lt’s mid September however the timber are but to exhibit their autumnal hues as I pedal via the South Oxfordshire countryside to Braziers Park, for the ultimate day of the Septembersong competition. It doesn’t really feel like summer season’s drawing to a detailed, however it’s and that is prone to be my final outside musical occasion of the 12 months. Septembersong is a model new competition organised by brothers Robin and Joe Bennett who’re additionally chargeable for placing on the Wooden Pageant on the identical web site. A lot as I’d have cherished to, life intervened and I used to be solely capable of attend the third and final day.
I arrive in time to see Katy Rose Bennett lead a joyful, early morning, advert hoc choir, put collectively as a part of a singing workshop out of the Marquee to entertain the few us gathered across the fireplace, supping espresso. On the Wonky Church stage, Hugh Warwick is projecting his inside Brian Blessed speaking about connectivity and a guide that he wrote known as ‘Linescapes‘, the title of which was thought up by Robin Bennett. He talks about anthropogenic, linear options resembling roads, railways and canals, and the way these have an effect on the pure world. His discuss options hedgehog jokes, however the principle thrust is the fragmentation of the panorama and its influence on nature.
Over within the Marquee, Rholben, who’re named after a hill close to Abergavenny, are simply commencing. They’re a lovely mixture of two fiddles, double bass and acoustic guitar, complemented by lead singer, Siriol Davies, enjoying oboe on the instrumentals. They sing primarily in Welsh however we’re additionally handled to a tune from Galicia in northern Spain and a few fantastic acapella performances. They end with a beautiful sing-along.
Within the Wonky Church, because the rain commences, Robin Bennett is in dialogue with Michele Stodart and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf in regards to the artwork of tune writing and their careers in music. Stodart relates tales of rehearsing in her mother and father’ lounge and turning into her brother’s “assistant“, which is how The Magic Numbers got here to be. Each Caws and Stodart have been on Heavenly Information however had by no means met earlier than. Caws discusses how he places Nada Surf data collectively. Stodart performs ‘Push And Pull‘ from her new album, a shifting tune about having a younger daughter and balancing a profession in music. Issues are dropped at a detailed with Caws performing ‘So A lot Love‘, which he was requested to jot down for South By Southwest.
It’s raining cats and canine as Katy Rose Bennett takes to the stage within the Marquee. Thankfully, each efficiency areas at Septembersong are underneath cowl and there’s loads of room for individuals to come back in from the moist. Bennett performs her soothing set to accommodate her and the viewers’s barely fragile state comparatively early within the day. After performing ‘Past Blue‘ she will get her brother Joe up on stage to assist her, and along with the viewers, they sing ‘Timber‘. She finishes with ‘Chicken Tune‘. It’s a magical second with Bennett conducting a few impromptu choirs, which regardless of her electrical guitar falling to the ground throughout the tune, is a superb technique to finish issues.
Ping ponging between the levels, it’s again to the Wonky Church the place Vocal Spokes, an Oxfordshire primarily based group are performing modern, acapella variations of pop songs unamplified. Their set commences with Olive’s ‘You’re Not Alone‘ and The Cranberries ‘Goals‘. They began three 12 months’s in the past throughout lockdown on Zoom. From Kate Bush’s ‘This Lady’s Work‘, it’s on to Rag’n’Bone Man’s ‘Human‘, earlier than the group unfold out into the viewers to sing Billy Joel’s ‘Lullaby‘. They end with Kate Rusby’s ‘Beneath The Stars‘.
Within the Marquee, husband and spouse duo, Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou, have stepped away from their band Huge Reference to “reunite“. Clustering round one microphone their shut harmonies are all the time a pleasure to hearken to. The stark lyrics of ‘A Proud Give up‘ are a counterpoint to their lovely voices. ‘We Ought to’ve Gone Dancing‘ is adopted by ‘Concorde‘ which will get its stay debut and options Robin Bennett on flute. We’re advised at that they obtained again collectively on the behest of Raz Cobbing, the owner of the Betsy Trotwood in London, the place they typically use to play, the excuse being that it was the thirteenth anniversary of their first album. They play some new songs, so maybe one other album is on the playing cards. An ideal efficiency is delivered to an finish by what Moss says is their most requested tune ‘Low-cost Wine‘.
