Today I woke up not entirely sure what the day would bring. I had to play tennis, I had to vacuum and I had to do some shopping (I know, I can hardly keep up with this fast-paced lifestyle I lead). I checked Twitter – the 21st century equivalent of perusing the papers, listening to the town crier and eavesdropping on a juicy argument all rolled into one.
One of my favourite record shops, Hundred Records in Romsey http://www.hundredrecords.com, tweeted about an in-store they had lined up for the early afternoon. They were hosting a Scottish folk group called Breabach. I’d never heard of them. A swift Google later and I had a rough idea. I decided to lessen the pain of the shopping by stopping off for a spot of folk music after tennis. The plan for the day was filling up.
I was a little late getting into Romsey and so sidled into the shop after they had begun. The five of them in the band were stood by the window and had an array of instruments between them. To be honest, being the musical ignoramus I am, I had no idea what some of the instruments were. They definitely had a spread of woodwind and string though. And boy, did that make a beautiful sound with those instruments.
I’d never really counted myself as being a Folk music fan (Mumford & Sons don’t really count do they?), but their music was like an enticing dream. They veered between foot-stomping beats that made me want to hitch up my imaginary floral skirt and swirl around to and ethereal, haunting lullabies. And the lady’s voice was so sweet, pure and full of emotion that I believed every word she sang. The fact that she sang in Gaelic and I didn’t understand the words didn’t matter.
Maybe I do like folk?
By the last song, they reckoned we were ready to face the big one. Now, what’s the closest you’ve even been to a bagpiper? Because, in that tiny shop, we were all pretty close. And it was very loud. I had no idea. The bagpiper’s cheeks kept puffing and producing this incredible sound. I’m not sure if I could listen to a whole concert of just bagpipes, but it worked well in this context. I know my limits.
I bloody love Hundred Records and I love that on any particular day, I can call in and maybe discover a new band, a new style of music or a new appreciation of the bagpipes (other Scottish instruments are available).
I wonder what the next in-store will bring?