Reminder: Spiral Dance gig Sunday (29th), 4pm at The Wheatie. $10 entrance fee.
[Don't know if I'll go. Feeling rather friendless and alone in that sector,* and being alone in a crowd is never a good way to be. Don't know if I want to (or can for that matter) go to the English Ale. In which case I'd better give my head to someone.]
[* The problem of having more friends in the band than in the fan base, presents a unique conundrum when it comes to enjoying "a gig with your friends."]
Made it to The English Ale thanks to the great kindness generosity of motokomaharet and enkorvaks. This despite the fact that I've been rather trashed most of the last week, and if I hadn't have been commanded to be there By She Who Sings I probably wouldn't have gone. From a health standpoint it probably would have been preferable. From avoiding feelings of alienation it probably would have been a far better alternative. Just niggling things, but they definitely added up over the course of the evening.
Then again pain limits my ability to cope with irritation. To much of my inanity buffers are dealing with the pain.
Anyway, the parade happened, the Giants marched (there were three this year), the Wicker Man was burned, and people retired to the hall to experience half of Bygone Error (John's partner was rather flat and two dimensional; then again, many people say that about Christian when he actually appears in person), Red Moon sung, half of Red Moon sung, Damh the Bard sung, and Spiral Dance played to many people dancing.
Then I fled home with 5 of Damh's CDs, so this month's music collection will heavily veer towards folk. If I actually go on Thursday I'll grab the 6th.
I also bought 2 Spiral CDs. Apparently I now have to undergo an interrogation as to why I am buying their CDs, before I am in fact allowed to actually buy them. The exchange of the objects known as currency is apparently not sufficient any more.
Realizing that I had less control over my panic at country driving helped control the mental melt down and I returned home much less of a blubbering heap than the last two times I ventured out of the city. Although I was minus a red-bellied black snake who had traitorous deserted me for a warm purse. Hopefully for a short time, but what else can you expect from a creature that goes by the name of Insidious Serpentine (it was it's second appearance at a Spiral gig, since I found him hiding when I went looking for my sash).
Anyway Damh and Spiral have a series of concerts around Australia over the next week. Check the Gig Guide for details.
Later today is The English Ale up at Mylor. This has become an annual event celebrating Morris and other traditional English pastimes (such as Morris dancers drinking beer). It includes a torchlight procession with giants (at least one*), culminating in the burning of a Wicker Man, and a concert in the hall afterwards. As usual, Spiral Dance will be playing, this time with Damh the Bard from England. There might even be a Mummer's Play.
There is a gathering of Druids from 2pm, Morris throughout the afternoon, the procession is about 6ish, and the concert is from 7pm (Pagan Standing Time**), although tickets for the show go on sale from 4pm. [This year there is limited entry as the event is generally bigger than the Hall.]
[* I gave up on adding a dragon to the parade because it would have required about 18 puppeteers working together to make it truly come alive. Then again it takes about six people to manage a standard giant, so it's not that bad. And there have been one person giants at the parade.]
[** Australian Central Standard Time plus a variable bit as everyone gets organised and comes in late.]
It's always great when the screaming stops.
Particularly when you are the one doing the screaming. <grin>
I hope people had a happy May Day, regardless of whether they celebrated Beltane, Samhain, the International Communist Conspiracy, or simply the first day of a new month.
The Spiral gig at the Wheatsheaf was fun, and we even had a nice small mini-circle for Burning Times, which considering that The Wheatie isn't a venue where much dancing can happen is a small miracle of it's own (Dangnammit! Forgot to return the table to it's original position!). And I got a friend's sister to dance some elementary swing even though "she cannot dance." Which is always fun when you get people to do stuff they don't think they can.
But mostly I ghost-danced with some very old memories. Which was nice. But not what the dead normally have to give to the living. (Their call is getting louder, but then, who would feed them when I am gone? Probably a good reason to leave them resting in their graves, methinks.)
