The Cheshire Cheese (not to be confused as Sarah managed with The Old Cheshire Cheese - an identikit pub close by in Fleet Street). This was for the Brandenburg Fringe Festival which brings together acapella groups. We were performing alongside The London City Singers and the Academix A Capella. We were sandwiched in the middle as something "different".
The room was small but the audience packed in (sometimes in shifts). The LCS gave a great performance of mostly show songs which warmed up the audience. Our set was very well received - in particular the Greenland Whale Fishery which had the audience living the whole tale. Chris E gave an excellent introduction explaining how the sailors only had a small boat and a pointy stick and that whales are in fact very large. During the interval the audience said they were amazed at the stories behind all the songs and we like to think we have done some fusion work between folk and classical. We sold some more CDs and someone bought us a drink and then we settled down to listen to the very complicated and intricate songs from the Academix. Many thanks to Bob Porter of the Brandenburg Festival for an excellent gig opportunity and to our fellow performers.
So we are now getting ready and practising our winter repertoire ready for the Ebola Charity Concert in Tadworth on 22nd November, our official album launch at the Charlton House Wassail with John Kirkpatrick on 11th December, our support slot with Les Barker at TwickFolk on 14th December and our live appearance on BBC Radio Kent on 21st December.
By sarahpavey, Oct 7 2014 05:48PM
We are all in recovery after an amaxing weekend at the Tenterden Folk Festival. Many thanks to the organisers for making us feel so welcome and included at all the events. We are certainly hoping to return for more fun next year.
We arrived bright and early on Friday morning and immediately headed for the first sing around at The William Caxton with Bob Kenward and Malcolm Ward from Nellies Folk Club in charge. We were given a generous opportunity to sing a number of our songs including The Wind and The Rain (for which considering what was to follow on Saturday we were surprised we were not banished from the site!!!). The guest was Tom Lewis an ex sailor who was a first class entertainer and just how he managed all the actions for the incredibly funny rendition of the pirate song is mesmerising given his age.
We next ventured to the Saddlery to pick up our passes and to catch the afternoon concert. We lsitened to Nick Dow who sang beautifully and had us laughing (although not at the over graphic descriptions of Romany customs for food preparation). Next up was Pete Castle with some nice songs and interesting tales of motorway madnes. Then on to the Davenports with their strong harmonies and unison singing of unusual songs in a traditional vein. The final act we all saw was the energetic James Findlay Trio again blending traditional and self penned songs with expert instrumentation. Chris H stayed on to listen to Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman but unfortunately the rest of us succumbed to hunger pangs and headed to Cafe Rouge to take advantage of the Menu Rapide before the offer closed!
The evening saw us off to the ceilidh with Wyatt's Cat playing some intricate tunes and some fun dances. It was a rare treat to be able to have a dance and not to be calling and playing ourselves. It was a shame that there were not more people but we managed to dance quite a few turns despite poor Chris E having sustained a workplace injury to his leg compounded by drivers foot (too long on the clutch in heavy South London Traffic).
On Saturday we dropped off our CDs at the marquee stall and then raced round to secure a good seat in the Caxton for the lunchtime session - this time very ably compered by Adrian O. Again we were fortunate to be given a good airing of our material and again sang a timely Wind and the Rain as the gale lashed against the windows of the pub. It was another first class singaround with many great performances. The weather unfortunately stopped us from venturing outside to watch the morris parade and we chose instead to eat at the pub before heading off to the Shanty and Sea Songs Session in the club. This event had a fine line up with Peter Collins, Gavin Atkin, Hastings Shanty Singers, Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham, Les Corsaires, Malcolm Ward, and Tom Lewis. There were some great songs included and the leader of the unbelievable Corsaires animated their lyrics so no-one could fail to understand the Flemish and then broke into a soaring operatic soprano voice in every chorus - opera and shanty combined - an experience indeed!
Somehow in the evening we managed to fit in two sessions. First we received a hearty and very flattering welcome from the Drages at the Woolpack session. Chris H did a solo from his CD Carols from the Coalfields and we followed up with Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy. Unfortunatley there was only time for one slot and we left soon after 9pm to get to the Caxton. Bob and Malcom's session was in full swing when we arrived but once again they let us sing several songs. We had to squeeze to the front. We chanced singing My Love is Like a Red Red Rose in a very noisy pub and were amazed when it fell silent to listen to our harmonies.
Sunday morning was bright and sunny but a lot colder. We made it to the Caxton again for the lunchtime session and a snap decision was made to hold it in the garden which was lovely. Again we had a chance to perform several songs and this was a good rehearsal for our stage performance. There was some lovely singing particularly from Marian Button, Dave Cooper and Steve O’Kane & Fiona McBain. With nerves and no time for lunch we headed for the Showcase Marquee and then had a quick rehearsal in the car park of the health clinic. We had a lightning quick soundcheck and were into our performance by 3.10pm - a full 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Luckily our fears of only drawing a crowd of three did not materialise and we had both a full marquee and others in rows of chairs in the sunshine just outside. Many people stopped as they headed or came out of the craft fair too and every song met with rounds of applause. Feedback from our set was good and then to add icing to the cake we found we had sold some CDs too. We were invited by Doug Welch to be live guests on his BBC Kent Folk programme with our Christmas songs and so hope to fix up a date soon. Feeling good about our performance we next headed back to Cafe Rouge for a pig out meal!
