The Storming Northern Roots Band

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Calendar 2006: 53 gigs

Go to the 2006 journal
Public bookings: Orange
Private functions: blue
January 2006  
Friday 20th Lancaster: Grammar School: Burns Night
Saturday 21st Askham: Village Hall
Saturday 28th Lancaster:Town Hall: Burns Night: Fundraiser for Lancaster Hospice
February 2006  
Thursday 16th Croston: Village Hall
Friday 24th Bare: Elms Hotel
Saturday 25th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
March 2006  
Saturday 11th Barrow: Football Club
Saturday 18th Bardsea: Malt Kiln
Friday 24th Barrow: Cricket Club
Saturday 25th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
Friday 31st Lancaster: Royal Grammar School
April 2006  
Saturday 1st Glenridding: Village Hall
Saturday 8th Kirkland: Mission Hall
Saturday 22nd Greenod: Village Hall
Saturday 29th Windermere: Cragwood Hotel
May 2006  
Saturday 6th Morecambe: Strathmore Hotel
Saturday 13th Wirral: British Legion Club
Wednesday 17th TBC Barrow: Chetwynde School
Saturday 20th Grasmere: Village Hall
May 26th - June 4th : No gigs! Striding Edge will be taking whit break
June 2006  
Saturday 10th Coniston: Village Hall
Friday 16th Arkenholme: Village Hall
Saturday 17th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
Friday 23rd Borrowdale: Youth Hostel
Saturday 24th Dent Folk Festival : Late Night Ceilidh
July 2006  
Sunday 2nd Longridge: Ferraris Country House Hotel
Thursday 6th Cleator Moor: Civic Hall
Saturday 8th Cockermouth: Kirkgate Centre
Tuesday 11th Lancaster: University
Friday 14th Whinfell: Barn
Wednesday 19th Carlisle: Tully House
Saturday 15th Watermillock: Old Church Hotel
Saturday 22nd Muncaster: The Castle
July 24th - Aug 10th: No gigs! Striding Edge will be taking a summer break
August 2006  
Sunday 27th

Barn, Braithwaite nr. Keswick

September 2006  
Saturday 2nd Southport: Fylde Folk Festival : Daytime gig/evening ceilidh
Saturday 9th Otley: Chevin Park Hotel
Saturday 16th Windermere: Merewood Hotel
Saturday 23rd Borwick and Priest Hutton: Memorial Hall
Saturday 30th Glenridding: Village Hall
October 2006  
Friday 6th

Whitehaven: Civic Hall: CAMERA Beer Festival

Click here for more info>>

Saturday 7th Great Strickland: Village Hall
Saturday 14th Scales: Aldingham Parish Hall
Friday 20th Halton or Aughton: Village Hall
Saturday 21st Portinscale: Village Hall
Saturday 28th Leyland: Worden Park Arts Centre
November 2006  
Saturday 4th Skirwith: Village Hall (venue TBC)
Saturday 18th Great Salkeld: Village Hall
Sunday 19th

Keswick: Theatre By the Lake

Click here for more info>>

Saturday 25th Sedbergh School
December 2006  
Saturday 2nd Grange: Netherwood Hotel
Friday 8th Eskdale: Gatehouse
Saturday 9th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
Wednesday 27th Newlands: Adventure Centre
Thursday 28th Glenridding: Inn On The Lake
Striding Edge Journal 2006.

This is our complete road journal for 2006. We had a fantastic year playing 53 gigs all over our regular stomping ground of North Lancashire and Cumbria. We made big inroads on recording and producing our up and coming album Borrowdale Johnny.

December 2006

Inn On The Lake: 28th December. A spirited last gig of 2006 led to a memorable finish to the year's operations: Lisa and Bernard's wedding crowd were well up for the dancing, the songs and the crack:Another cracking night in this most intimate of our regular Lakeland venues.

Newlands Adventure Centre: 27th December. This wet and cold winter night saw us winding up the remote Northern valley of Newlands to arrive at the thankfully warm and cozy adventure centre for Ben and Jen's wedding. A sprightly crowd set the 'ballroom' alight with some top dancing, especially Vanessa who was reeling most of the night! I suspect we'll see more of this crowd at some point...