Hot gossip news is that everyone's favourite wood elf, Haley the Violinist, has gone the way of the Nigel and is no longer a part of the band. This is unusual for Spiral as band line-up changes usually happen only after they have released a CD. Instead, they deployed their emergency backup violinist (doesn't every band have one?) and once more Super Ingy graced the stage. Although apparently it is only temporary for the month of May. (Boo! Hiss!) Which means this may of been one of the first times where the band line-up actually matched the line-up on one of their CDs.
Next stop, The English Ale. If I can in fact manage to wrangle a ride up there.
Anyway I managed to last the whole gig, which is a massive upswing of endurance for me. Although the post-gig pain was the worst I've suffered for quite some pain. Currently I don't think my feet are talking to me. Except when I stand up, and that's only to yell at me. But at least that's better of the last five hours of pain. <grin> Had to knock myself out in order to cope.
"There was Isis, Isis, Eros, Eros, Pan and Aphrodite!"
As you might have gathered, last Saturday was the (something in the low teens)th annual Winter Solstice Feast held by local pagan band Spiral Dance. [And yes, pedants, it's also traditionally a week late in order to allow people to do their own private observances of the solstice.] The theme for this one was the Carnival of the Night in order to allow the ladies to strut their stuff in a safe and friendly environment. Even to the level of the dispensing with the provision of anything more than finger food in order to allow that extra inch of corset tightness.*
And the ladies were the stars of the show in a multitude of corsetry, stockings, boots, and heels, and skirts that were honoured more by their absence than their presence. A veritable constellation of beauty. Whilst many of the gentlemen attempted gallantly to maintain an equivalent level of dress, we were just plainly outdone, as is proper. This was assisted by a parade of corsetry by local [Christies Beach is in Adelaide, right? <grin>] corset makers Innuendo. I predict a rapid upsurge of business in the next month, at least from the number of ladies I overheard planning expeditions to raid the shop after the event [Hmmm.. Corseted Valkyries a-Viking... Too many bad fantasy illustrations. =8)]
Supporting the act was Ferdy the Wandering Magician [?], impeccably dressed as a military officer of last century [I do so miss The Kings Own Foot in Mouth Regiment, whose only meetings used to be on my birthday, to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo in a fine old style. A pity I could only afford to purchase a commission as Captain of Artillery at the time I first encountered them (and no longer fit the uniform, either)], whilst beguiling attendees with astounding acts of prestidigitation and cunning misdirection.
Also supporting them was burlesque duo Peaches N' Gin, who ably entertained the crowd by either hiding naughty bits behind fans, or spinning them in opposite directions at the same time. A cup of tea will never be the same again. Even in the absence of a proper copper coffee pot. Apparently they will be running a class in the fine and noble art of burlesque in the next few weeks.
And then it was time for Spiral to do their stuff. I was particularly heartened to see the return of The Weaver and the Witch to the line up, albeit in a much different arrangement from where it first appeared in Woman of the Earth. Although it still does have me itching to choreograph a large dance number along the lines of the Mon Schaft Pavane or Sans Serif. Something with people whirling about in a coordinated manner. Too much Bollywood, I suppose.
Both Rise Up (available on their latest album) and Pan and Aphrodite were performed (the later being my current highly enjoyable earworm). It's vaguely strange that I find Spirit of Albion to be old hat now. No Witches Tree, but there was a new one. Unfortunately someone was intent on interrupting me whilst I was listening to it and all I can recall now is the interruption, not the song. It was quite nice and the words were good, but beyond that it is all a blur. [It's interesting to realise that I've known Adrienne long enough to be able to predict the words of her new songs once I have the theme and rhythm. "Your morphic resonance at work!"] Apparently there are only three more songs to go before they can start recording the new album, so there is good news on that front.
Lots of fun was apparently had by all. Rumours of a berserk red-haired and highly freckled amazon running semi-nude through the venue after the show can be put down to fatigue on the part of the last few attendees. It was all an illusion. A dream. A phantom. A mirage. Nothing happened. Those are not the droids you are looking for.
