King Ahtu

By Threepenny Bit

  1. Icy
    Drummond Castle
  2. Sula’s
  3. The Ballydesmond (Polka)
  4. Chefs In The Pantry
    Bó Mhín Na Toitean
  5. Cuckoo’s Nest
    The Two Rascals
  6. Katie’s (Waltz)
  7. The Hilt
  8. A Big Egg
    The Blacksmith
  9. Old Mother Oxford
    Dark Girl Dressed In Blue
  10. Reprise (Katie’s Waltz )

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Threepenny Bit - King Ahtu

Released December, 2019.

Ahtu is pronounced ‘ahh-too’, according to their Bandcamp page.

Bandcamp page:

On the album:
- Jason Beaumont (bass guitar/flute/whistle)
- Ruth Burrows (saxophone)
- Helen Gentile (clarinet)
- Ross Gordon (drums/percussion)
- Hannah Gray (flute)
- Chris Nichols (violin)
- Josh Robson-Hemmings (acoustic & electric guitars)
- Steven Troughton (accordion/acoustic & electric guitars)

Tune composition information:
- Icy Jig (Chris Dewhurst)
- Sulu’s (Ross Gordon)
- Chefs in the Pantry, The Hilt (Jason Beaumont)
- The Two Rascals (Paul Sartin)
- Katie’s Waltz, A Big Egg (Chris Nichols)

From their Bandcamp liner notes:

-Track 1, Icy Jig / Drummond Castle
Icy Jig was written, we suspect, with the sole intention of annoying melodeon players - at least, the friend we learnt it from always deploys it with that purpose in mind. We follow it with Drummond Castle by way of apology.

- Track 2, Sulu’s
If you can think of a better thing to name a tune after, we’d like to hear it: "Sula’s - the best Greek kebab shop in town!"

- Track 3, The Ballydesmond Polka
This tune’s namesake village is so-called for its association with Gerald Fitzgerald, the Fifteenth Earl of Desmond. While we know little of his life and times, the flamboyance of his name and title has been a continual source of inspiration to us.

- Track 4, I’m King Ahtu Set (Chefs in the Pantry / Bó Mhín Na Toitean)
"Funky King", "Great Leader", "Great Dancer", "A Holy One" - a rollicking ode to his majesty, King of the Ostriches.

- Track 5, Cuckoo’s Nest / The Two Rascals
During a rehearsal in a library, we divided into two groups; the melody instruments were to work on their ornaments, while the rhythm section would get on with, well, rhythms…

- Track 6, Katie’s Waltz
Chris wrote this tune for his lovely wife, Katie. We performed it for their first dance, with the best man dutifully stepping in on violin.

- Track 7, The Hilt
Working titles included: Reel of Fortune, Barry’s Quest, Very Barrel, Sir Jig, Dally-Mobile, Baron of Beef, Sausage on a Mountain, Dr Bacon and His Pig of Choice… we’re not hungry, you are.

- Track 8, A Big Egg / The Blacksmith
“What’s big and small at the same time…?” - Armando Iannucci

- Track 9, Old Mother Oxford / Dark Girl Dressed in Blue
We like to think of this tune set as a microcosm of May Morning in Oxford, the first church bells at dawn giving way to the celebrations of the day.

- Track 10, Reprise (Katie’s Waltz)
Recorded in our last hour at the studio, late at night, with a storm rolling in.