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Bagpipes, hurdy gurdies and much else

17th November 2009 @ 7:07am – by Dave Martin
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Yet another musical success for Audlem, although the local felines may have disagreed! Despite the inclement weather, a pub-ful of musicians and an audience from all over the country descended on the Shroppie Fly on Saturday.

The assembled throng was (sort of) marshalled by John Hardy, but it was a lost cause. A bit like the weekly Monday night session in "The Fly", there was no MC, tunes sprang up in a chaotic sort of fashion, and many friendships were renewed. But everyone was given a fair chance to lead "the orchestra", and the afternoon flew by.

And what an orchestra it was: there were over 40 musicians present, playing at least 15 different types of instrument. Whilst the focus was on bagpipes and hurdy gurdies (might the collective noun be "a squawk"?), all instruments got a fair crack of the whip.

What makes the event so special is the feeling that ALL musicians and tunes are welcome, no matter what the instrument or the level of skill: and many were very highly skilled. All were treated equally.

And age was certainly no barrier: the musicians ranged from around 8 to well over "three score and ten": very rarely does such young talent get to lead so many players and keep the oldies in order.

Many thanks to Andy and Kate for their hospitality on the day. Come down and join a slightly smaller (but equally chaotic) gathering every Monday night at the same venue, where there will be songs as well as tunes.

No doubt there will be a similar event in November 2010 organised (?) by John Hardy and his Forlorne Hope musicians, but don't expect to see a poster advertising it! And let us pray that John does not try to organise a one-stringed fiddle festival in the meantime!

Now who said "the most pleasant musical sound in the world was the bagpipes.... going away from you"?

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