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Night in the old town


Steeleye Span was very good. The crowd was very old, but we made a respectable amount of noise. Booze was served. A good time was had by all.

The venue was something else. Believe it or not, that neoclassical thing in the middle of the picture was built as a church. The picture is maybe 1915. The building has recently been renovated into an arts center, St Mary in the Castle.

You’re not aware of it so much; it doesn’t look like that from the outside. You enter through a nondescript modern glass box down at the base there, but then you find yourself in a lovely semicircular hall. With a dome. And pillars. And less than comfortable straight-backed chairs, but we’ll ignore that for the moment. It’s early days and they haven’t got everything worked out yet.

Like the acoustics. The sound was kind of muddy and the instrument separation wasn’t good. Not enough to ruin the gig — not by a long shot — but those pillars play merry hell with the sound system.

But it was very impressive and pretty easy for us to get to. Hope they have some more good stuff there in future. Good night!


Comment from AliceH
Time: December 11, 2015, 2:35 am


Your experience reminded me of a Philip Glass concert I attended at a Scottish Rite Cathedral. Or maybe it was just the bit about wacky acoustics and hard, wood straightback chairs.

(That concert wasn’t in the actual SRC auditorium – it was like a classroom or something. Glass played piano non-stop for 90 minutes while Koyaanisqati was projected on a freestanding movie screen behind him. I’d have fallen asleep if not for those chairs.)

Comment from Nina
Time: December 11, 2015, 4:31 am

It enchants me, all those British crescents. 🙂

Comment from peacelovewoodstock
Time: December 11, 2015, 1:12 pm

Oh wow, did they play “All around my hat”? I love that song.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 11, 2015, 3:56 pm

They sure did, ‘woodstock. Right before the intermission.

Like bands are wont to do, they played a lot of new stuff and not as many of the classics as I’d hoped (how could they leave out “Gaudete” at Christmas time?), but as Uncle B pointed out, their back catalogue is about 30 albums, so the chances they’d hit all my favorites are slim.

Maddy Prior is the only original member left, so it’s really more the Maddy Prior band. But she was always the most recognizable sound (and her voice is holding up pretty well).

BTW, she gives weekend singing workshops these days. The flyers didn’t say how much, but I’ll look it up if anyone always wanted to fly over and spend two days singing with a mad Englishwoman.

Comment from jwm
Time: December 11, 2015, 5:03 pm

Steeleye Span! What a blast from the past. How I loved that band. Best sing-in-the-car songs of all time. Odd bit of trivia here. Tim Hart and Maddy Prior made a couple albums, “Folksongs of Olde England.” On the second volume was a hilarious tune, “Paddy Stole the Rope”, where two Irishmen were the butt of a long joke. I can not find that song on line ANYWHERE. Perhaps it was taken down for being insensitive to the Irish.


Comment from Can't Hark My Cry
Time: December 11, 2015, 5:30 pm



And “stole the rope” as a search string will turn up multiple links to the lyrics; there’s also a youtube of someone else singing it

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