Hull Shanty Festival 2011

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

A busy weekend is coming up as I’m guesting with Liam Robinson at The Hull Shanty Festival. We’ve got a number of scheduled spots spread over the weekend (concerts and leading singarounds) and they’re spread about the city at some of the five venues that are participating.

For info on the festival checkout this link

A good proportion of the repertoire that we’ll be performing are songs gleaned and learned from Lincolnshire sources / relating to Lincolnshire, but will have some more well known shanties thrown in too. I’ll be singing accompaniments to Liam and playing hand percussion (spoons, bones, dancing doll). I might even take my cornet along.

So, if you’re not up to much and fancy a listen, a sing, or just somewhere warm with a good beer (and some noisy so-and-sos in cable knit jumpers), then come on over to Hull.






Installing the Frets in a Fretted Stringed Musical Instrument.

I just recently acquired a 1920s English made 5-string ‘Whirle’ banjo made by Windsor. It’s in need of some general TLC (restring and a cleanup etc..) but also three of the frets have come out and several of the others are lifting slightly. The fretboard is sound but the frets appear to be lifting due to a combination of finger gunk, wear and tear (flatspots) on the frets and some oxidisation of the brass.

The restring is no problem and comes under the ‘general maintenance’ heading, but the frets are a new thing for me. Being a ‘hands on’ sort I figure that it should be perfectly feasible to sort this out with the tools and skills that I have picked up over the last 20 years. Indeed, after about a half hour of googling I came across the above site, which has some great pages of really detailed description and clear photos. It’s certainly given me the confidence to get stuck in.

I’ll just have to schedule it in after the melodeons and spinning wheel that are on the project list but the fingers are definitely itching…

Mediaeval Dancing

Posted: June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Another great mediaeval/early dance session at Holbeach St Mark’s tonight. We covered several Bransles (Simple, Double (with variations), Pease and Horses), variations on a Pavanne, a Dargason that made MUCH more sense than last week thanks to having a few more people & a reminder of the Bouree steps that I picked up from Sybille at the German Folkcamp last year. Ellie really has taken to finishing the evening off with a Farandole and folks are getting very creative with the freeform nature of the dance and their choices of differing step figures (arches, meanders, snail shells, multiple lines and needle threading).

Aside from the dancing, there was much natter about new jobs, the stereotypes of certain car make drivers (sparked mainly by my recent acquisition of a Volvo..), mediaeval birthing stools & the practicalities of proper swaddling. The class is definitely getting into the idea that the circle dances are amazingly social things and that you can have a jolly good chat while you’re dancing.

My sides are aching more than a little from the laughter 🙂

via Tim Walker.







I got asked this weekend whether I knew anything about the instrumentation that might have been feasible for a bass part in a Regency period village or dance band. Other than the obvious, like bass recorders, pianoforte or upright string bass I wasn’t that certain, so went searching for some creditable sources online, thinking about serpents, ophicleides or possibly trombones.

This chap turns out to be an amazing source for getting a handle on the timeline of the evolution of those groups of instruments, and his timeline pages have some great picture references.

Serpent & Ophicleide: History and Images : WILL KIMBALL

Trombone History: 19th Century (first half) : WILL KIMBALL

Fascinating and highly informative.

What’s Tim Up To, Then?

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Welcome to Tim Walker’s website.  

The chances are good that he’s going to be dashing around most of the time, as he does, gigging and giving workshops.  Hopefully he will drop in here from time to time to let us all know what he’s doing, and what the recent highlights of his day/week/month have been.  Those kinds of entries will appear here, on the front blog page.

If you’d like to book Tim and/or one of his bands, please explore the pages up there in the menu bar, which give lots of useful information about what kinds of things he can offer and where you might be able to catch him.  Drop him an email or a phone call (the mobile number over there on the sidebar is usually the best way to catch him) and he’ll get back to you as soon as he’s off stage, on lunch or finds a quiet moment between classes!