Thirty comments

A new Dulwich Session starts tommorrow

Every Sunday from 8pm at this fine large house with a wooden floor and sound acoustics, hosted by a revovling bunch of players kickstarting with Mark Conyard, and with Aidan Burke amongst others to follow. Everyone welcome to join in.

The Vale is along the main road (A2216) some 300 Metres from East Dulwich Station (1 KM from Denmark Hill, North Dulwich & Peckham Rye Stations) in the Dulwich / Peckham / Camberwell borderland.

London SE22 8EQ

fancy forgetting that bit …

Session now STARTS NEXT SUNDAY 18th july

fancy being ‘foxed by the football’ yet again, just informed at 6pm

Lovely pub

I was there for the gig, 4th July. The pub is lovely.

Busy Sunday nights in South London…

This sesh makes Sunday Eve’s even more complicated!
How I am I gonna fit in this plus JB/ Kilkenny and Foxy/ Ramblers all on the same evening?!
Anyway, maybe see you next week!

Oh, OK then. It must have had a few refurbs since I last lived in East Dulwich which must have been about 12 years ago.

Dire pubs…

Danny, I think in all the years I’ve been playing music in pubs (and more recently ‘the music’), the more decrepid and shight the place is or ‘dangerous’, the better the music!

Yes there’s something in that. I’ve had great tunes in some right dives. One of the best was a dead rough shop in Lewisham. In walked Paddy Glackin, Robbie Hannan, Mike McGoldrick and some others. They’d been gigging in nearby Blackheath halls when they heard there was a session on.

Good start

one i can add to that danny was of equal measure in a packed smoke-filled flat (actually a messy squat) above a shop near London Bridge, where you had to walk over players blocking the stairs, a quick few decades ago …

but up to real time, this sesh rattled off to a firm start with special guest ‘big dave’ down and ten players altogether, variuosly on 4 fiddles, 3 banjos, piano accordion, guitars, bodhrans, spoons and a handfull of songs from kevin and frankie

East Dulwich Session

and a great second week…..

7.00pm start from this Sunday 1st August

13 players last week with visitors over from Ireland and France, namely Kane O’Rourke (fiddle) and Brendan Ring (low whistle), making up 5 fiddles and same as previous with songs from Kevin, Frankie, Mark and Peter

the owner, Tony, brought out a tray of drinks _ a grand nightcap at the close, for which i’d like to thank him and his son, Gary (the manager) for giving this one a go

they’ve brought it forward an hour or so looking at a 6.30-7.00pm start from now on

i’d say he is danny

eleven heads on the last one with guest Sheena Vallely (flute), the usual array of instruments _ this time 3 fiddles plus 2 flutes, whistle and box, a song from Frankie and at the start and break, several songs from a seasoned, Columbian duo ‘Carlos and Artro’ (Montuno Latin Music) -spanish guitars, tight ‘gypsy styled’ harmony vocals, dressed up with hats, a classi act (and for real)

we loved it, after all an agreeable diversion, but the pub management weren’t so sure, prefering us to keep it as advertised …

so we did

… and the first month down

a gradual climb on the punter front (around 15 in the sesh area of the bar), but a healthy show again of players (eleven) with guest Sean McDonagh (Connamara box player)

i do like to record the instrumental componants because of it’s appeal (or otherwise) to the dynamic structure which is different every time, every place, everywhere and could be what we secretly love about playing ‘sessions’ anyway ( - enough of that):

this time 2 fiddles, 2 banjos, piano & button accordians, whistles, 2 guitars, 2 bodhrans and spoons, namely ruth, ‘big dave’, billy, paul, christian, sean, max, kevin, john, gordon and frankie, with songs from kevin, frankie and paul

and i’d like to thank my brother Tony (drummer with my family band years ago) for buying the table a round of drinks, which he always does when checks in at sessions i’m playing at …

yes thanks to Tony, that was very kind πŸ™‚

The Vale has had a great first month and every week distinctive because of the different mix of players, which makes it so difficult to have to contemplate missing one …… which I have to, because of the holiday season.