The final evening saw us squeezing in two sessions again. At the Woolpack we took full advantage of the wonderful acoustics of the barn and sang Will You No Come Back Again. Again Kathy and Bob Drage gave us a fantastic introduction and again mentioned our CD. We thanked them for making us so welcome and then headed out for final hours at the Caxton. What an end to a brilliant festival. Bob, Malcolm and Roger gave us 4 songs during the evening which was crammed with very high quality performances and a great couple of sets from Nick Dow. We sang Jute Mill, White Cockade and then with what we thought would be our last Will You \No... but then Malcolm insisted we had Morrigan again again and we finished off with everyone joining us on Blood Red Roses. The songs went on - Bye Bye My Roseanna had us all waving anything close to hand and finally Nick Dow left us with a lovely thoughtful ballad and we headed into the night, elated and so looking forward to a return trip next year.
We have had a lovely review of our CD by Kathy and Bob Drage for Around Kent Folk and thank them especially for this just ahead of the Festival.
Now onwards towards Christmas.......wot already????
By sarahpavey, Sep 11 2014 02:40PM
Shiver me timbers ! Morrigan returned from their August break to take part in The Tall Ships Festival 2014 at the Deepwater Terminal on the Greenwich Penninsular. thanks to an invitation from Global Fusion Music & Arts (GMFA). We were to take part in some busking around the site and a performance slot at 5pm for an hour. We struggled from the car park carrying a variety of instruments including a large bass drum. Sarah managed to make friends with a man on a mobility scooter and he offered to carry some of the gear. We rewarded him with one of our CDs.
After lunch we went to our first busking post near the embarkation for one of the tall ships. It was a great backdrop with the boats in full sail (and a hidden engine we suspect) drifting up and down the Thames. Unfortunately there were no seats so we had to leave the drum back at the parade ground.
We returned to the main arena at 3pm to hear Chris Harrison perform his solo spot and to join in on a few choruses. We were pleased to see an advert for our gig at 5pm (see photo below). Then we returned to busking - this time just outside the performance area where we found a low wall to sit on so we could use the drum. This bought a real beat to the music and we soon even had the police dancing to our tunes. Passers by chiucked money (and amazingly nothing else) at us which was very gratifying.
We then went on stage and sang our songs for an hour. Chris H decided to make reference to the various catering establishments in Roll the Old Chariot Along before he realised how many there were and had he gone through everyone we would have had to stay until midnight. So we cut it short and offered an apology to those we did not covertly advertise! We had a fantastic time and even sold some CDs.
Now we turn our attention to practice for our amazing gigs in October. This kicks off with The Tenterden Folk Festival 2014 on October 3rd - 5th, followed by Croydon Folk & Blues Club and then the Brandenburg Fringe Festival at the Old Cheshire Cheese later in the month. In December we have the GFMA Charlton House Wassail supporting John Kirkpatrick where we will officially launch our album
By sarahpavey, Aug 1 2014 10:30AM
Well we have finally finished our long awaited CD "As the crow flies" and have released it under the GFMA label with many thanks to our long time supporter Louisa and everyone at Charlton House. Our official launch won't be until later this year at Charlton House when we will be supporting John Kirkpatrick. We will publish the date as soon as it is available so you can book your tickets. Meanwhile you can buy your own copy of the CD from this website. The postcard that is free with the CD can be adapted to make an insert with details of the songs we sing.
It has been an admin month for the band and getting bookings sorted for the Autumn and beyond. We have events at Croydon Folk and Blues Club, Tenterden Folk Festival, The Brandenburg Fringe Festival at the Old Cheshire Cheese and Charlton House as major events confirmed for later this year as well as our regular Two Brewers slots. Keep a close eye on the diary as bookings arrive for next year too!
We are taking a break over August and so wish all our followers a sunny summer holiday!
By sarahpavey, Jul 5 2014 05:11PM
We had a very busy time in June with lots going on and yet we were still out clubbing into the early hours - well maybe that's not entirely true but we did sing at a few folk clubs and received a warm welcome from organisers and guests alike.
Our first visit following the Two Brewers regular slot was Otford Fok Club in Kent with Steve Turner. We sang 3 songs in great surroundings of a really old beamy pub. It was packed but it was great that everyone joined in on our choruses. We will try and get down to Kent again before too long.
