Defeated by mosquito or elephant.

I was so looking forward to our gig at “The Slaughtered Lamb” in Clerkenwell, but I started to feel really ill a couple of days after getting home from Thailand. This vague feeling then changed into a raging full on infection in my leg and a fever. Finding that I couldn’t stand up, we had to cancel the gig – the first we have since my appendicitis! All back to normal now and we’ll be rescheduling that gig.

Most likely cause seems to have been a mosquito bite or standing waist deep in slightly green water at an elephant sanctuary. My wife says we’re going to Cornwall next year and to be honest I’m more than ok with that……

 

A trace of hope and joy, a tinge of sadness!!

We’d just finished our performance at Oxford Folk Weekend when a gent walked up to me and said “Never apologise for playing sad tunes, even in the saddest of tunes the fiddle has that trace of hope and joy in its sound – equally there’s always a tinge of sadness from the fiddle during the most joyous of tunes”.

He wandered off and I realised he’d just put into words something I’d felt for years – the complexity of the fiddle’s sound and the suspicion of a soul in its voice.

Deep!

It was a great festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Music, guitars & fiddles!

2018 is shaping up well for us, plenty of gigs booked (click here!) and plenty more in the pipeline. Album No. 3 is being slowly and carefully put together and will include some of our own material as well as our favourites picked from the tradition and reworked!

Dave’s guitar is looking more and more like Willy Nelson’s “Trigger” after the 500 plus gigs we’ve played together so far……..

(That’s Trigger, not Dave’s guitar)

It’s probably great news then that Dave is building himself another guitar which will become his No. 1 gigging instrument. He’s also working on orders for others at present so I’m not the only one looking forward to seeing them completed!

On the violin front, I’m still playing the old English violin I have but am making myself a new fiddle to replace that. The design is influenced by the 17th & 18th Century English Makers like Benjamin Banks who copied Amati but ended up with their own idiosyncratic style. Looking forward to finishing that and also a commission I’m working on.

(Violin by Benjamin Banks – 1780)

Do keep in touch – and should you have a private party or public event that would benefit from some music, then please get in touch ( mitchellandvincent@gmail.com ).

And……. one of my favourite little snippets of information from 2017 which I saw on Dave’s Twitter feed “In Tibet, distances were traditionally measured by the number of cups of tea needed for each journey.” I’m thinking the 500 gigs equates to about 2000 cups of tea and about the same in coffee, plus perhaps the odd beer along the way!!

Bye for now!

Graham Vincent

Jan 2018

Video – High Germany

We found ourselves in the mist on Ham Hill with a videographer, camera drone and a song to sing….. We are very happy with the result, it’s our arrangement of the great traditional song ‘High Germany’ that features as the first track on our album ‘Circling the Square’.
Filming took place at the stone circle on Ham Hill and also at Court Farm, both in Somerset, by the brilliant Chestnut Productions – we think Harry has done a wonderful job with the filming and editing and we can thoroughly recommend him for anything video related! Let us know what you think and feel free to share it around.

CIRCLING THE SQUARE – Our second album!!

Absolutely delighted to announce the release of our second album! Have a listen below.

Bright Young Folk say “their sound is much deeper and richer than you would expect from an acoustic duo.” “They display a deep understanding and appreciation of their instruments” “A thoroughly engaging and enjoyable experience.”

Acoustic Magazine say “at all times, the interplay between David Mitchell’s guitar and Graham Vincent’s fiddle is quite stunning.” and “an album of unusual charm and dignity”.

To quote FATEA magazine……. ” It’s an album to listen to, and appreciate, and grows in stature at each play ”

FolkWords say “from softly delivered songs … through expressive tune sets … there’s a clear and obvious enticement to listen to their music.”   “I would include their album ‘Circling The Square’ on your ‘must listen to this’ list.”

It’s available for download via Bandcamp below or you can email us mitchellandvincent@gmail.com for a real CD!

The Darkling Thrush

Well, 2015 was an odd year, lots of good things and lots of bad things in the world. I guess that’s generally the case but the media and social media seemed to bring us all down somewhat. My feelings towards the end of the year are perfectly described by the fiddle player Thomas Hardy in The Darkling Thrush (think he wrote some books as well…….!).

This year I’m going to stay informed, but stay positive – my goal is going to be (as ever) to add to the general happiness in the world.

The Darkling Thrush
BY THOMAS HARDY
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.