Jos Mahon writes to Allendale area notices to announce the regular traditional music session, now being held on the second Thursday of the month at the Golden Lion (they had been held at The Crown in Catton, before it closed). It’s such a cosy evening session, and we’ve considered the sort of offerings one might expect in an earlier posting received from Jos.
It’s ideal pub music, because there’s enough time to chat between sets, usually, while the music isn’t so loud that it blots out any attempt to communicate. Pleasant, foot-tapping ambience around the fire, wonderful!
And as the evenings draw in, the atmosphere becomes that much more intimate, as folks revel in the warm room. And the beer and wine flows that much better when there’s something to listen to.
You’d be surprised, too, at how much beginning musicians are appreciated: learn a few popular traditional tunes on your instrument, memorise the repeats, or listen carefully for them, and you’re away making infectious music with the band! The list of acoustic instruments in typical use at a traditional music session is not long, but it is varied: squeeze boxes (concertina, melodeon or accordion); fiddle; guitar; tin whistle; bodhran (the Celtic hand drum); pipes (usually the Northumbrian pipes in these sessions, naturally); bouzouki; mandolin; banjo; dulcimer, ukelele. I’ve also enjoyed listening to a bowed psaltry on occasion, which gives out a lovely bell-like sort of zing.
Drop in this evening, from about 8pm as the music gets going, and chat with the musicians during a break, about how to break into the session ambience as a participant. Fancy learning an instrument? Core Music in Hexham prides itself on a simple mission statement:
Welcome to Core Music
“We are a not-for-profit organisation on a mission to make music accessible to all in our community. It’s a place where people of all ages and abilities can learn to play or sing, and take part in sessions, clubs and workshops.”