Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Friday, 31 October 2014

Paganfolk Band Omnia: a Little Weirdness Goes a Long Way!

Hiya, lovely to see you again!
Happy Samhain to you! Today, very appropriately,  I'll tell you about an unusual Dutch band. Omnia.

The Lewis Caroll quote is apt, because Omnia are definitely a little bonkers, if not entirely so. But they are great Caroll fans themselves, so I'm certain they will forgive me.
The Fairytale This link will take you to a Lewis Caroll poem set to music by Omnia some years ago.

When I first came across their music, I had no idea what kind of a band they were. I heard a song called 'The Well', and it had a folksy, cheerful sound. So I counted myself lucky to be able to visit a performance some months later, and took my old octogenarian Mum along.
Well....She had a bit of a shock when Cornwall-born singer, flutist and performer Steve Sic made his appearance, I can tell you!
He was outlandish looking then (some years ago), and is dressed and looks even more alien these days, turning more and more into a Faun.
Still, I have a soft spot for people who have the guts to be exactly who they want to be.

Another example for you in the next link: a live performance

The band has a large, loyal following amongst Dutch, Belgian and German enthusiasts of the Pagan lore. I have been to quite a few of their concerts, and always meet the same people there. And what strikes me every time is the fun, cheerful atmosphere, with folk participating, and even screaming 'Kill, death, slay' during the Morrigan with huge grins on their faces.
Many of them come in appropriate dress. 

But do not think this is just a gimmick. Omnia, to all appearances, live their music. Steve has been known to rant and rave in lengthy posts on the Internet about the environment, politics, legalisation of cannabis and what-have-you, with one of my all-time favourite quotes by him: "Let's put the fun back into fundamentalism". Oh fine, another quote: "What if we started a war, and nobody came?"

And musically, they are sound. The set-up has changed quite a lot over the last few years, with band-members coming and going, but always with Steve and his lovely wife Jenny as the centre around which the entire band revolves. They borrow heavily from poetry, literature, traditional Celtic stuff ('Twa Corbies', ' The Raven' for example) and give it their own twist. But one of my favourite songs is their rendition of a golden oldie, 'Teachers', which they give an intense treatment which makes it almost haunting.

I am lazy today, so I'm not going to provide you with the names of all their albums; you can do some work yourself.
Look them up at Facebook, or, and put the fun back in!

Have a great evening!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Do Not Knock The Cello! Jodymoon's Atmospheric Music.

Hiya, good to see you again.
Jodymoon, Dutch duo-cum-occasional-quartet has been my constant companion for the past two years.
You will find two older posts about them in my post history line, but as I like them so much, I'd thought I'd do another one to help tide you over until their new CD is released in March 2015.

Bringing out a CD is a hazardous business, these days. Everybody either streams or downloads on the sly. Every musician I speak to tells me the same story. CD sales have dropped dramatically. You have to have something of a Don Quichote in you to continue trying to live off music.
Now, I am only a wanna-be-singer (and nothing wrong with that, eh? Far more realistic to be a wanna-be-singer than a wanna-be-native-American, in my view), so what do I know?

Well, I know what I like!

The stupidest thing just happened: I uploaded this post and it disappeared!
Grumphhhhhh! Will try to write it again from memory. Here goes.

Using a cello on this already lovely song is a stroke of pure genius, and makes it gorgeous.  It was recorded in 2010, and is from the album "Who Are You  Now".
And I wanted you to hear this for two reasons:
first of all, Jodymoon is awesome live, and this track shows it. I cannot stress this enough:
Second, I wanted you to hear this cello.
Sure, there is a violin too, and it's great, but every self-respecting Celtic band uses a violin player (not that Jodymoon is a Celtic band!), but who ever uses a cello?
Ever since I saw them last year, I have loved the cello parts in their music. In fact, I have decided I am going to be a cello player in my next life.

All jesting aside, the cello is what makes their music so essentially Dutch. It is like our temperament. Moody. Melancholy. A bit dark.

I'll leave you with another live recording during that same session in 2010. Look them up on Facebook, Twitter etcetera. And buy that CD in March 2015! I like them so much, I'd hate them to stop playing because of lack of funds. And if you have the chance, GO SEE THEM LIVE!

Right. Enjoy!