We've run out of room on the first page, so here's the most recent SongShares!
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Songshare 17: Papa Westray, 31 October 2009
It's all over! A weekend of firsts and lasts for us all, as the final SongShare landed (literally) in Papay on Halloween. Firsts in that a few of us hadn't visited Papay and hadn't experienced the shortest scheduled flight in the world (2 minutes 53 seconds against the wind for us, which is a lot longer than the scheduled time!) and lasts as the last SongShare, the last time we'd enjoy Frank's fabulous playing, the last time we'd sing together in such a situation... sob...
Anyway..! We had the most fabulous welcome. The community really got behind this gig, and it is much appreciated - thank you folk of Papay! The three lasses were once again joined by Frank Keenan, as well as Jackie, Lal, Marcia, Mary, Lynn and Ali. Since it was Halloween, there was a lot of dressing up, room decoration and party games to be had. Before we started we had what was billed as a 'buffet', but what in reality turned into a three course meal! Yum! After we had had an opportunity to swadge a bit, we sang a few ditties, Frank did his usual fabulous bit (cds available in the shops now!), we were joined by local resident Simon who gave us a couple of his original compositions and then we had a break. This was the chance for the apple dooking and eating a cookie tied to a bit of string for the more adventurous kids in the audience - and there were a few.
The second half of the gig was a repeat of the first half, but a little longer, as well as another song written by local resident Stuart Thompson, who (almost) invited everyone in the room to join him in the bath! Thanks Stuart!
The evening was rounded off by a bit of a dance. We're hearing tales of the night going on till 1.30am, 2.30am and even 3am!!
It was another overnighter for the gang, so we had plenty of time to explore some of the delights on Papay - the Knap of Howar, Holland Farm and of course St Boniface Kirk. Seven trekked out on Sunday morning, and had a right good old sing song inside the chapel.
Thank you Papa Westray for making the last SongShare so much fun, and so memorable. We couldn't have done it without you!
A bonny view across the north isles!
The whole bunch. L-R: Aimee, Emily, Sarah Jane, Lal, Mary, Marcia, Lynn, Ali. Jackie is missing from this photo
We were treated to a sketch! Tim with Ali
Simon, accompanied by Aimee (who had never heard his song before - how's that for professionalism!)
A very angelic Emily (well, why wouldn't she be!?) at the door of St Boniface Kirk
Singing inside the kirk
Our trip to North Ronaldsay was a bit of a ‘game of two halves’, so to speak, with half the crew going out on the morning plane, and half out in the afternoon. With force 9 gales forecast for Saturday morning, the ones who went out in the afternoon were a bit less green in the face when they landed than the first lot! They didn’t win in the end though, as those who went out first had plenty of time to relax and explore, not possible for the second lot!
The format was a lot different to usual, with this SongShare not so much of a song share as an actual gig. The Trio did us proud (as usual), but were joined on a few of the songs by part of the Song Shop Choir - Kirsty, Lynn, Adele, Mary, Lal, Ali and Marcia. In fact, this mini-choir did so well it received an encore, and had to go back and sing at the end of the gig due to popular demand!!
We were joined by Frank Keenan, who did a few songs off both his old and new cds (in all local shops NOW!), and with most of the choir and a good part of the audience swooning, it turned into a late evening for us all. We were pretty tired, so after a quick nightcap back at the Bird Observatory (whose hospitality, accommodation, food and friendliness is second to none), it was off to bed!
Only one more to go, and that’s the first part of our project done!
What kind of dafties paddle in October?
Frank and Aimee The Lasses
An appreciative crowd - between one third/one half of the island attended!
We were joined by Robert Gibbon, who gave us a couple of accordian solos
Aimee, Sarah Jane, Kirsty, Lynn, Adele, Mary, Lal, Ali, Emily (Marcia is missing from this photo, but was part of it too!)
Nearly a lie-in with the ferry leaving at 7.40am for this, our last SongShare in the current format. We have only two left to go, both of which will be evening gigs. We were very pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and interest shown in Sanday, with over 50 people joining us to share in some Orkney song - our best turnout yet! Thank you Sanday for a fabulous day! We had three folk from the audience sharing songs with us, and we were once again joined by Alex Leonard.
A very busy day, and a most enjoyable one!
A packed hall - over 50 folk in the end! Josie gets in on the act!
Some of the workshop singers
Kirsty models the Folk Against Fascism t-shirt (only £15, available from Aimee via us) - click the photo or here to be taken to the website
We're getting good at these early starts! 7am ferry this time, and a lot of bleary eyed folk boarded the ferry for our second last ferry jaunt, this time to Stronsay. The weather the few days preceding hadn't been great so we were expecting a rough crossing, but for once (thankfully) the forecast was wrong and we had a lovely crossing.
