9 May 2015 - Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury

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Budget cuts force the theatre to downsize its auditorium.
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The Demon Barbers are an exciting group who play electric folk music but they incorporate traditional and modern dance into their performances. They are on a tour of Britain with their XL show and, at each venue, have invited local dance sides to provide a pre-show display. This was too good an opportunity to miss so Kettle Bridge and their friends from Oyster Morris volunteered to appear at the Demon Barbers gig at the Gulbenkian Theatre on the University of Kent campus in Canterbury.

As I arrived at the Gulbenkian car park, I noticed that Pip and Alan from the band were already there and were helping a couple who were having trouble starting their car. I asked Pip what the issue was and he replied "As a fully trained musician, I knew exactly what was wrong. It was the battery. It B flat." A loan of a set of jump leads got them going and off they went.

The sides congregated in the theatre café and there was ample opportunity to store up some energy in preparation for the forthcoming exertions by indulging in cake and coffee (or beer!). Then, at the appointed time, we all made our way out to the excellent dancing area just outside the theatre.

Now May 1970 was an interesting month. Highlights include:

  • Celtic lost the European Cup Final 2-1 to Feyenoord.
  • England started their defence of the football World Cup in Mexico.
  • The Beatles released their 12th and final album, Let It Be.
  • Yellow River by Christie was number one in the UK charts.
  • Thor Heyerdahl set sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II, to sail the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Naomi Campbell was born.
  • Our very own Pip and Val got married.

Yes, it was 45 years to the day since our snare drummer and squire tied the knot. We could not let the occasion pass unnoticed so a small presentation was made to the happy couple.

And so, on to the dancing. As Oyster had two sides in attendance (men and women), this spread the load so that we had a good rest between performances. For the record, Kettle Bridge danced Annie's, Prescot, Marston 8 and Milnrow. Although the crowd was small to start with, as we approached the start time for the Demon Barbers show, so more people appeared and they all appreciated the show that we put on.

With our participation over, there was the opportunity for us to go inside the theatre to enjoy the Demon Barbers' performance, which many of us did. Most of the show was taken up by them playing the tracks from their latest album, entitled Disco at the Tavern. As noted earlier, as well as some excellent music, there were dances ranging from cotswold, rapper and clog through to hip-hop, all performed with wonderful flair, skill and enthusiasm. It was definitely an experience not to be missed and was an excellent way to end the evening.

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Kettle Bridge Clogs web site by Stephen Cordery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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