Ely folk festival

Clearly Ely is the cultural centre of the UK, because not only does it host photoshoots in the tearooms and the m/m meet happening here in September, but this weekend was the Ely folk festival.

Despite a lot of improvement in my shoulders, I’m still not up to dancing yet, so I went along as one of the Riot’s musicians, and now sport a lovely bruise in the crook of my elbow from a full weekend of bodhran playing.

(You get a bruise because you use your left hand on the back of the skin to create a variety of tones, and your left elbow presses into the rim of the drum to keep it steady.)

Unlike other sides, the Riot’s musicians don’t dress to match the dancers.  I sometimes think we’d look better if we did, so I made an attempt to echo the waistcoat and skirt combination.  Then I ended up wishing I hadn’t, because it was so hot!

I certainly couldn’t compete with Romford Morris men in the matter of hats, but then they can afford to be flamboyant because they’re so good!  They’re a clog-morris side, where, because of the sound the iron-shod clogs make when they smack down on pavement, you can hear if anyone puts a foot wrong because it breaks up the beat.  But nobody did.

Andrew was, as usual, dancing with Coton, who regard morris as “the least stealthy of the martial arts,” and don’t think it’s any fun unless they’ve broken at least one stick per dance-out.

(Yes, they are also masters of transcendental meditation – hence the levitation.)

This didn’t impress the Riot, who can be seen here chanting “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”

but fortunately the ruckus was broken up by the wise mediation of the guru of Romford,

and peace was restored before too many bells tolled.

(I may have made that entire last bit up, btw.)

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