Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Cropredy Capers - Bellowhead and mindfulness too?

This clip, despite inevitably poor sound quality, gives, I hope, some sense of the phenomenal energy and drive of this unique and glorious band in full cry. To be down the front was the sort of overwhelming excitement that I was in need of after a lot of funerals and a disturbing episode with an old friend-who-may-be-about-to-turn-into-an-ex-friend. Not so much distraction, more like total absorption.

It was one hell of a set, and (other, true) old friends who had never seen them and have been very patient with my ravings about them were astounded and elated.

Mindful? Well, it stopped me running mental scripts (you know, "maybe I should have..." or "that's typical of me, what a fool, I should have..." or "next time, I'll.." - that sort of thing) and it took me out of myself. It wasn't a meditative calm. But it was definitely a different and very refreshing place to be. Strange that this sort of high-energy, basically uncomplicated music can do that, in a different way from, say, Miles Davis or Mozart? 

If you don't know this crew - their music is firmly rooted in the English tradition, they are not straining after some tedious "new folk" concept, they have simply found their own bag. Theatricality is a big part of it. They lean towards rude old songs about maidens who don't stay that way for long. (OK ladies, but that was then and this is now. Bad old days, I daresay, but bloody good songs!) They know, in some songs, how to hold things just this side of chaos. All power to them!

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