Journal: March / April 2004

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Saturday 24th April: Jumping Jenny's, Coniston.

Jumping Jenny's is a tiny restaurant on the wooded East shore of Coniston Lake: A place that really gets 'jumping' when the 'Edge get playing! Especially when playing for a lady called Jenny!

We went raw and acoustic for this one (no room for amps!); which led to some wonderfull instrumental combinations; the most memorable being Rickster puffing away on tuba with Ben on French horn!

It was wild fun playing for Jenny at the Jumping Jenny! ...And the band got a chocolate swiss roll after.Yum! Cheers, Chris!

Saturday 17th April: Bentham Village Hall.

Surprisingly enough, it's the first time 'Edge have got round to playing in this excellent hall after all their wanderings round the Yorkshie Dales. The daunting stairwell leads upstairs to a large stage, wide dance floor and a cracking crowd courtesy of our hosts, Keith and Mary. It really makes life on the road worthwhile when you play a gig as good as this! Good luck in your new career, Keith!

Saturday 2rd April: Greenod Village Hall

Such is the power of ceilidh dance: at the beginning of the night, a group of nurses sit at one side of the hall, whilst surgeons and doctors are be-seated on the other. From the first dance onwards to the sweaty finale, this is transformed into a huge, happy mob mingling on the dance floor together and having a 'rare old night'.

We love playing for the Furness General Hospital crowd: they always give us the liveliest of receptions, and tonight's gig was no exception! Thanks to everyone who came and made this such a special night: See you all next February, if not before!

Wol played fiddle with us tonight; read about him on Guests>>

Thursday 25th March: Lancaster University

The second conference we have played at Lancaster in recent weeks, this gig goes to prove that big is not necessarily better! we played a small, perfectly formed ceilidh to a group of 20 biology delegates which went down a real storm! Thanks to Jackie, our organizer: See you next time!

Saturday 20th March: Vickerstown Institute, Walney Island

Drive just about as far as you can West before you drown in the Irish sea and you get to Walney Island: all wild and windblown beauty. (Although some may disagree with that!)

Mike teaches melodeon and folk band skills to the pupils of Walney High School (bless them!): Just up the road is the fine Vickerstown Institute; a 'tardis' like venue that looks quite modest from the outside, but hosts a huge dance hall and stage (even a dressing room! Such luxury!)

Kath's 50th birthday bash went really well, with a 'cooking' set of dancers on the floor all night, enjoying the wonderfully dance space (and mirror ball!) Cheers for a great night, Kath! See you at Greenod...

Saturday 13th March:

St. Patrick's Night Ceilidh: Our Lady's High School, Lancaster.

Our third annual return booking to play this cracking gig:Loadsa keen and eager dancers, who filled the dance floor in praise of Patrick and all things Celtic!The headmaster educated the Scottish accordion master Phil Cunningham in his time; probably the reason he's got a soft spot for us musical diehards!

We debued TWO newly rehearsed numbers tonight: Mike's song 'Poor Man's Mountains': (song about Lakeland rock climbing) and the 'Roger De Coverley set':jigs to which the crowd merrily 'stripped the willow.' Phew! now we've played them once, I'm sure they'll be easier next time!

Nice to be rewarded at the end of the night by a pile of spare pies (yum!) AND a re-booking for 2005! Sweet!

Thursday 4th March:

Village Schools Clog/Ceilidh: Woden Park Arts Centre, Leyland.

We are pleased to have had a fruitfull working relationship with clog-dancing supremo Alex Fisher. Alex, as well as being a cracking 'clogger' in Lancashire and Lakeland traditions, also teaches masses of kids to strap wood and leather on their feet and mutilate floor polish!! Alex and our fiddler Carolyn had been working for weeks in four local Lancs. schools to bring together this amazing show...

And so we gathered under one roof: 100 pupils, Striding Edge and Alex Fisher, for an afternoon of, well, FUN!!

Excellent clog-dance displays from the children, and the WILDEST ceilidh dancing the band have seen for a while ...forget a 'tanked up' crowd of ceilidh dancers at midnight; 100 10 year olds 'going for it' on the dance floor just can't be beaten for shear exuberance.(or bruised shins??)

A great, life-affirming afternoon. Long live traditional live music! We look forward to the next Schools ceilidh in Leyland on May 26th.

Why not see what we got up to in Jan / Feb?


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