Ulverston: Furness Traditions Christmas Party: 21st December.We played a headline spot at this wondefully festive night celebrating the rich diversity of folk music in the Furness Peninsula: Choirs, duos, brass bands, mummers players, and the Furness Tradtions youth band, all leading to a colourful bill. Were really enjoyed getting the crowd going with a totally acoustic, unplugged set where we could draw out all the subtlety of our music: Brass breaks, bowed double bass, big vocal harmonys. A really satisfying night to be a part of! For more info. on Furness Traditions, click here

Glenridding: Inn On The Lake: 9th December. 'Limbered up' after the Eskdale experience the night before (see below) we turn in a relaxed, spirited performance for Nick and Amy's wedding party at The Inn On The Lake. This is always another intimate ceilidh with a small crowd, a great little dance floor, and plenty of mixture to the night with the band throwing in Lakeland clog dancing, Irish folk-rock and Lakeland ballads as well as the ceilidh dances. Thanks, Nick and Amy, have a fun time in New York!

Eskdale Gatehouse: 8th December. We return to this fabulous West Lakes venue to play a Christmas party ceilidh for the staff of the resident Outward Bound Centre. The Gatehouse is a classic country house with a beautifully wooden-pannelled library where we play. Next door is an awesome stained-glass window of the Lakeland pioneer climber Hereford, sadly lost in Word War One. As ever, a very lively, rowdy, traditional Lakeland ceilidh with plenty of post-gig shenanigans especially as the whole band were staying over. Rick woke the whole band up at 4 a.m. in the morning with a raucous rendition 'Rudolf The Red-nosed Reindeer' on his Ukulele with a bunch of revelers returning from the party to the accommodation block.. Several of these started drunkenly hammering on our bedroom door. Eventually Rick came to bed (5 a.m.) but then kept all the girls awake with his rapturous snoring. Bless him the mad party animal he is!

Netherwood Hotel: 2nd December was a humdinger of a ceilidh. Not often do wedding gigs begin with the bride and groom doing a 50's rock n' roll dance routine but so it began with Mathew and Angela, and their night proceeded in the same vein: A full-on bunch of dancers firing up the full-on band and everyone going for broke: One super dance night. I was so hyped up I couldn't get to sleep that morning buzzing about this gig, and had to drink a 'little' red wine to get at all sleepy! Top marks to Rickster for wearing a full suit to this gig: definitely man of the match!

November 06

Sedbergh School: Bentham: 25th November is somewhat of a misnomer! One would expect Sedbergh School to actually be in Sedbergh, not in BENTHAM! Well, silly old Edge, the first time we played this now annual gig, the band drove to Sedbergh, found that we were actually in the wrong town and so hot-tailed it South to Bentham, amazingly to finish our set-up and sound check just as the first audience members started trickling through the doors! Now on our third visit, immune to such ruxions of time and space, things worked like clockwork; the great crowd of kids dancing with mums and dads, and a set of dances perfectly tailored by us to suit, the smashing and copious ammounts of food, the ever so energetic atmosphere. A great school ceilidh!

Theatre By The Lake: Keswick: 19th November. Despite the truly appalling weather, this proved to be an excellent little concert with a warm and appreciative crowd. As we play so many dance nights, it was a welcome change to play a concert to a seated audience and play our Lakeland-roots based material in a 'listening' context. This meant we could showcase some of the subtler material from our forthcoming album Borrowdale Johnny, including the big brooding ballad 'Beggar Boy of the North'. Great to see our good friend Dave Camlin turn in a blinding set, too: Especially his classic song 'Bells of Nemo'. Haunting stuff! Our biggest thanks go to all the staff of the Theatre By The Lake who worked so hard to make this such a successful show.The stage crew were simply teriffic! Read the gig promo here

Dave Camlin writes: Hi Mike,Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night as well – great to see Striding Edge again – lovely sound! You’re a very tight little unit these days – everyone lending their own uniqueness to the overall blend. Really nice to hear some of the Abbeytown manuscript live! Would love to do more with you – nice to have a Cumbrian bill! Dave

