Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Performed on Saturday 8th February 2020 On Saturday evening, my senses were aroused and tickled by the musical performance of ‘Beauty to Bawdy’ by Elaine Chipchase and Mick Pearce at Beeston Canalside Heritage Centre. Mick hails from Teeside, with a classical training background, now residing in Worksop, and Elaine, also with classical background, and who has been singing for only five years. This evening saw them perform together for the first time at an official public event. The first half ‘Beauty’ was made up of nine musical and lyrical compositions by 17th century poets and composers such as William Lawes, John Dowland to Henry Purcell. The Suite for 2 Lutes by William Lawes particularly caught my imagination with Mick and Elaine playing their finely tuned acoustic guitars in sublime unison. Also A Pretty Duck (from A Booke of Ayres with a Triplicitie of Musicke, 1600) by John Bartlett really captured my senses and made me smile generously.
After the interval and the performers’ change of costume, with Elaine in suitable ‘country wench’ attire, we were treated to the ‘Bawdy’ side resulting in us joining in for the chorus singing and giggling at the naughtiness of it all. I was particularly hooked by the compositions of Thomas D’Urfey, aka Tom Durfey, 1653-1723. He was an English writer and wit, and composed plays, songs, and poetry, in addition to writing jokes, who was a key innovator and contributor in the evolution of the Ballad opera (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_d%27Urfey) during the Restoration period. I certainly remember seeing The Virtuous Wife (1680) most probably at the Nottingham Playhouse which staged popular Restoration comedies in the 1960s and early 1970s, several of which starred Judi Dench as their ‘bawdy’ wench or haughty heroine. Five of the Bawdy songs were taken from Durfey’s multi-volume Pills to Purge Melancholy, written between 1698 and 1720, namely The Old Fumbler, Consent at Last, and Watkin’s Ale. We all really started to get into bawdy accompaniment with Mick and Elaine recounting The Lusty Young Smith, The Comical Dreamer and My Thing Is My Own. Choruses such as ‘Will you buy a fine dog with a hole in his head’ and ‘My thing is my own and I’ll keep it so still yet other young lasses may do what they will’ we all cheerily sang together and tapped our feet. The finale rendition My Thing Is My Own known traditionally as Lillibulero, brought robust and very smiley appreciation by the audience. In all, a wonderful Beauty to Bawdy evening I will remember for a long time. I can foresee Elaine and Mick performing together at Elizabethan and Jacobean venues such as Wollaton Hall, Hardwick Hall and Tissington Hall, in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire...and more.
Please go onto Canalside Heritage Centre’s website to see all their Events and musical evenings taking place during the year https://www.canalsideheritagecentre.org.uk/ My thanks go to Zoe Cockcroft as CHC volunteer events coordinator and who is also a talented textile artist with her art cards displayed for sale here http://www.zoezegzula.co.uk/ , together with a large range of heritage crafts and products/gifts by local artisans. Opening times: Everyday 9.30 am - 4.30 pm Tel: 0115 922 1773
Promoting Peoples and Places
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
What a thoroughly entertaining night I experienced on Friday! From 7.15 pm, after alighting the tram at Fletcher Gate from Beeston, I walked down to Nottingham Contemporary to catch the first Lights of the evening joining friends Jeanie Barton https://jeaniebarton.com/ and Katie Dawson https://www.katiedawsonfilms.com/ with her NTU Media Production colleagues in the downstairs bar. It was just one of Katie’s birthday celebratory events! After supping and talking, we moved across the hall to the Light Night & Sound Show which was truly mesmeric for the families standing and floored.
I then explored the Contemporary latest exhibition and was particularly impressed with the large scale colourful and vibrant paintings by Grenada-born artist Denzil Forrester. They depict the nightclubs of 1980s London and present-day Jamaica. A must-see exhibition running until 3 May, together with sculpture, drawing and prints by Diane Simpson and new sound systems installation by Sung Tieu. https://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/
I parted ways with Katie, Jeanie & company, and brisked along to the beckoning St Mary’s Church at top of High Pavement. Exciting music by Orchestra of Opera North and pulsating lights adorned the churchyard, and inside, among the candle light, there was an enticing and mesmerising show of light sculptures and projected art of continuously different shapes one could walk through hither and thither. Lots of enraptured faces. I moved forward to see and hear the heavenly choir voices. What a stunning show performance throughout this ancient church!
Departing the church, I ambled down St Mary’s Walk to Debbie Bryan’s shop. It’s always a pleasure to visit Debbie’s shop and be thrilled everytime by its eclectic display and creative goings-on. That night, she was hosting a paper lantern crafting activity, and in front of me, children and their proud parents were showing off to Debbie their beautifully coloured and cut-out paper lanterns. https://debbiebryan.co.uk/
Onwards I walked down Hockley to be aroused by musicians, fire-flame holding acrobats and a group of electric-charged skateboarders rushing by me in tune and alight!
I passed by my favourite Heathcoat Street shop and clicked a few photos through the window. http://paramount-picture-framing.co.uk/ Then came across a colourful procession of costumed ladies who smilingly posed for me.
At the bottom of Hockley I crossed over to the lights of Sneinton Market. https://sneintonmarket.com/ So much going on with people flowing towards me and with me. My first stop was to Minor Oak Co-working to be welcomed by Dee Miller and her helpers serving exotic cocktails and mocktails! https://www.minoroak.com/ I treated myself to a glowing mocktail with surprisingly good fruity flavours and sat myself down on a comfy sofa watching the lights outside and enjoying the music. From there, I hopped to the main avenue square and treated myself to a hot dog barbecue style because the smells were too hard to resist.
After 15 minutes relaxing and eating my reward in the piazza, I walked upwards back through Hockley to
16-18 Victoria Street to the newly opened ‘Cosy Club’ to meet up with Katie, Jeanie and friends. I remembered this place so well from my youth late 1960s and early 1970s when it was the lavish Victoria Club, so my stepping in was a nostalgic taster.
Katie and Crew were sitting down and enjoying their meal and drinks in the first floor restaurant. I had a lovely chat with our waitress who updated me on the development and very slight refurbishment of the Cosy Club which officially opened on Wednesday. The Club is housed in one of Nottingham’s most beautiful elegant Edwardian buildings, originally opened in 1913 as the gentlemen's Reform Club and becoming the Victoria Club in the late 1960s. I LOVE all the new golden chandelier fixtures! They were made, I was told, by the same company who produced them for the ‘Game of Thrones’ film series. I tagged myself onto a touring group led by the Operations director allowing me to see every room on each floor. So glad this sumptuous place is such an eye-pleasing, valued establishment again and will be so welcomed as a Nottingham hot-spot, business and hospitality venue. I wish it and Cosy Club management every success. https://cosyclub.co.uk/location/nottingham/ We filed out late into the night, said my goodbyes (early to them!) on Fletcher Gate and caught the tram back to Beeston, arriving at my Rylands home at midnight, exhausted but happy!
Cheers Jeanie, Katie and Dee & Light Night Crew!