We have bookings!!
The first is at Bishops Castle Arts Festival. We have a concert in the Town Hall on Thursday 24th February, 7.30pm and a workshop in the Methodist Hall on Saturday 26th.
For the concert we’re really happy that we’re going to be joined by Paul Frowen and Greg Rowlands, stalwarts of the South Wales folk world. Paul sings beautiful Welsh songs to an autoharp accompaniment and Greg is an accomplished guitarist and singer. We’ve had the pleasure of their company a number of times before – this one will be special after such a long lay off for us all.
(Some of us will also be found showing off at the Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish workshop in The Three Tuns, Bishops Castle, on Sunday 27th. If you want to come and laugh at us, or maybe even have a go at wielding a big stick or a crisp, white handkerchief yourself, we’ll be there from 12.00 noon. And if you don’t like it, well, you’ll be in the pub anyway!)
Keep an eye on here and on our ‘Where Are We’ page for more information about what we’re doing, where and when.
Wooh! Another trip around the sun is well under way and it’s time for a little update.
Firstly, Katie Steggles has decided to leave Rapsquillion and will be exploring other avenues for her singing. Thanks Katie for your input over the last few years – we’ll miss you.
That, together with the sad loss of Dave Wright last autumn, means that we’ve been looking for a couple of people to help us out and we’re happy to be able to report that we’ve now been joined by Susie Stockton-Link and Marion Warburton.
Susie, who lives in Builth Wells, has appeared as a guest with us at a few events in the last two or three years. With her joining us properly from now on we’re going to benefit from her vast knowledge and experience of the folkie scene, as well as her fantastic tenor voice.
Marion lives in Bishop’s Castle and has also been around the folk music world for a long time. She’s a member of the brilliant Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish morris side, she plays the dulcimer and sings soprano and alto parts.
Welcome Susie and Marion – we’re looking forward to getting out and singing with you.
When our little 2021 Christmas concert was cancelled we decided we wouldn’t let the hard work go to waste. We spent an evening singing into our smart phones, sent the results to our friends Gordon & Chris, who were also lending us a hand with the Tenor part, and, lo and behold, this is the result – our 2021 Christmas Card!
2021 has been something of a challenge on many fronts. We hope that you all can have a safe and happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year! We’re also looking forward to the fates allowing us to have a sing with you sometime, we hope, in 2022.
October 22nd 2021
Thanks so much to everyone who came to Dave’s day yesterday, or who sent us a message, or just thought about Dave – it was a great send-off for his next adventure. Far too many people to mention, and a sea of red after Jenny’s request to mark Dave’s connection with Rapsquillion – but you all know who you are.
October 5th 2021
It is with profound sadness that we have to tell you that our playmate, fellow Rapsquillion and, above all, great friend, Dave Wright passed away on the evening of Tuesday 4th October.
Those of you who knew Dave will be aware that he’d faced a number of challenges to his health in the last few years, and you will also know that he faced them with fortitude, determination and, right to the end, good humour.
We’re going to miss him tremendously – his smile, his wit, his caring, his clumsiness(!), his enthusiasm for life and, above all his downright niceness and being a good, good man. Together with Jenny he was a stalwart of the folk scene in South Shropshire – people came from miles around to enjoy the ambience which they created at The Sun and, not least, his spirited and much-heckled renditions of ‘My Brother Sylveste’! In their Kent days they were regular supporters of Travelling Folk.
The Rapsquillion family is a small one and Jenny is a lynchpin. She’s worked so hard to keep a good quality of life for Dave – we’re now going to be doing our best to support her through this crappy time. We’re sad, of course, but we’re also glad and grateful to have known Dave.
Last night Rapsquillion were playing at Llantrisant Folk Club and there was a big round of applause in Dave’s memory. Next time you’re out having a sing, why don’t you think about Dave when you’re applauding.
Well, would you look at that – nearly two years since we were last together singing in public.
Two years of seasons, birthdays, births, marriages and, sadly, some deaths, twiddling thumbs, fixing things, breaking things and generally dealing, as most of us have, with the thing of which we will not speak by just getting on with it.
And now we’re out and about again!!
The weekend of 16th-18th July is when we emerge, blinking, coughing and very possibly spluttering in to the cool clear air of Festival at the Edge, being held this year at Hopton Court, near Cleobury Mortimer in good old Shropshire, pot-hole centre of the land.
We’re there on Sunday 18th with a harmony workshop in the morning and a set on stage in the afternoon.
We can’t wait – see you there we hope!
Soundfile and clip now loaded
The soundfile of the harmony workshop is now loaded on our ‘Listen and Watch’ page, along with a clip from our concert on Friday evening. Enjoy!
Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Well, didn’t we have a wonderful time!!
We thoroughly enjoyed our concert on the Sabrina stage on Friday night. 800-plus, we’re reliably told, and they were a great help with choruses.
The couple of singarounds we hosted were good fun as well – a few more people attending than last year.
But, for us, the highlight of our bits of input to the Festival was definitely Sunday afternoon’s harmony workshop.
We counted 97 people crammed into the sweltering room with a load having to be tirned away because we just couldn’t get them in and unfortunately outside wasn’t an option because of our need for visual aids, and the fact that there was a performance going on about 20 yards away, so we’re sorry if people couldn’t make it.