'Edge returned to Cumberland to Great Salkled Village Hall: November 18th. Bev and Nick's wedding was a full tilt dance night, set alight by charachters like Rachel from The South, apparently starved of folk music in their native locality, and all to keen to engage with the up-for-it Northern dance vibe. We delivered this in full measure, and the crowd responded in kind, and the dancing wound up to a fever pitch. As I predicted at the beginning of the night, the sweat ran from the walls of this little hall as the dancers kept pace with the fastest 'Road To Alston' we've ever played. Wey! Hey! We loved this night, yes indeed. It was our great pleasure to have Juliette Hext once again guesting on drums for this gig: gutsy blues singer but also a cool drummer. With Juliette on board, I call this 'girl power' version of Striding Edge, especially as the closer we get to the border, the fierier Carolyn's border pipe playing gets!

Our host Beverley writes: Mike and all - Just to say a big thank you for a fantastic night. My guests were danced off their feet and we all really enjoyed it. Cheers! Bev

November got off to a cracking start with a brilliantly lively gig up on the North Pennine moors: Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby, November 4th. Angus (Cumbria) and Corrinne (Nashville) are young Fine Art students in London, smitten by young love and the mad desire to marry...'ahhhh, young love!'. The totally up-for-the-dancing crowd of fellow arts students were are joy to play to, and flung themselves ragged around the dance floor to Striding Edge at our roots-rockiest. Made me feel oh such a little nostalgic for the heady times when I was a fine art student myself. Their were many mad sights at this ceilidh; Tennessee dance 'steppers' sparring with students on the dance floor, and local crag-rat Ian almost bringing the night to a premature halt by swinging madly around the main tent pole of the marquee mid-dance, and in doing so pulling it temporarily from it's socket! Tut! tut! trust a Cumbrian crag-rat to lower the tone! We loved this mad, crazy night, oh yeah!

October 06

October has been a classic month for Striding Edge, playing a great round of the NW region's village and civic halls to a variety of social groups, all of whoum share a passion for dancing, good food and good beer! I'll talk you through the month:

28th October: Worden Park Arts Centre, Leyland saw us return to this cozy Lancashire venue to play for Penny's birthday party, and a big gathering of friends and familly from all over the country. A smashing crowd who were all well up for the dancing made this ceilidh a memorable way of rounding off the month's gigs. Happy birthday, Penny! Hers sister Katherine writes:

Hi Mike,

Thank you for making it such a great night. Gutted I didn’t have more chance to join in with the dancing. Everyone has been saying how much fun they had. My 6 year old made a special card for her Grandma and wrote “Can we do wot we did agin next year”.

Please pass our thanks to all the band. Hope you had all had a good trip back up to Cumbria.

Best wishes, Katherine

22nd October: Portinscale Village Hall is one of our regular gigs, playing for the Keswick Marina crowd: all hard-core sailors, so we had to open our set with our sea-shanty 'Mary Ann Mandall', about the last ship that was built on the Ulverston ship canal in 1862. There followed a rip-roaring night of simply wild ceilidh dancing to this warm and friendly crowd of people, many of whoum seem like old friends after the three sucessive years that we have played this gig. We've already pencilled in a date for a return booking in 2007!

20th October: Aughton Village Hall. Another delightfull gig at the small Lancashire hamlet of Aughton: Surely one of the most difficult places to find in the North Of England, as the whole of the area North East of Lancaster is a complex mass of narrow lanes and unsignposted crossroads...nevertherless, well worth the adventure: The band assembled and played for a great, enthusiastic crowd who packed the floor for every dance. Our thanks go to Geoff Wren, for making such a classic rural village event happen. Geoff flattered us at the end of the night by calling us "the Best Band in the North Of England", but after such a great night I could almost believe this myself! Maybe "best kept secret of the North", just like the venue...took me a disproportionate ammount of time to get home, once more getting lost and confused in that mass of untitled lanes leading north..there's a philosophic Northern ballad to be wirtten about that, for sure!

