Saturday 14th September
St Ives Festival
Pipers: Keith G, Miranda, Alex, David C, Tom G, Stuart
Drummers: Tenor – Andrew, Fred, Bass – Keith I
In perfect late summer weather of blue skies with a slight sea breeze Band members met at a piper’s house to be ferried down to the town in one car. The Festival, which will go on for two weeks, was being host to a myriad of events which included arts and crafts, theatre, poetry and music, musicians and singing groups, samba bands and a town crier competition, to name but a few. The various acts were appearing at different venues around the town. The Kernow Pipes and Drums Band felt privileged to be part of the whole Carnival atmosphere.
The first slot of playing was scheduled for 13.00 outside the Mountain Warehouse in Fore Street – this was earlier than we had been led to expect, but luckily several members had turned up early and were able to put on a good show. The town was very busy with visitors and there was the usual enthusiastic applause and cheering whenever the Band was playing. The dress for the day was No 2s with the option of wearing capes should the weather call for them, but thankfully there were no showers.
The second slot was outside The Queens Hotel where they played for approximately 20 minutes before entering the Hotel for a break and refreshment. During that time the shanty group Stamp and Go sang sea shanties and songs about Cornwall. Two of our pipers joined forces with them at the beginning of their set, duetting on The Last of the Great Whales.
The third slot was playing on the march down to the Lifeboat Station on the seafront and then for 20 minutes or so. The town was by now very crowded and the Band played a request from a visitor which summoned up for her some very happy memories. The Town Crier from Penzance lent some jolliness to the occasion on this occasion.
After a march along the crowded sea road the Band then turned down into the slope of the Old Slipway and played for another 30 minutes. The crowds were loud in their appreciation and one piper played a Welsh song for a bystander who was from that country. The last appearance was to be in the Royal Square and the Members walked up the hill to play there. After half an hour the Band was dismissed and the members retired for refreshments in the nearby café.
Tunes played during the afternoon included – Towerhill Dreams, Corriechoillie, Green Hills, Battles O’er, Scotland the Brave, Rowan Tree, Wings, Bonny Galloway, Scotland the Brave, Mairi’s Wedding, Colin’s Cattle, Shoals of Herring, Waters of Kylesku, The Skye Boat Song, Morag of Dunvegan, Cockney Jocks, Rainbow Country, Bluebells, Trelawney, Auld Lang Syne. There were also several solos undertaken.
But it was not yet over – as two pipers took the now heavy collecting bucket (the listening public had been very generous in their donations) to the organisers at the Castle Pub, they were asked to play their pipes to a packed audience inside and there was tremendous applause. After a lift back up to the cars the next hour or so was spent in a member’s house enjoying good company over a cuppa and some home made cake which was very much appreciated!
A great day with great music and atmosphere and wonderful weather again and all to be repeated in St Ives again next Saturday!