27 August 2010

Thursday 26.8.10

This week's photos were all taken by Brian  (who would like to thank the kind person who handed his camera in to the bar staff after he accidentally went home without it!)

23 August 2010

Shanty Night feedback

Some feedback about Shanty Night received by email and on our Facebook Page  (if you're on Facebook, please add yourself to our fan-list if you haven't already!).  All further comments and suggestions welcome - whether you were a regular or a visitor - please leave comments here or on Facebook or email us. Your views will all be hugely useful when planning and improving next year's Shanty Night.

Bill: A few suggestions to improve Shanty night (possibly other sessions too)
- Give out chorus sheets of the regular songs ; helps the visitors/listeners feel more confident about joining-in.
- try to ensure a body of strong voices close together (who know the songs) to help achieve a 'critical mass' of sound to combat over-loud bar chat.
- encourage an ethos of hushed listening for solo singers / musicians whenever possible. (very difficult in a bar, but well worth the effort methinks)
- resist amplification (except Bass)
Hope you don't mind me offering these. Cheers Barnacle Bill x

Caroline: It was an excellent evening - enjoyed by all. thanks for organising, can't wait for next year!

Brian: Excellent night. I didnt get round to doing all the songs I had intended as got caught up with conversations mainly with visitors who to a person were very impressed with the talent on this Island. 

John: I am generally in agreement with Bill's ideas although I am a little unsure about the song sheet suggestion. I think it could be something you might do on certain occasions but not all the time. Getting people to listen is always a difficult one. As a society, music is very often something that goes on in the background and conversation continues. I think people have to be educated over a period of time. Some will never understand. I do think folk need to know what it is they are coming to listen to or do. This being the case, they are more likely to understand the conventions such as listening. Some people that night might just have popped in for a drink although it would be hard for someone not to know what was going on. I would be against amplification. I do think the crowded nature of the bar did add to the atmosphere. Your rendition of 'Senandoah' that evening, Bill, was I thought, brilliant.

19 August 2010

'Could shanty be the new rock 'n' roll?'

This is the question posed in the current issue of Coast Magazine, in an article entitled 'Songs of the Sea', based around the huge success of the Cornish shanty group Fisherman's Friends, who recently receved a gold disc for 100,000 album sales.

The article goes on to mention Jon Boden, the album Rogue's Gallery, and Norma Waterson. Strangely, Mersea's very own Shanty Night does not feature in the list of notable shanty festivals around the country. But, who knows, maybe next year . . .

(Mersea DOES in fact appear in this month's Coast - but not musically - there's an article about the Packing Shed as part of a series about endangered seaside buildings.)

West Mersea Town Regatta Song & Dance 2010 - more photos

More Regatta Song & Dance photos just in.  This one's of the Grand Finale -  'Wild Rover' - sent by Catherine, a visitor from Berkshire:

And a couple from Regatta Commodore, Chrissie:

There's a good write-up of the singing and dancing, as well as lots of pics of the watersports etc, on the Regatta website .

And, if you haven't already seen them, there are lots more Singing & Dancing pics here.

17 August 2010

West Mersea Regatta Song & Dance 2010

Photos of the Song & Dance event at the West Mersea Town Regatta, in which a lot of Session regulars, their families and friends were involved, can be found here .

16 August 2010

Shanty Night photos

Well, here at last are my very mediocre snaps of Shanty Night. I've posted rather a lot of them - that way, I hope everyone who was there will feature in at least one picture. If not, my apologies - I was trapped on one side of the room for the entire night. If anyone has photos taken from the other side of the Inn - please email them over immediately to redress the balance!

The pics are in chronological order, starting before 8pm, but the camera ran out of battery some time before the end, unfortunately. If you click on them, they'll enlarge on your screen. Feel free to download any you'd like to keep.

If you enjoyed Shanty Night and would like to see it happen again next year, do please leave a comment here and/or on our Facebook page (and don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook!). Feedback really is the lifeblood of this kind of website, so please don't be shy about expressing your views, suggestions or gripes - it will make your webmistress feel that her labours haven't been in vain!