Mrs Guy has finally worked out how to add a video to the website - hooray! So here is our video, filmed at the wonderful Gate Arts Centre in Roath. Just click on the picture - and enjoy!
In July 2023 we played at Yn Cruinnaght in the Isle of Man, featuring as part of the Mega Manx Ceili. Here's a chance to hear us in action and see Mic calling at his very best. Just click on the picture!
This is the bit where you get to listen to our music - some of the tunes we play for dancing, others are for sitting and listening to or beautiful background music which we also use in our concert set... Huge thanks to Dave and to Roger who did all the technical stuff around the recordings while the rest of us just got to play and have fun! For each listing, click on the cat to hear the tune...
Cat’s Claw Polka
Composed by Imo (yes, THAT O’Rourke) as the band's theme tune. This has changed a lot from the way it was originally written... is it a polka now?
This is actually two polkas, one from the Auvergne region of France and one called Walter Bulwer’s No. 2 - we think Walter was a Morris musician. Both tunes are very popular with melodeon players but they don’t usually end up sounding like this because we’ve speeded them up and given them more oomph!
This is a traditional tune called Bear Dance followed by the Rochdale Coconut Dance (which, surprisingly, is a tune played in Rochdale for a dance with coconuts). Of course, we could have called it The Bear and Coconut but that sounds like a pub. Nothing wrong with pubs though...
French Canadian Reels
Three of them, reely! Thanks to Mike Greenwood, who put this set together, and taught it to us. Apparently it was supposed to be played delicately. Oh well...
Imo’s Irish Polkas
Learnt by our flute player, Imogen, from her extensive experience of Irish music and brought to us, although she didn’t know the names of the tunes. We eventually found out that the first one is called ‘There’s Worse Than This About’ but that’s a rotten title for a tune set so we stuck with ‘Imo’s Irish Polkas’.
A nice traditional jig followed by a tune called Spoted Borders and no, that’s not a typo, it’s really called that. It’s from the Thomas Hardy manuscripts (yes, that Thomas Hardy - he was also a fiddle player and that’s why there’s so much reference to music in his novels) and as he was an author we reckon he shud kno how to spel it.
A beautiful Welsh tune, it translates as ‘The Clover Leaf’
Jiggery Pokerwork / Raiders Road /
Three Coney Walk (Spiers / Jowett / trad)
Three jigs. One by the amazing John Spiers, one by Robin Jowett of Whapweasel, and one traditional, learned from that champion of Northern English music, Brian Peters.
Cuckoo’s Nest / Nyth Y Gog (trad)
One Irish reel, one Welsh reel. That’s the Irish Sea bridged then - sorted! Nyth Y Gog means ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ in Welsh.
An Dro / Man in a Brown Hat (trad /Stapleton)
Actually, two An Dros stuck together, neither of which we know the name of and played in a way that Breton dancers wouldn’t recognise, together with a fine tune by Cliff Stapleton from the band that started it all, Blowzabella.
Will’s Way / Peeping Tom / Witchmen
(Ward / Peeping / Shepherd)
One tune learned from The Committee Band, another half remembered from a Peeping Tom gig so we don’t know if it’s theirs, and one absorbed as the eponymous tune of the wild Witchmen Morris side at Upton Festival. We eventually found that it’s called ‘William Taylor’s Table Top Hornpipe’ and by Dave Shepherd but we prefer ‘Witchmen’ as a title. Sorry Dave!