As for the future, there was a passing mention of a possible Steampunk themed event. Apparently it has been requested by a number of the attendees who are avid fans of the genre (and you know who you are). All it would have really needed is a dash of Science! to make last Saturday's gig fit the theme, methinks And possibly axe-wielding giant clams. Hmmmm. I think we had all better start practising our "They called me mad!!! I'll show them all!!!!" speeches. [And breeding giant clams. Unfortunately mine still aren't any good at wielding axes. They need a travel suit to get around, but do a reasonable job of unblocking sinks.]
Anyway the next scheduled gig is a Elven Winter on 31st July, followed by a fundraiser for the Spirit of Albion Collective (Spiral Dance, Hot for Joe, G.O.T.H., Faire Guisers, and Hedgemonkey Morris) on September 4th, to help send them to Woodford. So contribute mightily if you want to bring them back...
* Once when looking through a book of Victorian etchings I made the comment of "I quite like that dress" to be greeted by looks of horror from the period costumer whose book I had in fact purloined. The reason, being, what I took to be the waist of the dress was actually the black column which the lady in question was standing in front of, and the actual waist was what I took to be the frontispiece of the dress. About 9" in total circumference, I suspect. Maybe a bit less. Those wacky zany Victorians!
Elf Winter The time between the fall of leaves and awakening buds Spend an evening in the land of faerie with sylvan storyteller and songstress Louisa John-Krol, the beautiful fey Minstrel and Faery Bard from Melbourne. Louisa joins Spiral Dance at the SA Folk Centre, corner George St and South Rd, Thebarton, on Saturday 31st July 2010.
Dress for the faerie realm in elfin greens and sylph like gossamers, in woodland browns and sunset reds, we are searching for the green man.
Prizes to be won in the Moss Pageant!
Doors open at 7pm
Except for correcting the spelling errors, advertising text is not mine. <grin> After that it looks pretty thin on the ground for Spiral Dance gigs. There is the PAN Witches Ball in Sydney and the Fleurieu Folk Festival at Willunga, which means the next one I can get to will be at the Wheaty in November (if it happens). And the Wheaty is not a great pub for dancing, unfortunately. [Oh well. I've got the Voltaire gig at Higher Ground early August (8th) and the Black Rain reunion gig (Brillig and Dandelion Wine) at the Wheaty in early September (5th), although neither of those, while good music, are dancey type gigs.] Hmmmm. That's the post-gig (and post-people) depression speaking, methinks. Oh well. <grin>
Extreme self-inflicted ouchiness from Spiral Dance's Winter Solstice. This one had the theme of Carnival of the Night, and so featured lots of beautiful women in corsets, stockings and tutus, and handsome men in formal wear. And me (also in formal wear). Although it's probably time for a new jacket. [And waistcoat, but that's a lot easier to do, although finding good material for the facing isn't easy.] I really want dark green velvet overcoat, but the price for getting it done in Adelaide is astronomical. Although I may see the regalia shop about getting a cassock. I did like David Carse's coat in Going Postal. I have the suspicion that setting the Discworld in Victorian times as far as fashion is concerned is simply an insidious appeal at my inner clothing goth.
I suspect there will be a lot of corset shopping going on over the next month. Although apparently they don't come with the models in them.
No big hassles this gig. Well, except for one potential one which was hopefully defused. I'm still far too broken to consider anything serious at the moment, even if it sucks to be alone.
Massive changes seem to affect Spiral Dance at each winter solstice. This time they are losing Ingrid the Violinist, who is, apparently, quite sick of music (at least for the moment). She will be missed by everyone, although she has threatened to still appear at gigs to heckle the band. However her replacement, Hayley the Violinist, played a couple of numbers to much aclaim (and, as Adrienne so noted, makes a quite nice Wood Elf). A quite different style, and I think it's going to work very well. [Ingrid was a bad influence on the band her replacement had actual music on a proper music stand to play off of.] Ingrid will still be heavily featured in the new CD, continuing the tradition that the latest CD should in no way reflect the current make up of the group.
Paul also got to play with his new MIDI accordian, the Alchemist by Peter Hyde, which is very very impressive. I can see easterbilby wanting one desperately. They played a new song which I think is called The Witch's Tree or some such, and it did quite a nice rendition of a massive church organ. Paul can finally tune! Shock! Horror! He finally cares!