14th October: Aldingham Village Hall. I sneakilly like doing gigs this close to my house as I can also make full use of my Saturdays! It being a lovely day, I spent it in Langdale climbing Lakeland Rock, (including the classic Langdale extreme, 'Man of Straw', for you rock-jocks out there) so I got to the gig with slightly aching shoulders but enthusiasm notheless undimmed! For Tammy and John's wedding we were joined once again by Juliet Hext on drums. Juliet is a hell of a blues singer but also great on the skins; very nice to have her on board again. A good, steady, heady ceilidh which saw the steam rise off many a mad square set or two. Rickster stayed over at mine and we drank a dram of Laphroaig which was a very pleasant way of rounding off a long vaired and satisfying day!

8th October: Great Strickland Village Hall. This great gig saw us return to the wide, stark sweeping moorlands of Shap which always seems like some kind of spiritual home for our music: Especially when in synchronicity with such a kicking crowd as for this gig. A roasting hog, a whole village baabies to grans dancing, Edge on full throttle. Grin-inducing!

6th October: Edge headlined the CAMERA beer Festival at Whitehaven Civic Hall: This was a great opportunity to play three good long sets of material sweeping over the full scope of our music, and due to the nature of the event and the crowd, as Ben would say, we were given the unspoken 'permission to ROCK'. This night was slightly blighted by Ben and Rick's epic breakdown shenanigans; completisits can read all about that on Rickster's blog on our MY space page and check out some new tracks at the same time!

5th October: I was at Chetwynde School in Barrow: 'calling' a ceilidh for about 30 German exchange students and local pupils, while the school ceilidh band played their first ever ceilidh; a steep learning curve for them, but under my direction they held down the grooves well and a hoofing great nights frenetic dancing was had by all!

September 06

Well here we are in September. As Ben said 'here we are, signing up for the new term'!

23rd September: Priest Hutton Village Hall: A large, lofty but nevertheless very tonefull hall and not too far for any of us to travel! Must play here again! Playing for Sue and Andy's 25th Wedding Anniversary was great fun. So many dancers on the floor having such a cracking time with a succession of our most up tempo dances. (Now that's fast!!!!) See you again, you guys, we hope!! Sue writes:

Hello Mike,

Just to say a big thank you for such a rip roaring time you and the band provided at our 'do' last Saturday. We have been overwhelmed by the positive comments made by our friends who attended the evening. A number of people wanted to know more about the band, so there may be some more bookings for you!!!

All the best, Sue Wilcock

The Merewood Hotel in Windermere, 16th September saw a one-off GUUURL POWER version of Striding Edge featuring Juliet Hext on drums and Jeannie Sutherland on fiddle. A brilliant crew to play the night with. Thanks Juliet and Jeannie for helping us out and taking the crowd by storm. Keira and Andrew wrote to say:

Dear Mike and the Band,

Andrew and I would just like to thank you for such a fantastic evening at the Merewood Hotel on the 16th September. We really enjoyed the ceilidh and we really really enjoyed seeing so many people up dancing, especially the ones that never do. Everyone keeps saying how much fun they had.

Thank you again,
Best Wishes
Keira and Andrew Booth

Otley: 9th September. By 'Eck, some years since we've played in Otley,(or should I say Otleh!) Good to be back up on the gristone wilds of the Chevin playing to a wonerfully well oiled crowd of dancers which posed a couple challenging moments for our dance-callers, but non the less fun for all that!

Fylde Folk Festival: 1st September

September 1st saw us storm Fylde Folk Festival with a couple of blistering gigs: Our concert set in the afternoon saw us showcase material from the forthcoming Borrowdale Johnny album to a full house and warm reception. Great to meet Clive Pownceby, the compere, again, and hear that all's well at The Bothy Folk Club in Southport. We'd love to do a gig for you sometime, Clive!

In the evening, it was our great pleasure to headline the ceilidh with old friend and folk ledgend Pete Coe doing the calling. A real honour to play with Pete on this night, as this exact weekend was his 35th anniversary as a pro. musician: In that time he has given us about as fine an example as one can have of an a singer/songwriter/dance player/dance caller, championing Northern styles. A simply stunning performer: I cant wait for the re-releases of Pete's first two solo albums in the autumn, which are absolute classics: see our links page for a link to Pete's site.