Those who were in the room went along with all of the fun and games, unsuitable as they were for a sauna, and produced a stunning rendition of Sarah Morgan’s arrangement of ‘Crossing The Bar’. We’re working on getting the sound file here on the website – please bear with us.
As promised, the workbook is now available on our ‘Workshop’ page. Please let us know if you struggle to download it and we’ll send you a hard copy.
Thanks so much for coming and participating – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. And also thanks for the feedback – we want to come back with a bigger, better version in 2020 so, if you feel so inclined, maybe you could mention it to the Festival organisers.
Watch this space for news of the sound file.
Shrewsbury Folk Festival, 23rd-26th August
It sounds as if we’re going to be having a busy old time at Shrewsbury!
We’re performing on the Sabrina stage on the evening of Friday 23rd, we’re running a couple of singarounds at times yet to be confirmed AND we’ve just been booked to deliver one of our harmony workshops on the afternoon of Sunday 25th.
Oh, and some of us will have our dancing shoes on for the various Morris sessions that are happening on-site and around the town over the weekend.
Pass the ibuprofen!
Abermule, 15th June
We’re pleased to say that we’re supporting the Marie Curie Trust by singing at a concert in Abermule Community Centre on Saturday 15th June.
We’re going to be on a ‘Meet the Folks’ bill with Bouzatina and Andy & Nancy Ketchen. Tickets are £9.00, and that includes a glass of wine. They’re available from group members Barbara Norbury (07732 860577) and Llinos Hughes (07814 834390), and all proceeds are in aid of Newtown area Marie Curie Fundraising Group.
Last year we ran a couple of singaround sessions at the fantastic Shrewsbury Folk Festival, one of the biggest in the country.
In 2019 we’re actually going to be performing, on the Sabrina stage on Friday evening in the great company of Geoff Lakeman, Chris Elliott & Caitlin Jones, and Granny’s Attic.
And now we’re all geared up for our next jaunt, off to our favourite festival at Fishguard, where we’re hoping to meet old friends and have a darned good sing!
We have quite a busy schedule – if you happen to be around any of the same places as us please come and say hello.
Oh, and all of our sessions are absolutely free!
Friday 25th May
The Ship Inn, Lower Town: Rapsquillion’s Legendary Singaround, 9.00pm
Saturday 26th May
Manning’s: Rapsquillion-Lite – Meet the Band, 1.00pm
Sunday 27th May
TS Skirmisher: Harmony Workshop, 11.00am
Gwaun Valley Brewery: Concert (with friends), 8.00pm
We’ve been busy little bees for the last few weeks, singing here and there and generally messing about in some other places.
We’ve been off for a little trip to France. The idea was a kind of musical sabbatical, working on a few bits and pieces, polishing the odd chorus and working out a couple of arrangements for new songs. Punctuation was provided by a couple of bookings, sorted out by our chef d’equipe in France, Tim Boldry, where we were able to frighten a few of the locals in St Laurent-de-la-Salanque with our French accents and songs about the Napoleonic wars.
Needless to say, it did get silly at times and it’s taken us at least a fortnight to recover
Nevertheless, our thanks go to Tim and Gill for looking after us in their beautiful gites (there’s a link – on our ‘Links’ page surprisingly – in case anybody fancies a trip to the sun in the Perpignan area) and to the people who supported us at the couple of engagements we had.
Well, here we are, with our brand new website, all glittery and sparkling, bells ringing and whistles blowing. There are even buttons to push if you’re that way inclined.
We can now show you the occasional video directly from the ‘Listen and Watch’ page, rather than relying on links to other sites.
Not only that but, should you be overcome with great foolhardiness, you can even buy one of our CDs by pushing a little PayPal thingie on, surprise surprise, our CDs page.
Some of you may have taken the life-defining decision to put your email addresses on our mailing list (or was it the lure of the free CD/bird scarer that we usually offer as an inducement at concerts?). If you have, you’ll know that we’ve promised faithfully never to share your information with any of those nasty advertisers who want you to buy something that’s usually nowhere near as much fun as one of our recordings, for a whole load more money. Just so that you know we know you know all of this we’ve come up with a privacy statement which has its own, special, private and serious page just here, so aren’t we all goody-goody!
What else has happened since you last heard from us?
Well, the current line-up including Gary Frost, Katie Steggles, Scott Zwetsloot and Jon Bell has been going strong for over a year now and each of them has brought something new to Rapsquillion. We’ve been very busy with festivals and gigs all over the place, as well as visiting singarounds whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Sue Lawrence continues to sing with us whenever she comes back from Spain and we’ve been very lucky to be able to call on Susie Stockton-Link and Paul Frowen from time to time as well. (Have a look at our ‘Who Are We?’ page).
Just in case we get bored, three of us are now dancing with the brilliant Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish, and a couple of us help out from time-to-time with The Wisiband, a branch of Mal Brown’s ‘Whack It Smack It’ empire, helping children to make musical instruments from recycled bits and pieces.
The Rosabella is still used as band headquarters/medical centre/bar/dance hall when we’re away.
Oh, and we’re all off to France for one of our famed ‘musical retreats’ (yeah, right!) this spring. First one home is a swot.
Please keep an eye on this page, and on our ‘Where Are We?’ section – we will try to make a better job of it than we have this last few months, and if you fancy getting in touch with us but find us a bit weird to talk to, you can always use the contact form on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
We hope our paths cross with yours at some point in the not-too-distant future – in the meantime have a great time whatever you’re doing!