The aforementioned new CD will be recorded in September, and should include this song and Land of Albion and many other unheard new ones. There won't be much in the way of gigs as they get Hayley up to speed, and their next performance is probably the Australian Wiccan Conferance in September.
I did in fact manage to attend the gig, although I couldn't dance like a mad dance thing very much past the first set. Still far too weak and readily fatigued from my recent illness. But it was lots of fun, although I have to admit I'm not as good dancing Burning Times widdershins. Too used to heading left it felt unnatural, plus it was a lot more difficult to manage the ambient energy flow. Although I am getting tired of organising people in this dance. I'm a Discordian for Eris' sake. It's a violation of my fundamental principles. Although it was lots of fun knowing the words of Adrienne's new song well enogh to sing along with it without great difficulty, but then again, mosr music is incredibly easy to predict if you know the artist well enough. <grin>
Given my current lack of mobility it's increasingly doubtful that I'll be able to attend the Spiral Dance Winter Solstice, let alone find a suitable costume for it. [Even the simple costume of a large white nightshirt, cap with pom-pom, vintage teddy-bear, and candle in holder (I was going to hold off on the sequins spelling "W I Z Z A R" on the cap though), isn't likely when I can't sew at the moment. <grumble>].
<sigh> "Life is motion, is movement, is the wild dance between endless possibilities, the laughter of clowns and children, always becoming but never being, unseen but ever-present; the end of the dance is unchanging stasis, a life unlived and unlivable, a failure of being, and the abhorrent silence at the end of the universe. Entropy is the final curse of Law, not Chaos, and I was ever a servant of Chaos."
Today was the inaugural gig of Spiral Dance's new residency upstairs at the Director's Hotel (on Gouger opposite the Central Mail Exchange [near West Terrace]). It was a nice and relaxed gig (although this may be the influence of the spacious Chersterfield lounges), with a lot more slower numbers than the recent Yule Feast, which probably means I didn't break myself as much as I did at the Yule Feast (True! This time only my ankle is black from haemotomas, rather than the entire lower leg). Also, with comparatively few attendees (there were effectively only two new faces and many missing old ones), there was lots of room on the dance floor, so I could have fun with interpretive dance. Which probably scared or nauseated a few people. Although I had to stop singing along through much of the third set (my endurance is nowhere near what it used to be, so something had to give), few people to have fun dancing with and improvising off of, and a rather unexpected Metal influence from the Wing Chung Academy next door, which I shall be prepared for next time.
These gigs will continue every second Saturday for the rest of the year, so do think about coming along and dancing with a mad dancey thing. There is a $5 entry charge, but eating a meal gets you free entry, and if you do go you get a $2 voucher for the next gig (and a $1 voucher for merchandise).
Meanwhile Cock-Eyed Molly is playing at the Brecknock this Friday (18th).
Also Spiral is playing at the Green's Halloween Ball on 1 Nov at the Queen's Arms. And Nick has a Minion of his very own! We are trying to teach her to lisp and walk with a limp and say "Yeth Mathter," but it is yet to take. I think it's time to introduce some more people to My Life With Master.
On the gig front we have Cock-Eyed Molly playing at the Brecknock at 8pm this Friday (27th June) and their evil twins Spiral Dance playing the Black Ball at the Folk Fed at 9pm (unless you have pre-booked Feast tickets) this Saturday (28th June).
Given that I'm currently running 0 for 3 on gigs this month, I hope I'll be able to make it to at least one of these. Given that people have threatened to do unspeakable things to me if I don't make it to the Black Ball (and you know that's going to be scary when unnameable horrors tell of unspeakable things), that's probably going to have to be the one I attend. Since apparently, my absence will reduce their fun. [<sigh>]. However since I am now officially three weeks behind schedule, and at least four hours late on any particular day, I don't guarantee my attendance anywhere these days...
