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Happy – and lucky – New Year everyone!

The Tonic (Ollie, Malcolm, Julie and Gav) are playing the first of an exciting new series of dances with live bands for 2019 at Hothfield Village Hall (Park Drive, Hothfield, Ashford TN26 1EQ) from 8pm on Saturday 12th Jan. Tickets £10 in advance, £12 on the night if not sold out – so it may be best to get tickets from the Contrafusion website. http://contrafusion.co.uk/Saturday.html

Later dances in the season will feature the bands Foot Down (March 8th) Contraband (May 11), Rjigged (Jul 20th), Hot Rats (Sept 7th) and Token Women (Nov 2nd).

Tunes and sessions

We’ve had a smashing time with the carolling, and made huge, wonderful sounds at the Stile Bridge and the West End Tavern.

But now it’s time to learn some more new tunes before the dance at the end of March. The first workshop for 2019 is on the 15th January and if you’d like to get started two of the tunes are now on the tunes workshops page.

There will be a Castle Inn, Brenchley session night on the 27th January with the entertaining Dan Quinn, who will doubtless turn in some engaging traditional and old songs and tunes, and maybe the odd recitation…

And we’re back at the Gun & Spitroast, Horsmonden for the regular first Sunday of the month tunes session, from 8pm on the 6th January (tomorrow).

Dan entertaining the ECMW crowd a couple of years ago

Gavin (gmatkin@gmail.com)

Carolling this Christmas

  • 20th December 8.30pm carolling at the Stilebridge, Marden
  • 23rd December 2pm carolling at the West End Tavern, Marden
  • 28th December 8.30pm carolling at the Stilebridge, Marden

We’re singing old local carols in pubs this Christmas once again. Some are folk carols such as the Seven Joys of Mary and The Moon Shines Bright, but most are from the ‘West Gallery’ era in which local church hymn and carol composing blossomed, ie from King Charles II to the mid-19th century.  See the carols page for more information. 

The folk carols typically have pretty tunes, while the  church carols are lively, singable and often dramatic. Kent was the home of two particularly well known composers, Thomas Clark who composed the Cranbrook and Eythorne tunes for While Shepherds, and William Marsh who composed Pentonville, also for While Shepherds.

We’ll be singing a few carols that are still well known, so some of the material will be familiar!

Song sheets will be available, so bring your reading glasses. Christmas jumpers are optional.