The Green Children – video
Extracts from The Green Children as we performed it for the Wivenhoe Poetry group on 14th December 2017 at the Royal British Legion Club in the village. (Video by Ashley Powell)
The second at the Royal British Legion in Wivenhoe, organised by Poetry Wivenhoe on December 14th.
We had another excellent gig at The Felixstowe Book Festival, held at the Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe on the weekend of June 30 – July 2. We played The Green Children and Black Shuck for the grand opening of the festival on the Friday evening. Here’s how the organiser, Meg Reid described us:
After a really well received event by Martin Newell and the Hosepipe Band at our 2016 festival we were delighted to invite them back for a second year. This time they performed at our grand opening. It was a great start to the festival weekend. The audience loved them and they even got people to dance. They are unique, invite them and you won’t be disappointed.
It is now possible to download the CD Song of the Waterlily and Black Shuck from Amazon. It’s here.
Review of our Folk East performance by Richard Penguin on Fatea Records magazine website.
A brisk walk across the site followed to catch MARTIN NEWELL AND THE HOSEPIPE BAND performing their marvellous tales of Black Shuck and the Green Children (of Woolpit) put to music with Martin reciting his captivating tales over the top of atmospheric music. As well as standard instrumentation of guitars, double bass, and pianos, they encompass dulcimers, bass recorders, mandolas, hurdy gurdy and footbass to create a sympathetic soothing underpinning to the tales and fine upbeat instrumentals in their own right. Poetrywise Martin’s stories are based upon traditional East Anglian tales, and on ‘Black Shuck’ we discover the legend of the sinister ghostly dog that haunted East Anglia from Essex to Norfolk resulting in the death of people that it encountered along the way. The second half of the set was given over to the 12th century story of the Green Children of Woolpit a brother and sister who despite talking in a language that nobody understood and having green skin appeared to be otherwise perfectly normal, and charts their story of the girl seemingly adjusting to her new found surroundings and her brother not surviving the transition. Martin’s delivery is hypnotic and dressed in an ancient military tunic it adds an air of grandiose to the occasion. Only the second time they have combined to perform these works they received a standing ovation and many left the tent clutching poetry books and CDs as a memento of what they had just seen and heard. Marvellous.
Also fun at Folk East – fast becoming our favourite festival. The Broad Roots marquee was pretty packed for us doing Black Shuck and The Green Children. Here we are – all in a pretty line – no music being played here.
• The Jardine Press have brought out a new edition of the poem Black Shuck in a completely new hardback format. See it here.
• Fun at Latitude despite having to slog migrant-like across a stony wilderness to get from the car park to the Poetry stage. For some reason we’re not mentioned in any of the press reviews of Louditude, as Martin calls it. Because the veggie food and the tedious comics I prefer to call it Flatitude or Platitude.
• Good article on Martin and the band in the current issue of R2 magazine.
• On Saturday July 9th, in preparation for our performance at Latitude Festival on July 16th, we are performing Martin’s most recent poem The Green Children at Slack Folk in Colchester (Piatto café, 28 Priory Walk, Colchester, CO1 1LG). Starting at 3.45
We had two gigs in close succession in two great venues towards the end of June:
• 26th The Felixstowe Book Festival, at The Orwell Hotel
• 29th The Harwich Arts Festival – at the Electric Palace in Harwich
• Good review of our CD from Dancing about Architecture here.
• Martin has a new hat
Here’s a review from the local paper, The Diss Express.
Martin Newell and the Hosepipe Band
The Corn Hall on Tour adds the beautiful Wingfield Barns to its itinerant programme, staging a collaborative performance of Martin Newell’s poetry, set to the music of fellow East Anglians, The Hosepipe Band.
As Newell declaimed in his unapologetic Estuary English, the drone of the hurdy-gurdy, the bittern boom of the footbass, and the tingling of the ghostly dulcimer, brought to life the haunting tale of that most East Anglian of creatures, Black Shuck. Stirring though this was, Newell’s second poem, Song of the Waterlily, offered up an altogether more integrated performance, as a simple story of boat building was given weight and substance by the music accompanying, rather than simply counterpointing, the text. It also showcased a bewildering and eccentric range of instruments.
When not in his stocking feet playing the footbass, Simon Haines was on bandoneon and saw. Peter Nice played electric guitar, but also double bass with a dustpan brush (while whirring his schwirrbogen). Val Woollard played simply too many instruments to mention. Together with Geoff Coombs’s emphatic mandola, keyboards from Cara Brun, and the wiry frame of ringmaster Newell, the audience was treated to something very much greater than the sum of its parts.