Monday 30 April 2007

Bernard Loffet

Sat 28 Apr
Cecil Sharp House

A GIG CB!* evening, with special guest Bernard Loffet playing accordion. Lots of lovely tunes, and a nice variety of Breton dances; he's one of those players that makes you ask why bother with fiddles, brass, guitars, percussion - just let Bernard play, that's all you need.

Bernard makes 9 models of diatonic accordion - see them in gorgeous array on his web-site.

For the last half-hour he came down from the stage and played, sang and led the dancing, all at once. A degree of co-ordination which I didn't quite manage with my camera-phone . . .

A lovely record too, which we listened to on the way back: Moteur!, with lots of the popular dances.

*The George Inn Giant Ceilidh Band

Arthur Milton

Arthur at the farewell parade
Highbury Stadium, 7 May 2006
See Highbury Bye for more pictures

Arthur Milton died last Wednesday; he was the last man to have represented England at both football and cricket. Read the Guardian obituary for the details of his life - they describe him as "a spectacular outside right, possessed of fine acceleration, a classical body swerve and neat control". We could do with someone like him now . . .

He has a special place in my affections - along with 10 others *- as he played in the first Arsenal match I ever went to: v Aston Villa, 2 Jan 1954.

I can't claim to have seen much of him, though - a typical 50s fog shrouded the pitch, and this little 9-year-old could see no further than the halfway line from his perch on a teenage friend's shoulders. We were stood halfway up the Clock End terrace, and Arsenal had stuck 3 in at the North Bank end, 100 yards away, within 25 minutes, before the referee called it off as he couldn't see anything either. Most of the play was up the other end, and the only clue we had as to what was happening was when the North Bank roared every so often and the Arsenal players came trotting back to our end to line up for another kick off. I was mightily impressed, however - just think, 3 in 25 minutes - it could have been 10-0! I was hooked for life.

This abandoned match doesn't appear in any of the on-line results listings I've found, and I didn't note down the scorers in my programme . . . It was eventually re-played on 5 April, and Villa got away with a 1-1 draw. Typical.

* Kelsey; Wills, Wade; Dickson, Dodgin, Forbes; Milton, Lawton, Holton, Lishman, Roper.

Sunday 29 April 2007

Transition Town Lewes

Tue 24 Apr
Town Hall

Over 400 people for the “Unleashing” of
Transition Town Lewes, as the town becomes one of the first in the UK to confront the twin challenges of Climate Change (New Scientist special report) and Peak Oil (ASPO).

Emerging Technologies

Fri 27 Apr
Pelham House, Lewes
Foxglove Tree

One-day UoB seminar at Pelham House. I’ve lived here 16 years and didn’t know where it was - had to ask a postie. It turns out to be set back from one of the twittens I rarely go down,
with a huge sloping garden at the back - you sometimes wonder what’s there in the spaces between the buildings, don’t you.

I did ‘Second Life - why bother?’ - conclusion: well, maybe, if you can manage to get your clothes on. Lots of other intriguing ideas, most of which I’d never come across. They all ganged up on me and said “you have to blog, you’re no-one unless you blog”, so here I am, too weak to resist.

Saturday 28 April 2007

Northern Harmony

Mon 23 Apr
St John’s Chapel, Chichester

Inspiring harmony singing from Northern Harmony, a group based in Vermont, USA. Along with a number of other formations, they come under the umbrella of Village Harmony, directed by Larry Gordon and Patty Cuyler, and do songs from all over - American shape-note, New England, Balkan, Georgian, Spanish, South African, early music. A dozen of them are touring Europe for a couple of months, and this was their first concert. Catch them if you can.