Next up was The Ram Folk Club in Thames Ditton. We were given a slot to sing two songs before a performance by Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante - luckily we chose not to sing a couple of numbers that the guests had included in their repertoire later that evening! We rushed to the club after doing the final tweaking to our CD. We were given a lovely welcome and hope tor return to this great club before too long.
We rounded off the month at TwickFolk The Cabbage Patch in Twickenham. We sang a couple of songs - The White Cockade and The Cropper Lads to a very welcoming audience. We were overwhelmed by the number of people who said how nuch they had enjoyed our music including the talented guests Winter Wilson. Again we hope to return here for some more singing.
And so now as things quieten down for the summer we are concentrating on getting our CD produced and ready for launch in the Autumn. We thank the wonderful Louisa at Global Fusion Music and Arts for allowing us on their label and for continuing to give us high profile gigs at Charlton House
By sarahpavey, Jun 1 2014 11:27AM
We had a quieter May and devoted some time to fine tuning the tracks on our forthcoming CD which we hopw will be ready for our Autumn gigs.
Still we found time to visit our favourite haunt - The Two Brewers (catch us there again on 10th June) and sang out the Padstow May Song amongst other seasonal offerings. It was a packed house as the nearby BRIT School had just finished a production and invaded the pub too.
We spent time in the studio at Box Hill School with our excellent sound engineer Jonathan Rayner and managed to tweak 5 tracks. We ended the evening with a trip to Dorking Folk Club and sang The New St George and Padstow as part of singers night.
By sarahpavey, May 5 2014 09:50AM
Morrigan have had an exciting month in April with some great gigs all centered on St Georges' Day.
First up was headlining at Ruskin House in Croydon on the day itself, 23rd April. There is a photo of us playing rather than singing but our songs received a great reception. We tried out our two new Shakespeare numbers "When that I was a little tiny boy" and "How should I your true love know?" as well as May Day favourites. We were invited to come back and entertain again - quite something when this is essentially a blues folk venue.
Our next gig was supporting the fantastic folk legend Martin Carthy at our regular GFMA Charlton House venue. We did almost half an our of songs before Martin took to the stage. Our repertoire included Hal an Tow, Padstow May Processional (night song), our new Shakespeares, The World Turned Upsidedown (Diggers) and the New St George. We always like introducing the Diggers as we do an annual ceilidh at St Georges Hill near Weybridge which rather ironically is now a gated community for the very rich !
Our third St Georges' Day special was at the secret venue in London near Covent Garden for the Brandenberg Fringe Festival. It was an evening of acapella singing and we had been invited as an add on to the 4 main acts to "try out" - no pressure then!!! We were delighted to find our 10 min interval slot was changed to 15 minutes to start the second half and were stunned by the wonderful reaction we received from the audience who clapped and cheered after each number and then stamped their feet and joined in with Padstow such that we thought any minute they would be dancing in the aisles. Given the audience and the other choirs (Tiffinians, Waltham Madrigals and Kitch n Sync) were performing madrigals and songs from shows we were unsure of how our blend of folk music would be received but could never have anticipated the degree of enthusiasm. Again we have been invited back and have definitely put folk music on the agenda.
So now we return to a quieter May and hopefully putting the final touched to our CD so that it is ready for the autumn. Don't forget we will be at The Two Brewers as usual on May 13th
By sarahpavey, Mar 24 2014 11:55PM
March has been a month of working on songs more than performances but we did kick off with a session at the Two Brewers mostly instrumental due to illness but Sarah and Chris E managed a song each.
Since then we have been practising hard with the new songs for our St Georges Day concertsat Ruskin House and Charlton House and have decided to include some Shakespeare beautifully arranged by Chris H. We were delighted to get confirmation that we will be supporting Martin Carthy again at Charlton House. It also looks as if we may support another legendary folk musician at the Christmas concert so watch this space!
We have also been tweaking the final few songs for our soon to be launched Winter themed album and hope to finalise the recordings in May.
We sang at a wedding nearer to the end of the month at a fantastic venue - the Asylum Chapel in Peckham. This is a ruined chapel belonging to the Licenced Victuallers that has been transformed into an unusual events venue by a group of artists.
Finally we received news that we will be performing at the Tenterden Folk Festival in the Autumn so put the first weekend of October in your diaries
April looks much busier for us so try and catch us after Easter at a St Georges Event
By sarahpavey, Mar 1 2014 04:32PM
We have had a busy February visiting a number of folk clubs where our singing has gone down very well.
After our usual session at The Two Brewers in Croydon we ventured down into Kent the very next day to sing at Faversham Folk Club. We were given a very warm welcome and were invited to finish off the evening.
We managed to squeeze in a visit to Sharps at Cecil Sharp House where we sang amongst some very talented musicians and singers. Again we were invited to round things off which we did with a rousing version of "Go Down You Blood Red Roses".
Our final slot of the month was back at one of our favourite venues - Charlton House. Here we took part in the Global Fusion Fair Trade Week Event and sang a number of songs. We will be returning for the St Georges Day concert in April.