Aidan Burke (fiddle) down Sunday 15th August 7pm

as promised

not to be missed ………. and I have to miss it :(

don’t worry sahiko, Aidan’s a brother to me and will be back before you know it …

Brilliant playing by Aidan. Enjoyable session, thanks John for organising this.

Dave, Dave, Dave and Dave.

Cheers John!
I had a fab time (once Martin Weller and myself actually found it via Peckham!)
It was good having a few tunes with Dave, Dave, Dave and Dave not forgetting Danny, Kev and Aidan.
Kev sang a few appropriate songs and so did Frankie, Mr Weller did two Ray Davies tunes.
AND this pub sells Thatcher’s Gold (draught cider) which, previously I’ve only ever seen to the left of Swindon. Result!

thanks lads _ we were part of the eight that ate the bait on the shiny plate and ‘til late

manager gary’s dead keen to keep it going (he realises the longer-term potential) but i have to put in some leg work with fliers locally as i’ve been down this road before and someone has to do it

in addition to word of mouth of course …

Dire venues

I’ll second the comment about the standard of decor being inversely proportionate to the standard of session.
Jolly Sailor in Manchester is a s**thole of a pub in a s**thole of an area but with some of the best musicians in the North West. It’s Mike McGoldrick’s local and even Mike Harding has been known to air his banjo there.
Thursdays and saturdays, check it out if you’re hard enough!

Bank Holiday weekend

This week - uillean pipes, four fiddles, one flute, whistle, low whistle, three bodhrans, two banjos and two guitars with songs from Maggie and Kevin. Thirteen musicians in all and appreciative number of punters. Not bad considering it was a holiday weekend.

Shave your parrot and polish up your bugle…

It was a long journey to SE22 last night…
First stop was at the Tooting Old Testament Re-Enactment Society for a bit of raucous sessioning with Foxy and the girls (and saw a squeezebox being mended with a potato peeler!). Then it was off to B B King’s Wing Museum (Finchley, Tx) but Mr Bowe had finished although Mr Coughlan was still belting out a six stringed devil accompanied song or two. Mark was just polishing up his banjo ready action and so he & I got a cab all the way over to the Hot Water Bottle Factory where we enjoyed a fab bunch of tunes with the South East Londoners into the early hours.

Thanks to John and everyone…

Aidan down again tonight

last two weeks a grand showing of players (verus a grand absence of punters) which included a delightful joint birthday party for Big Dave (fiddle) and Maggie Casey (whistle) to the sound of pipes, flute, banjos, fiddles, concertina, the whole shooting lot …

‘Comas’ fiddle / bodhran Adian Burke joins us again for what may be the last one, but i’ll start another one locally, if need be, to keep together this happy bunch of players who only want to play a tune somewhere …

End of …

seen out with a staggering 3 punters and only 13 players _ combining 6 fiddles, 3 banjos, pipes, flute, whistles, 4 guitar players, 2 bodhrans and songs from kevin, maggie and someone else plus a touch of blues harp … but spoons didn’t make the final curtain

and Paddy, the last (but not least) customer, described Aidan as a ‘magician doing things that weren’t meant to be done, where did he get it from? was it the devil?’ (his words) and i totally agree with him

thanks to gary and tony for giving it a go here, they want to switch now to a monthly loud band thing instead, and so be it …

in conclusion, i have to say that i love the concept of playing ’ … what wasn’t meant to be done’ _ absolute class

Fancy that

by the way, Joe (female fiddler) described Aidan publickly as a ‘fancy f***er’ which i totally agree with too …

"Jo" surely πŸ™‚ …… and it was to his face, and he had the grace to laugh! Great session by the way and there is another in the Gipsy Hill Tavern tonight!


Just to say thanks to John for setting up this one-some good tunes along the way.