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Sunday, 17th December 2017
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Carols, Clogs and a Little Hurdy Gurdy

North West Folk music clubs picDavid Burbidge lets us know what's going on at the Dent Folk Carols Festival.

Many of the folk carols we sing in Dent on the first weekend of every December are so lively that this year, Morris Men will be dancing to them as we sing. According to the Oxford Book of Carols, this is not so unusual, as the word carol comes from a similar word for the circle dances which accompanied Greek drama.

Furness Morris are a lively bunch who I first met dancing outside the Britannia Inn in Elterwater in the summer, and when I invited them to join us in Dent they said they were already used to dancing to carols. Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells will never be the same once you've heard the bells of the Morris Men along with the singing.

As this is our 10th anniversary, we're making the weekend a bit special and have some wonderful musicians coming to our Friday concert in the Dent Memorial Hall.

Quartz are well known at many folk festivals and clubs in the North West for their acapella folk harmonies, having sung together for almost 20 years. As well as their festive folk songs, they also sing songs which are less well known but have a very local origin.

The Crafty Beggars we meet every year over the border at Wiston Lodge near Biggar, where along with 50 other singers, dancers, and players of assorted folk instruments they play their hurdy gurdy, bagpipes and fiddle. Rachel Frost and Simon Colley specialise in mediaeval folk music and most of what they play has an earthy and passionate quality




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