The ARC Songwriters comprise Kate Ellis, Anna Howie and Kris Wilkinson. They’re all enjoying acoustic guitars, nevertheless it’s the way in which their voices mix that’s the place the magic lies. They play ‘Cardinal In The Snow‘ which was impressed by a video of chicken standing out in snow. The group take part with ‘Sizzling Rooster‘, the raunchy nature of which makes it clear it’s not about their native takeaway. An ideal cowl of John Prine’s ‘Velocity Of The Sound Loneliness‘ brings issues to a detailed. Matthew Caws of Nada Surf takes to the Marquee stage to carry out a uncommon solo gig armed with simply his Gibson J200 acoustic guitar. ‘Matilda‘ is about Caws’ youth when he says he was “extra fairly than good-looking” and because of this teased about it in school, however obtained help from his father. In the direction of the tip of his set Caw activates the laptop computer subsequent to him to make use of a pattern taken from Boston storage revival band Lyres’ album ‘Lyres Lyres‘ because the spine to a tune. Caws ends a fantastic set telling us a cautionary story about multi-tasking. While donning noise cancelling headphones he let the bathtub overflow, setting off the smoke alarms in his home. This impressed the model new tune, ‘In Entrance Of Me Now‘. Ralfe Band are the primary band within the Wonky Church to characteristic a drum package. They’re the creation of Oly Ralfe who describes one among their songs as “horse drawn techno.” They’ve obtained a brand new drummer who’s solely been solely afforded one rehearsal however does a sterling job. They end with a foray into bossa nova which has everyone up and dancing.
The evening ends within the Marquee the place Robyn Hitchcock, sporting one among his trademark shirts, takes to the stage with Kimberly Rew on guitar, Lee Cave-Berry on bass and Morris Windsor on drums. He’s speculated to be performing solo however tells us that he’s introduced the band in order that they will help him get residence. ‘I Typically Dream Of Trains‘ is adopted by a tune that Hitchcock says “wants no introduction as a result of if it was launched it wouldn’t make any sense!” From Hitchcock’s newest album, ‘Shufflemania!‘ we get the ‘The Sir Tommy Shovel‘, a few pub which he intimates could be a favorite ingesting place for Brexiters. As ever, Hitchcock’s raps between songs present a lot leisure. He regales us with the way it was the Saxons not George Martin who invented double monitoring and phasing, and that’s the explanation that the Normans invaded Britain. He additionally tells us that “There’s no such factor as a pastry butcher as a result of no person slaughters pastry“. We’re left with ‘The Bells Of Rhymney‘ with Hitchcock replicating Roger McGuinn’s guitar riffs beautifully. The Bennett brothers together with Danny George Wilson and Fin Kenney on drums deliver the competition to a detailed as Bennett Wilson. They run via highlights from the primary two Bennett Wilson Poole albums. Raz from the Betsey Trotwood steps on to the stage to play harmonica on ‘Wilson Common Retailer‘ about Wilson’s grandparents’ store in Melbourne. After ‘Not Forgetting (Simply Not Remembering)‘ it’s ‘Prepared To Serve‘ and with ‘Discover Your Personal Fact‘ a set of classics and an awesome day is over.
On my method residence to Studying, because the darkish envelops me and my bike, an owl hoots as if to welcome within the autumn. Within the pitch black, I determine that when you may lower Septembersong open it might have the identify Bennett operating via it like a stick of rock. Wooden Pageant and Septembersong have supplied the right bookends to the summer season, nevertheless it’s over now, nonetheless there’s all the time extra gigs to go to and songs to sing.