From what I saw there were a couple of piano accordion players, playing in C (ie, white notes only) accompanying someone singing anything from Country and Western to Irish ballads. All were stood up, like playing a gig. There was a brief interlude where a concertina and a melodeon did a set of some nice polkas. The pub was busy, right enough, so they all obviously enjoyed considerable local support, in this very rural part of Suffolk. It didn’t seem appropriate to join in, so I didn’t. As this event was advertised as a session I have thus submitted it here. The advertising on the board outside said something like "…been going for 60 years…with violins and fiddles[!]….kazoo, hand-drum…" etc., so I didn’t have high expectations anyway. This is a good place to go if you want to make yourself feel better about you or your session. And the beer is good, as is the pub itself.
This is a quite famous session. There was a film of it made in the 1960’s (Douglas Kennedy). I think the tradition in Suffolk was for more of a concert party format rather tahn all joining in at once.And yes, the music is traditionally is C so that it can be played on the one row melodeons that were more common in less affluent times.
ok, it may have been something in its hey-day, but it seems to me that other sessions have caught up with it and passed it by, yet it obviously is still close to the hearts of the locals, and I suppose that’s what counts. But although it is advertised as a session, it doesn’t fullfill many of the usual criteria, ie isn’t very join-in-able, is a stand-up solo performance thing, and is mostly songs.
…and just to add, I may have caugt it on a bad night, as summer nights often are for sessions.
OK, it is highly possible that I caught this weekly event on a more mediochre night last August. We walked to the Foot today via Minsmere Bird Sanctuary, and it really is a special place. Maybe it is stretching it to call it a session the time I was there, but the pub is held with great affection locally. These are a few references to it:
I’ve been a few more times recently and joined in. It can get very busy (with both punters and players.) There is also a Sunday night session on the last Sunday of the month. The music played is mostly English, so it’s good to see English music very much alive in its heartland. Irish music seems to be welcomed, but not many of the other players know the tunes, so be prepared to be on your own! The regular players are mostly friendly but be careful to avoid confusion if you do start up a tune (ie, wait to be asked), as, being so busy, there are many people waiting to get their tunes in. An enjoyable evening may be had.