Journal: May /June 2004

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Saturday 5th June: Witherslack; Village ceildih.

I doesn't get much more Lakeland roots than this: a huge (freshly-sluiced) concrete cow-shed, packed with 250 locals ready to party, party, party!

Striding Edge enjoy a 'special relationship' with 'Slack (as we call the village): The mid-way point between our homes in Ulverston, Dent, Morecambe and Lancaster, Witherslack Village hall has provided us with a scenic base for practicing and recording over the last four years. Thank, villagers, for hosting such a regular racket!

Steph, the long-suffering play group leader, runs the play group in the adjoining room and often has to trip over our jack leads and amps whilst stacking the tables and sorting toys, not to mention rounding-up toddlers who've wandered in to have a listen...

Notwithstanding, Steph had the brainwave of booking Edge to host this grand village shindig:Grand it was, too!

Thanks for all your hard work, Steph and Annette; it was a memorable night,let's do it again next year!

Above:Mike's brother George and nephew Dan swinging to the Edge beat at Witherslack!  

Monday 31st May: Eskdale Gatehouse.

The Gatehouse is very much the traditional Lakeland 'ceilidh house': drive for an hour across a moor and get to a venue that's rich in characterand always full of characters ready to hit the dance floor and make the sweat drip from the walls...

Gordy and Lucy, it was one brilliant night! Keep yourselves safe on that round-the-world tour: hope you stick on the Striding Edge album from time to time to remind you of the thunder in them native hills!

Oh, what? It's an indoor gig , but we all still got stung by the midges! Still not remembered that midge repellant! Next time...!


Saturday 29th May: A tent in Dent!

Maggie and John's 'Wedding Fleadh' took us to a large tent in Dent for what could be said to be Striding Edge's most prestigious booking yet: supporting The Quarrymen; (John, Paul, George and all that...) Tony Wilson of Factory Records fame was there, too, although he came in just after our set had finished, so even we can't really get much kudos out of that (can we?)

Anyway, an enjoyable gig which brought out our versatility to the full; striding around busking outside in a glorious evening; entertaining kids in various ceilidh spots, and kicking the evening off with the first dance and a concert set.

That lovable musical chameleon Paddy was there with us on guitar, mandolin and can read about him in guests>>

To early for midges yet, but do remind me to bring the midge repellant on the next gig...


Wednesday 26th May : Leyland Worden Park Arts Centre

Once more Striding Edge join forces with Clog dance supremo Alex Fisher for another action-packed afternoon in Leyland. Alex and Carolyn have worked hard over the previous weeks working with four schools, to train up a frighteningly large amount of children in the art of Lancashire 'clogging'. And good (and loud!) they are at it,too!

It's Edge's job to host the afternoon ceilidh, in which the kids get to fling each other around on the dance floor to some traditional dances, in between their 'clogging' spots.

Some of the later dances did start to resemble a rock n' roll 'mosh pit' as the kids got more 'warmed up'...

All had a wonderfully sweaty afternoon: nothing like this for unblocking the clogged arteries. Folk dancing for the nation! That's what we say...


Saturday 22nd May : Huddersfield: Pennine Manor Hotel

It's not often we actually get the whole of Striding Edge in one vehicle, as we normally travel in two or more estate cars to a gig:So it was nice to travel as 'one big happy (?) family' in Ben's big yellow van this time, and chew over the weeks events.

Arriving at the venue brought a distinct feeling of 'deja vu' for me: I'm sure 'Edge have played up on this moor sometime in the band's ragged history ...maybe in that leaking barn in the middle of thunderstorm, shrouded in dry ice!! (I kid U. not!) I'll have to check the gig files out to answer that one, I guess!

Jeremy and Emma's wedding crowd were up for the dancing big time and the evening flowed along most sweetly. Our very wishes to Jeremy and Emma, and thanks also to the smashing set of dancers! See you's all again, I'm sure!

On the way back home in the van, we 'sang along with Sybil' on Radio Two: Really cheesy pop, though compulsive listening! Sad lot, us musos!


Saturday 15th May: Armathwaite Hall Hotel: Bassenthwaite

The sun shone blazing in an azure sky as 'Edge hit the road on the dash to the North Lakes. Driving through the centre of Lakeland on such a glorious evening reminds me of the many 'kicking' gigs Striding Edge have played at most points along the A591over nine years! 'Still the road goes on....'

Armathwaite Hall sits in faded grandeur on the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake. After gawping at the views for a while, we got down to the job of setting up and playing for Bryson and Rachel's wedding party.

Great crowd, whose energetic feet were rarely off the dance floor...This was proved by the fact that the tiny pre-fab. dance-floor had crept 2 feet closer to the band during the course of the evening!

All our very best wishes to Bryson and Rachel! Hope you have a great honeymoon!



Dance tune setlist for Armathwaite Hall.

Wal guested with 'Edge at Armathwaite, playing fiddle and pipes. You can read about Wol in Guests>>  
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