News and Reviews
News and Reviews
Angus George and Forbes ....
...were a fantastic success! On a balmy (but thankfully not too hot) summer evening, these three remarkable young guys, who are about to begin their studies at university, entertained a packed village hall with their musicality and professionalism.
After enjoying drinks and a barbeque on the lawn outside the hall, the audience took up every available seat inside, with several late-comers finding standing room only. A few people were still chatting outside when the music began, but the strains of traditional Gaelic or Celtic-style ballads and dances drifted out of the open windows and doors, enticing them to creep in.
Angus, George and Forbes played like total professionals. Their chatty, relaxed links between tunes had the audience smiling, and their mix of instruments was perfect for their Celtic/Gaelic inspired repertoire. Playing a variety of stringed instruments, whistles, melodean and percussion, the boys took us on a nostalgic musical journey that evoked the Scottish highlands and islands, or brought to mind a mystical Irish past. It was an evening we shall all remember.
Thanks so much for coming to Pudleston, guys. We wish you lots of luck and good fortune with your studies and your future careers.
Pudleston Village Hall AGM May 2022
This year's AGM was held on 16th May in the Village Hall. The Chairperson, Linda Fryer, reported on a year of successful fund raising events in which £2130 had been raised to support the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, and another £650 for the Midland Air Ambulance Charity. There had been a gradual opening up after Covid restrictions. The new sound and projection eqipment had contributed to a successful autumn's film season, and the Quiz and Curry night had been particularly well attended. Linda thanked various members of the committee for their contributions and handed over to the treasurer, Keith Arrowsmith, for his report.
Keith reported that the hall finances had been helped by government grants during the pandemic, and that he had been successful in securing funds from Awards for All for accessibility projects, but he warned that the current level of income from hall events would not meet the ongoing costs of runing the hall. For the last two years the hall had run at a deficit of nearly £2000 a year. The committee would need to consider ways to promote the hall to hirers.
Linda Fryer, Keith Arrowsmith and Roger Fryer agreed to continue for another year in their roles as Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary respectively. The rest of the committee was also re-elected with the only change being that Vicki Connop will take over the duties of booking secretary from Linda Fryer who had been acting as temporary booking secretary.
Our small community of Pudleston cum Whyle is over 2500 km from Kyiv but, as with almost anywhere in the Western World, there is tremendous strength of feeling and support for the people of Ukraine. Over a period of three weeks the community came together to organise two fund raising events at the Village Hall, and a staggering total of £2130 was raised for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
On Saturday 9th April we held a Bring and Buy coffee morning. The village came out in force, bringing home made cakes, chutneys, and jams to sell, and donating plants and seedlings to the cause. Together we raised an astonishing £1400.
Then on Thursday 28th April we showed Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story as another fund raiser for Ukraine. A sell-out audience of locals and friends enjoyed a supper of baked potatoes and raffled a superb hamper donated by the Deli in Leominster, No 27 Drapers Lane.
The takings from the film night put the total amount raised up to a final £2130!
A Perfect Musical Evening with Grey Wolf
Pudleston's own Bandangle
Saturday 27th November
On Saturday evening Grey Wolf and Bandangle got our feet tapping and brought smiles to our faces. First up and setting the tone was Pudleston’s home-grown folksy/americana band, Bandangle. Anchored by Andy on double bass, and with Emily’s violin providing contrasting tone colour, Roger and Robin on guitar and banjo took us through a lively set of well loved tunes. With Roger’s smooth Ralph Mctell-like voice and Robin’s expressive, sometimes gravelly vocals, Bandangle’s collection of well-loved favourites couldn’t fail to please.
Next up was Grey Wolf; a trio this time rather than the usual quartet. Sadly Jim Allen couldn’t be with us. He was at home isolating in preparation for an operation, but half way through the gig he made a surprise appearance on Andy’s computer screen. As always, he wowed us with his musicality and technical skill on banjo, and it was of course lovely to have him there, even if not in person.
But though Jim was missing, Martin, Ben and Andy seamlessly adapted their repertoire of traditional Americana, old-time, country and folk-dance music. With a variety of plucked, strummed and bowed instruments including an Appalachian dulcimer, and not forgetting the harmonica, their set ranged from the contemplative and dark ‘Fire in the Sky’, to Ben’s foot-stomping rendition on fiddle of ‘Half-past Four’ and the trio’s evocative take on the traditional Appalachian spiritual ‘Bright Morning Star’. Particularly memorable was Martin’s own composition ‘The Long Walk Back Home’. Inspired by a Scottish hermit, and with fiddle and guitar in wistful conversation, the melodies and harmonies spoke nostalgically of all things Gaelic, recalling the remote beauty of the Scottish highlands.
To finish, Bandangle joined Grey Wolf for a lighthearted rendition of ‘Down the Road’. With the audience joining in, this was a perfect way to end a thoroughly entertaining, though thoughtful in parts, musical evening. Thanks guys! And please come again!
Gypsy Jazz and More!
Remi Harris on Guitar with Tom Moore on Double Bass
Saturday 27th October 2021
The scene was set: A stage empty of people, a line of guitars of different shapes and sizes, a double bass, dramatic lighting, a buzzing, expectant audience … Then Remi and Tom walked on. Their relaxed, conversational patter made us feel immediately at home, as though we’d been invited to witness a private jamming session. And when they started to play we realised we were in for a very special evening. What a privilege it was to hear such talent! With a mix of imaginative takes on old favourites, jazz standards and new compositions, Remi and Tom took us on a journey through nostalgia, humour, excitement and simple amazement. We heard their take on an eclectic selection of classics including 'Can't Buy Me Love, 'Someday My Prince Will Come' and the second movement of Beethoven's Pathéthique Sonata. Themes on guitar and double bass interwove, complementing and answering each other as if in conversation. Sometimes, mid tune, we recognised hints to other well known favourites cleverly woven into the music, and even, once, ‘Happy Birthday’! Remi also played two of his own tunes, 'Don't let them get you down', and 'Embers'; a wonderful late-night, sleepy, fire-flickering piece. It was a fab evening.
Thanks, guys, for coming out to a small village hall in the middle of rural Herefordshire and wowing us with your musicianship.
Sunshine, sunshades and sunhats were the order of the day for the Family Picnic at the Village Hall last Sunday. After Covid lockdowns, and with a number of local residents also having had to shield, the picnic brought the rural community together again. 70 people turned out to enjoy games including skittles, beat the goalie and quoits, and to enter a creative competition on the theme of ‘Pudleston loves Bees and Trees’. All entrants to the competition were given a wild flower to plant, and the winners took away pots of honey. The raffle raised £265. First prize was a visit to the Midlands Air Ambulance (MAAC) base at Strensham, with afternoon tea for six. It was won by Sylvia Ciaravaglia. The second prize was a fabulous hamper with all items donated by the Leominster stall holders who had delivered to the community during lockdown. These included Paul’s Fresh Fish Ltd., Cherries and Berries, and Lee with his cheese. The hamper was won by Sarah Jarrett of Whyle Lane. Altogether, with a silent auction and other donations, the event raised around £500 for MAAC. Mary Seldon, Herefordshire Fundraising Executive, said, “I am absolutely staggered at the amount raised – it has got to be a record for the size of place and what was involved.’