Monday, 15 April 2013
Gigs and Garlic
Well, the weather 'turned' just in time! Despite a howling, gale -force wind, the sun shone and the temperature got up to 21 degrees in our neck of the woods - it didn't feel like that because of the wind, but how astounding for it to change like that overnight!
The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers danced out at the Haverhill Arts Centre before the Spiers and Boden gig; or, as we like to say, we opened for Spiers and Boden! We had quite a good crowd which gathered to watch and listen, we played from 7pm until about 7.40. Halfway through I noticed John Spiers standing on the steps grinning across at us, fortunately for my fiddle playing I didn't spot Jon Boden!
Three of the OWM musos, Jan, Nicky Stockman (head girl!) and me. The bilious coloured walls were actually greener than that, sorry, it looks a bit alarming! The unfinished jacket passed muster.
We got several mentions throughout the concert - and a few strange glances from those in the audience who hadn't seen the dancing, as we were still more or less in Molly kit when we sat down - minus the blackened faces and hats, of course! It was a great gig, though fairly restrained as it is an all-seated venue - nothing like those rowdy Bellowhead gigs!
I managed to sneak a couple of photos - John Spiers did say not to take photos while he was playing difficult tunes as he pulled strange faces! Nice to know even the best of us do the feared 'Melodeon Face'. (I am training myself not to do it but you never know!)
So there you are, that's my latest claim to fame.I've just noticed on the back of my ticket where the price should be it says "Complimentary Artist List". Phew, tuppence to talk to me now, folks! I don't know, Andy Cutting, John Spiers, I'm becoming a veritable Melodeon Stalker! Two very different box players, playing very different types of music.
I like garlic. I like it a lot. I use it a lot. I just can't grow it. I have tried, but with little success, which is a great blow to me, as I do grow many herbs with no problems. Over the past year or so I've been having a garlicky conversation via face book with my Burwell Bash fiddle friend Thelma. Thelma lives in Yorkshire and grows oodles of garlic, and she's given me a few few tips here and there. This year she even sent me - by first class mail - some garlic shoots for me to transplant I've no idea how well I will do with them, but I've given it my best shot. We did also talk about wild garlic - also known as Ramsons, and by coincidence I read an article in a magazine recently all about wild garlic.
Suddenly I remembered local folk-lore about a lane where wild garlic grows in such profusion you can smell it before you see it.
This lane is about a mile away, and though it is called something else on the maps, it is known as Onion Corner. I was on my way to visit my mum today, and thought I would take a slight detour to find some wild garlic. You really couldn't miss it. The aroma is quite pungent, and the plants grow in abundance; I felt no guilt about chopping a good handful of the aromatic green leaves.
I shall go back when they are in flower and gather some seed - I just know they will do well in our garden.
So I shall be preserving ramsons leaves in oil, as herb butter in the freezer, and as wild garlic pesto.
You can forage for wild garlic in damp, woodland areas. You can't mistake the leaves, the smell will tell you pretty quickly. Once the flowers are out the leaves become 'older' and slightly bitter, so pick now before the flowers appear. I hope the weather continues mild and sunny for your foraging!