Addenda: And those Englanders have a chance to hear Dandelion Wine at Pitch Black (Burton on Trent) this Friday as well before they once more wend their way back to Oz. I like what I've heard of their new album.
|Just a reminder that you only have a fortnight left to book for the Solstice Ball if you want to attend the feast (you don't need to book if you want to come late and just dance the night away with insane dancey things). The theme is Black, so come in your best black gear and dance away to the tunes of Spiral Dance after their triumphal return to Australia.|
The Annual Spiral Dance Winter Solstice Bash
"The Black Ball and Yule Feast"
Saturday June 28
The SA Folk Federation Centre,
Doors open at 7 pm for feasters, tickets are $40 (vegetarians catered for) Call Tamzin on 08 8389 3479
Call Tamzin on 08 8389 3479
I suppose I'd better think about something to wear as my closet is notoriously shy of blacks (at goth gigs I always preferred dark green, dark purple, or off-white). And I'm tending more and more to wanting a Steampunk wardrobe these days, which is decidely unblack. Maybe a tight shiny latex bodysuit? Maybe not. [Did that manage to break anybody? Sorry.] And yes, I think I am going. Hopefully people there will hassle me less this time. And maybe there shall be some bright shiney new people to talk to. Golden Retriever genes, y'know.
Spiral Dance are playing at the Brecknock this Saturday (23rd) from 8:30pm or so (until late). Come and help The Mad Dancey Thing keep dancing madly (hopefully without exploding messily, which at the moment is a strong possibility).
In an interesting coincidence, I have a ticket for Sound & Fury's Cyranose, for that very night at 9:30pm, available for the first non-Spiraller to arrange getting it off me (always assuming I can get a ticket for another session like Tuesday otherwise I'll be having to do the Mad Dancey Thing for Sound & Fury, and I don't think they will really appreciate that as much as the Spirallers will). Or maybe I should go anyway. Gah! Moral dilemmas that could be solved by breaking the Anti-Cloning Conventions of 2038 are annoying!
Later on, there is the big combined gig with Wendy Rule and Triple Aspect on March 29, which should be fun. Wendy is offering $100 dollar an hour Tarot readings as a side-line on her trip here. That reminds me, the Adelaide Tarot Guild is having some meetings at the SA Writer's Centre. Must try and remember when they are on, as several people in my friends list might have a passing interest.
Oh, and they have announced the date and theme of the Yule Feast:
The Annual Spiral Dance Winter Solstice bash
"The Black Ball and Yule Feast"
The SA Folk Federation Centre,
Doors open at 7 pm for feasters, tickets are $40 (vegetarians cartered for) Call Tamzin on 08 8389 3479
Call Tamzin on 08 8389 3479
I just hope that Nick knows what he is doing with all those vegetarians!
Another excellent Cockeyed Molly gig at the Brecknock. This group looks even more like Spiral Dance with the addition of a squeeze-box player. It really is an astounding similiarity. Although the popular decision is that the lead singer of this group is far prettier than the lead singer of Spiral Dance.
In shock horror news, the manager (Emily) of the Brecknock has been fired by the new owners (the pub changed hands multiple times in recent history), ending the Moore's association with the Brecknock. There is a strong probability that, sometime after St Patrick's Day (they would be fools to do it earlier), the pub will be revamped into a non-Irish pub, and hence lose most of it's existing clientele, in order to attempt to compete with those located nearer Victoria Square.
Meanwhile Molly is playing there on 15th Feb, 1 Mar, and 17 Mar (two shows, but the evening sessions are bad on St Pats Day too many drunks), whilst Spiral are still playing there on 23rd Feb.
Bugger. I'm seeing Sound & Fury at 9:30 on the 23rd. Do I buy a new ticket or come late? Hmmmm. Interesting dilemma. I've heard nothing about people joining me then, so...
Another fun Spiral Dance gig where I got to to do the Dance Like A Mad Dancey Thing Dance(s). Actually, by remembering to breathe properly and not double-timing through the slow bits, I managed to keep up with Paul & Nick's accelerating Gardens of Light (although they use the proper French name but I'm still not thinking enough in one language, let alone two [Jarden de Luminiere?]) to the very end. Yay!. There are rumours that there even exist photos of me on the Spiral Gig web page without a mask on. Shock! Horror! But don't worry; seeing a camera pointed at me I quickly adopted a cunning disguise of fiendish complexity.
