At the moment I don’t get many opportunities to play with a whole band and monitors and sound crews and guitar roadies ( ha ha) and all that stuff. Always  of acoustic and acapella mind….. so it’s great when it happens. At the Guildhall Rock and Jazz Summer School where I was tutoring I got the chance to play with some of my favourite mates and this is one of the numbers we sung this year,  about a week ago. Please excuse shaky, dotty video, there was sadly no lighting crewe and all video camera holders seemed to be off duty ……… x

Song of the Day -Wedding Song -Written by Anais Mitchell performed by Donna Canale, David Gale, Geoff Nicholls, Gitika Partington and Richard Sadler

Funny current big album  -favourite to listen to on the old headphones, on the train, is  Anias Mitchell’s Hadestown – I am in love with Justin Vernon’s voice, (check out my song of the day 30th May) while at the other end of the flat, Mr P. is listening to some band called Bon Iver. Blimey I say, as I go in to his music zone to make tea…’that really sounds like Justin Vernon that Burl Ives, that you is listening to….Sorry Bon Iver’

and then I join up the dots as I wiki Bon Iver and hey presto we are listening to the same singer…we have found the music from completely different places…Another coincidence…my favourite string player Tanya Kalmanovitch who I was sitting next to talking about a track from the  Anais Mitchell album that I thought we should get our mate Brian Abrahams of the deepest richest voice to sing on a track called ‘the Wall’, and she pondered out loud “how do I know that name Anais, oh ..I played on the album” small world. Bon Iver are playing the UK but seem to be completely sold out, unless I am doing something wrong on tinternet. That would have been a nice bonding gig for me and the hubby to go together. Ah well.

I am posting the album version and Justin singing it live too…..Justin can  you come and do my backing vocals, please?..when I have spent 3 months in a secluded mountain cabin -um sorry  small back  room in North London and finished it…you never know!…I shall keep Michael McDonald as a reserve in case Justin is busy.

This particular festival reminds me of a story I heard of a student sports teacher who was being examined. He  was teaching a class of 12-13 year olds how to throw javelin as part of an athletics module. There were 15  javelins and 30 students, so the student got the kids to line up in two lines, facing each other and throw them back and forth . ‘ Well soon you’ll have the same amount of students as javelins said the examiner as he gave the student teacher a small skinny fail!

When you are celebrating this festival which goes back to the Ancient Greeks, do not, I repeat, do not throw javelins near anything alive, unless you are prepared to commit to  the whole process of skinning, plucking, boiling, and eating it. It was Hercules, son of Zeus, so they say, who first got so hungry he had to throw a javelin, and the rest they say is history.

So as this is a British Festival we must hail some of the most renowned Javelin throwers while we head of into the hills to throw a few ourselves, before the cover of night makes it almost impossible to be precise. Hail  Tessa Sanderson, Fatima Whitbread, UK and  Steve Backley, UK, and  more, who bring richness into this wonderful day, held on June 1st every year. So I wonder if I can find another fantastic festival for us to celebrate tomorrow. And thanks to  blogger Jonny for getting me out of my bloggy dulldrums by suggesting birthdays and festivals as a way to get inspired for my daily posts. 

SONG OF THE DAY  – Why We Build The Wall -Anais Mitchell ft. Greg Brown First  version is Anais in her farm( !) in vermont singing the song in one take…which is how you usually sing songs…people seem so surprised. Wonder if she would have sung punk, not folk if she lived in a council flat. Beautiful music.


I can’t believe that  most people will  have forgotten about this  ancient and rather unusual festival of ours.  The 30th  of May is National Megaphone Day. A long forgotten festival dating back to  the late 17th century, when it had a different name, to do with commoners and noise. The festival was introduced to ‘give the plebs a voice’ just for one day, mind. For many years in market towns around Britain, the plebs and servants  where allowed to  walk round the towns with megaphones and anything they could bang, making as much of a bally hoo as they wanted with absolutely no danger of lock up or  prosecution. All the big wigs went undercover for a day and hid away from the noise. The law has not been repealed so if you want…get out there with your leather or papier mache megaphone, find a market town and make an awful din and quote the Royal charter of 1685 passed  by  Jolly old King Charles the II just before his death (feb 1685). The custom  was quickly quashed by the puritans, who did not like the idea of anyone doing anything that might make them feel better about themselves. It had a bit of a resurgence around the 19th century in some  smaller market towns around Leicestershire like Ashby-de-la Zouch. A few Morris dancing packs  and their prancers keeping going, but it is just not well known enough yet. Now is the time  to bring it back, with a bang, take a friend( or friends) and  a picnic….and your finest shouty voice. Long live the megaphone- shout!

 SONG OF THE DAY  The Wedding Song -Anias Mitchell

from Hadestown, an album that has moved me more than anything I have heard for an age album. I have been listening to it all afternoon and have not got to the end as I have to keep replaying the tracks. So into this at the moment and the whole thing of lots of musicians getting together and collaborating. I miss this.  Here is a  live version.  Different male vocalist on album, Justin Vernon. Such a beautiful song and a great album.