We'd arranged to get in the hall as soon as we arrived so were set up early before getting the opportunity to go off and do some investigation. This meant the two carloads went in different directions, but one of the places visited was Rothiesholm (pronounced Rous-um) beach for a spot of paddling!
Sarah Jane wasn't able to make the trip this time so Vice Chair, Lynn Campbell, filled the breach, singing along with Aimee and Emily. We were joined by 9 of the absolutely fabulous Stronsay Silver Darlings (see them on YouTube by clicking here - would recommend you rush out and buy their cd immediately), and Brian Cromarty once again accompanying the singers on guitar as well as treating us all to some of his own work.
Kirsty enjoys a paddle on Ann was our tea lady!
Some of the fabulous Stronsay Silver Darlings!
Aimee and Emily were joined by Lynn Campbell this week
The Workshop song was "Leaving Stronsay", written by Hector Sinclair, tune by John Miller. John's brother was there to hear his brother's composition
Another horrifically early start for us all, and on a day when gales were forecast! Luckily most of us got to flop the whole journey, but poor Aimee had to keep an eye on her boys in both directions so had to be alert! Although we had a similar problem to arriving in Eday - long before our start time - we had an additional stop off, this time at the Kalisgarth Care Home. What a wonderful venue, and what a great welcome we got from the staff and residents. Singing traditional Orkney songs to folk in the care homes across the county is part of what this project is all about. See more about it on the ...and there's more page.
Aimee, Emily and Sarah Jane were joined by three choir members in some of the songs, which was great fun and followed by a very welcome cuppa and a biscuit.
Thankfully the hall door had been opened early for us, so we'd managed to pretty much set up the equipment and information before we left for Kalisgarth, so it was off for a spot of lunch. We split up as Aimee's boys wanted soup from the Haaf Yok, and the other half went to the Pierowall for world famous fish and chips (yum).
A return to the hall for a quick sound check and were ready for folk to come. They were a thirsty lot, and miscalculations on the amount of water to put in the hot water urn meant they were kept waiting for their cuppa - sorry! Once we had that important duty out of the road it was time for the concert. Unfortunately there was no accompaniement with us this SongShare, but we more than made up for it with a lot of songs getting an airing. Both Sarah Jane and Aimee sang solos, and we were treated to a song sung by Maggie Drever from Trenabie.
Thank you Westray, it was really fabulous - great folk, a great welcome and you even arranged for the sun to come out when we were done!
The appreciative SongShare audience.
the lasses in full flow - Aimee, Sarah Jane, Emily
The workshop singers started off being fairly spaced out across the hall
...but were soon drawn in and had a good old singsong!
Wow, what an early start for us all! The 7am ferry from Kirkwall meant there were a few blearly eyed songsters on board for this, our twelfth SongShare, this time in Eday. A slighly overcast, but pleasant enough, day meant we all thoroughly enjoyed our trip to our most distant island to date. A flat calm sea crossing meant that we were all raring to go once we hit the island. The SongShare itself wasn't to be until 2pm, but we managed to amuse ourselves on the island in the meantime, with visits to Vinquoy Chambered Tomb and the Setter Stone, amongst others.
The SongShare was held in the Eday Heritage Centre, the recently refurbished old Kirk. The centre itself has some wonderful exhibits, with Aimee's boys particularly enjoying the boat in the middle of the exhibition floor!
Our thanks to all those who attended the SongShare, for what we all agreed was possibly the nicest song we've taught at a SongShare yet. You can hear the Eday Song from our mp3 page. Our thanks also to Alex, who accompanied us on the guitar.
We were later joined by Eoin Robertson with his accordian and had quite a few tunes! Fantastic stuff, and something we all thoroughly enjoyed. We even managed to share the tune of the Eday Song with him, as the lasses sang it to him while he played! Job well done!
Our eleventh outing already! Rousay this time, and we are absolutely indebted to The Pier Restaurant (immediately opposite the ferry) for their kind use of their premises. In fact, we more or less took the place over most of the day! It was glorious sunshine, which had almost the entire crew out enjoying the sun - in fact it was too hot!
We were treated to having Alex Leonard with us once again as well as Bruce Mainland, who gave us three tunes. Kathryn Marwick joined in the first part of the SongShare, but we had a bit of an impromptu session afterwards, when the keyboard, accordian, penny whistle and bodhran all got an airing!
It was a glorious day! Thank you Rousay!