August 06
After the hectic pace of July, August was generally a time to relax, unwind and eat snails in the South of France. However, the last week of the month saw us kick-started into life with a frenetic spurt of action towards completing our epic folky concept album Borrowdale Johnny. Days were spent at Supertonic Studio in Morecambe obsessing over the final mixes with 'Red-eye Rickster', our indefatigable producer and bassist, putting in sterling effort. Whilst over in Barrow-In-Furness Steve Wharton, our man on visuals, was putting all the artwork together: Grand, dark and toweringly powerfull it looks, too, at this stage. We can't wait 'till it's relese this autumn...Yes, well keep you posted: keep checking the index page for news.
July 06

July was a very busy month for us on the road, and a really enjoyable and varied one it was too.

Highlights were many: Playing at Cleator Moor Civic Hall on July 6th was a blast. This was a gig for the children of St. Patrick's School in Cleator Moor, where Mike had been working for a year as artist in residence, along with Ulverstonians Les Ord and Debbie Kermode and Steve Wharton on visuals. This night saw some blinding performances by the children playing traditional instruments, clog-dancing, singing, acting in mummers plays and much more:Striding Edge acted as the 'house band' and the final song 'Prickle Eye Bush' saw the front of the stage practically besieged by a wild mass of children singing this anthem for release from imprisonment and oppression: I suppose that sums up life in school under the SATS regime at present. Thanks kids, you were brilliant. What an uplifting end to the year, great to see Cleator Moor come alive with the tradition once more...

Another great gig was playing for Mike's old art teacher Sheila Fell out 'in the sticks' at Whinfell North of Kendal near Shap. What a combination for a Ceilidh: remote Lakeland barn with super sprung wooden floor: dim lights : 'up for it' crowd: and 'Edge going full steam ahead. Whoooah! this is what Edge were built for...

Lancaster University was one that tested our versatility to the full: A small international crowd who we shared with Crook Morris. Eventually we abandoned our stage and ended up strumming acoustically in the middle of the floor while the dancers circled us.

A new venue to us was Tully House in Carlisle: A great wedding for a smashing Canadian crowd who really got into the ceildih groove. Similarly satisfying gigs at Longridge, Cockermouth , Watermillock and Muncaster completed a very enjoyable month.

May/ June 06

We've been really busy on the road this past few months, and loving these summer gigs..bring 'em on...!

We were really looking forward to Friday 23rd/Saturday 24th June: Friday saw delicious weather and a blinding azure sky, playing for Helen and Martin's wedding up in Borrowdale. Some more hectic dance floor action (grass floor, actually) Marquees at this time of year with the sides rolled up spells MIDGES and I was delighted to discover that bottle of Jungle formula lurking at the bottom of my kit bag from last year! We focused on new dance numbers on this gig, which was good practice for Dent Folk Festival the following night: Apprehensive as we were about following the Peatbog Faries, this gig caught light from the moment we started playing and a huge crowd were filling the dance floor for every number. A greatly thrilling late night ceilidh: do hope we can play this one again! Thanks, Alex.

Friday 16th/Saturday 17th had an international flavour, both involving a rousing reception from Dutch crowds! Funny co-incidence, that! On the Friday, we played in Arkenholme Village Hall near Lancaster: an international event involving all nations at some time or other mingling on the ceilidh dance floor. Especially the Dutch!! The big burly macho South African rugby player guys weren't so enamoured..and so to Saturday to Glenridding for Harald (Dutch!) and Nicola's (English!) wedding..More Dutch on the dance floor stripping the willow, galloping and grooving like old hands in no time. Lovely, lovely crowd, thanks Nikki and Harald. When are we doing our tour of Holland??

Wow, Grasmere village hall was a blast on the 20th May, fabulous crowd who danced full tilt for the 2.5 hours we were on stage: Great to play for such a big dance crazy crowd in central Lakeland's finest ceilidh house: the very fine Grasmere village Hall. Cheers to Lucy and all the gang who made this a memorable night. Just the kind of night Striding Edge band was invented for!