Speaking of Spiral Dance, The Cockeye'd Mollys, will be playing at the Brecknock on Friday night (1st Feb) and Adrienne has hinted that Rent-A-Crowd might be appreciated. Any similarities between them and Spiral are purely imaginary. It's obvious that the lead singer of the Cockeye'd Mollys is far prettier than the lead singer of Spiral Dance (although Spiral has the prettier violinist). Obvious we say. Obvious. Obviously.
For those interested in some late night music and dance this Saturday (december 15), there is Spiral Dance's Slightly Early Summer Solstice gig at the Brecknock on King William Street. From 9pm to 1am and entry is free. Guarenteed to be lots of dancing and maybe even a chorus line doing the can-can (or in this case, the can't-can't).
And if that's not to your taste, Melbourne-based band Dandelion Wine is also playing Adelaide at the Grace Emily from 11:30pm (preceded by local band Brillig at 10:15 and Victorian sonsmith Tim Hudsmith at 9:15). Probably much less dancing, as the followers of darkwave are generally too cool to dance, but equally good music.
Decisons. Decisions. At least, if I get too depressed at Spiral I can always go visit Dandelion Wine and associate with the mostly emo-audience (not as tasty as most pagans, unless you get them out of their shell, in which case care must be taken when cooking or they will all fall apart; experience has led me to suggest a light dusting in flour and quickly frying in a light vegetable oil for the best results in this case).
It was a low key but fun CD launch for Spiral Dance's latest CD Worts 'n' All. This is a live album from a set of gigs held last year whilst Dandelion Wine was in town (it does not, however, feature their music).
This is the first CD where you get to hear the new sound of the band, with Ingy on violin replacing Kerryn on flute. I suppose I've heard the new line up enough times that it no longer sounds strange, but I really must compare the Pan on this album with the original (probably the most definitive flute piece shared by both, although Man from the Stars comes close). Other tracks that are really new are a set of three french tunes for squeezebox and violin (Derriere les Carreaux, Moninette, and The Man in the Brown Hat) and Adrienne's latest song Blackwater Deep (about why you should look gift horses in the mouth). There is also a multimedia component for PC that I haven't looked at yet.
The gig was fun and ended with Burning Times. Sometimes I think I exert too much of an influence when we dance this locally. I do this mainly to ensure that the outer circle doesn't crash into surrounding stuff, but it also is to prevent someone attempting to hijack the energies of the dance and turn it to their own use (adding a touch of Chaos to the mix really makes doing so quite problematical). This time I added a staccato power-beat to the Goddess chant that had people literally vibrating to each down beat, since we seem to be increasingly raising the level of the chant earlier and earlier (and before the appropriate point is reached in the musical accompaniment). This irritated Adrienne immensely once, although this time she was bewitched herself at the effect the power beat had on the crowd and wanted to come down off the stage and join in. But everyone went away happy, well, except possibly for one person who objects to the fact that the inner circle dances to the left (which she cannot do and thus cannot be a part of the inner circle which is the place to be according to the cognesceti).
* St John's Wort, or goatweed, is often used as a cure for depression or anxiety. The new Spiral Dance CD probably works just as well, but also probably shouldn't be orally administered.
This is a reminder to anyone that is interested that Spiral Dance will be releasing their new CD Worts'n'All at the Brecknock Hotel (King William St, Adelaide) on Saturday 20th October. This is the the live recording of the Night Train and Gawler gigs with Dandelion Wine (no, they don't appear on the CD to my knowledge), and the first to officially record the new sound of the band (with Ingy [violin] replacing Kerryn [flute]). But be warned, the lineup on the CD still does not reflect reality, since Dave [Bass] has replaced Brent [bass].
Entry is free, gig from 9pm.
Come dance with the Mad Dancey Thing™.