My life in Ipswich - incorporating One Step at a Time, my account of how I am slowly changing my life

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Folk music and festivals

This is another important aspect of my life and one which takes up quite a lot of my free time. I suppose it all started with going to Cambridge Folk Festival in the late 1990s where I discovered folk music. Not the finger in the ear music that is its usual caricature but music that has roots in the everyday man of the past , present and future. In fact many who say they don't like folk music are rather surprised when they hear some, to find that it's like music they are already listening to or that they rather enjoy it.

To be fair, my folk roots possibly started a lot earlier than that, when I was a student in the 1970s going to the Albion fairs and listening to Melanie, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, Lindisfarne, to name but a few. So when in the 1990s I discovered folk festivals it was like being young again. Camping at festivals and escaping the 'real' world for a few days. was the ideal way of escaping the stresses of modern life and of teaching in a challenging school.

Then the interest in the music spread to some of the other folk traditions and Harry and myself got involved in morris dancing. Now unlike many believe, morris dancing is not all men dressed in white waving hankies. There are many forms of morris and the type we got involved in is called Border morris as it originates form the Welsh borders. So first it was working with Pretty Grim [seen above], then Moonshine and also Green Dragon. These days I don't dance but go along to support when I can. Harry has now also got involved with Milkmaid Molly an all inclusive side that includes those with special needs. This side dances in the East Anglian tradition of Molly.

The folk music, the festivals and the morris dancing means we have quite a good social life but most of it not in Ipswich where we live. This generally means quite a bit of travelling but we have decided to continue living in Ipswich as that is where Harry works. All this means that he is about 5 minutes from work but that we travel for pleasure.

Finally the other aspect of this that's so important to me is our friends The Bounty Hounds, a folk rock group based in Bury St Edmunds. Harry now does the sound for them and this has led to more involvement in the local folk scene. The Bounty Hounds play locally and at various festivals up and down the country and are well worth a listen to if you get a chance.  I can't imagine my life without music and festivals and hope to continue with both for many years to come.

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