The following Saturday (after our Whit break) 10th June followed on in a similar vein:Coniston Village Hall and another tremendous no-holds-barred night for Lotty and Steve's wedding. Very hot and sultry but that didn't put any one off dancing to the max.

March/April 06

Borrowdale Johnny

We plowed on with more recording this month for our epic second album: More sessions in Rick's recording studio in sunny Morecambe. (That is, once we'd cleaned the cat poo out of the studio sink: Don't ask!) This album is brewing up incredibly well, we're really delighted with what we're hearing' hope we can get it out by the early autumn. We'll keep you posted, hopefully put up some sample MP3s for it, and obviously let you know when you can order.

Furness Fire

March saw a flurry of gigs around Furness area. First up was Kath Irwin's amazing birthday party at Barrow Football Club on the 11th. This was a fantastic night of all round live entertainment. We weren't sure quite how to follow the sheer excellence of singer-songwriter Jim Woodland, so we just played like the clappers and a healthy crowd got up and threw themselves ragged around the dance floor for nearly two hours: This was great, great gig: much as we like doing ceilidhs, it's really good to sometimes just let the music just go and flow and let the crowd do their crazy thing ...Thanks, Kath, great night, glad you love our music so much. Husband Dave was lavish in his extravagance for his wife's birthday, so much so that he scorched, yes scorched a big black patch in the football pitch with a bunch of fireworks that he let off in the middle..tut, tut! This was also a great fun night, 'cos we played with an 'extended family' of players who included Danny Fox on jembe, Wal and Young Scotty (Carolyn's fiddle apprentice) on fiddles: a mighty sound indeed!

Bardsea Mill on the 18th was packed to the gunnels with dance enthusiasts, the second set especially really motored. Nice to strut our stuff with Paddy on bass on this occasion: long time, no see, Paddy! Barrow Cricket Club on the 24th turned into more of a concert than a ceilidh, giving us a chance to play a good long set of upbeat songs. Very well received by all.

Lakeland Roots

Off to the Inn On The Lake on the 25th for a ceilidh crowd of incredible zest and energy: Wow, what a bunch of dancers who shook the house and danced like their lives depended on it, and hollered and shouted themselves hoarse for more at the end of the night. Our kinda bunch!!!

A series of cracking village hall gigs followed: Glenridding on the 1st, Ennerdale Kirkland on the 8th, and Greenod on the 22nd. We love village halls: great spaces that are perfect (designed for?) ceilidhs: the great unsung venues of England!

Back to The Cragwood, Windermere, on the 29th: Nice, warm, friendly gig: good way to end the month.

January/February 06

Another uplifting start to this year's gigging, with our now customary January Burns nights in Lancaster: both Lancaster Town Hall (for Lancaster Hospice) and the Grammar school were packed-out, cooking gigs, great to see so many people back to start the year with some of the longest strip-the-willow sets we have ever seen!

The Eden Fell runners hosted us once more in Askham Village Hall, Ullswater for another fine night of firey traditional Lakeland dancing in which the sweat customarily drips of the walls (They're a fit bunch those hardy people of the northern Fells!) A great support slot from The Zubes: Pete Leeson and the boys: Our thanks to them and all the lovely runners of Eden.

Sooo many good gigs to look froward to this year: Phew! phone and e-mail lines have been hot this last few weeks! Thanks for everyone whose contacted us and booked us, we're looking forward to lighting up the night with your crowd and some passionate dancing wherever the road takes us.

We're off all over't North: Heswall, Otley, Longridge, Carlisle, and our traditional bastion of the central Lakleand gigs. Our Vauxhall Astras are oiled up and ready!

PUBLIC GIGS: exciting news, we're playing the late night ceilidh at Dent Folk festival this year on June 24th: Always a brilliant festival with a top crowd.

September 2nd we're playing at Fylde Folk Festival, and our old mate and Northern Folk one man institution Pete Coe is 'calling' for us, which will be a great experience. Always absolutely loved Pete's songs/dances/dance playing. He's the boss!




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