Ratty

Back from a fun time at the Chester folk festival – the photo is definitely the best I took (though I didn’t take many as the music was too much fun). It’s Ratty of course 🙂  We only stayed overnight on the Saturday but still saw a lot. Very much enjoyed Les Barker on Saturday lunchtime, then the afternoon concert with 5 acts including Will Pound’s “Through the Seasons” which we had heard a lot about on several radio folk programmes so were interested to see it. It was good though I felt the story was a bit disconnected at times. Hannah James with her accordion was superb, as were The Trials of Cato (fantastic mandolin player), and of course Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer were well up to their usual fantastic standard.

On Saturday evening we went along to the Folk Club with some more excellent entertainment, followed by a nice glass of wine sitting outside at our apartment in the warm evening air. It was the “Cheshire View” which we very much recommend.

Vicki and Jonny
Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer at the Folk Club

After getting our tickets for the Sunday afternoon we settled down in the Farmers Arms for a quiet coffee and a bit of nyckelharpa tuning followed by a tune or two. A lovely couple from Shrewsbury came (Judy and Terry – thanks for the memory, Marwyn!) and asked if they could play with me, and we had a great little session (nyckelharpa, fiddle, mandolin/mandola) for a couple of hours before it was time to join the led session (briefly), then head off to the community centre to catch the last performance of “The Wind in the Willows” folk opera, with Chris Green, Sophie Matthews, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer. Truly excellent and a fine way to finish off before heading back to Wigan.

It was great to catch up again with Vicki and Jonny – and I’ll be meeting up again soon for Vicki’s nyckelharpa course at Halsway in June.

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