Reflections on Milton Harvest Festival 2013

One of our longstanding annual gigs, this was a most enjoyable evening. It’s always good to play for people with some experience of the dances, and many of the people here had remembered dances from previous years. One group of little girls even remembered, in chorus, Greg’s singing instructions for the Swanee River square dance: “And it’s dos-i-do to your corner, right to your partner, left to your partner, Swanee river …!” The easier dances were picked up very quickly – Andrew was even able to sing most of Paddy McGinty’s Goat during the Belfast Duck, with little need to call during the dance. Greg was moved to call The Three Sea Captains, which we haven’t done for years.

In spite of the hangar-like acoustic of Milton Community Centre, we soon warmed up, and by the last dance, The Drops of Brandy, were ready to tackle the fearsomely fast slipjigs. We played a good selection of our listening tunes in between dances, and were rewarded with some gratifying ripples of applause and some CD sales – always good! (our latest sales pitch represents them as ideal stocking fillers …).

Good food – baked potatoes and chilli con carne – and David and Andrew ate theirs quickly to make time for a Northumbrian pipe session, a musical accompaniment to the dessert!

And the organisers were happy too. A very welcome email said: “Just a quick note to say thank to you and the band for Sat night. I thought you were all on great form, and the consensus from the feedback I have received is that this was one of the best Ceilidhs we have organised.”

Thanks again to All Saints, Milton, for having us back. See you next year!

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About Andrew Burn

University College London Gower Street London WC1E 6BT
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