A free, light-hearted, folky, Christmassy sort of acoustic concert/cabaret . . .
Loosely Woven is a community based group of people who put together and perform two to three brand new shows each year. 'Dance up the sun' is the third of these for 2014 with 28 instrumentalists and singers. 'Dance up the sun' is named after a song by John Thompson ('Cloudstreet') which recalls the way Morris Dancers 'dance up the sun'.
The program will be the usual eclectic mix with a few Christmas related songs including:
- Past 3 a clock
- Klinga Mina Klockor
- Candelight Carol
- Joseph Lieber
- White Christmas
- and an amazing arrangement of The First Noel & Mary Mary
as well as a number of well known songs including:
- Moonlight Cocktail
- Do Wah Diddy Diddy (Manfred Mann)
- Caravan of Love
- Joe Geia's iconic 'Yil Lull'
- My Island Home (Neil Murray)
- Yesterday (The Beatles)
- Harvest Moon (Neil Young)
- We are done (Madden Brothers)
- Shower the People (James Taylor)
- Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington (Noel Coward)
- Lord of the Dance (as a stunning instrumental)
as well as some lesser known songs including:
- Fay White's beautiful 'Heartbeat Heard'
- Eric Bogle's 'Peace has broken out'
Instruments this time will include violins, double bass, flutes, harps, glockenspiel, guitars, mandolin, trumpet, didgeridoo, concertina, accordions, keyboard and percussion.
"I LOVE being moved by the beautiful and varied song choices, stunning arrangements, the message of the songs and the emotional connection to the songs."
" . . . this fascinating and fun-filled group provided an excellent afternoon of entertainment!"
"Once again a great performance. I have seen performances by choirs this year and they are not a patch on your concert . . . the quality of the performance was exceptional this year. I have never met anyone who did not leave one of your concerts without their spirits greatly uplifted."
"Loosely Woven is unique. An amoebic mass of performing musicians, singers and dancers who range from absolute beginners to the classically trained and even boasting a music professor. The group, ranging in age from 20 to 70, ebbs and flows with a constant influx of newcomers, frequent recidivists and a small core of foundation members."
"Loosely Woven groupies never know what the next concert will bring, and that's the way we like it! Keep your eyes peeled for the next one and make a big effort to attend – you won't regret it!"
You keep getting better and better.
When you sing as all together the sound is becoming more unified, powerful and magical.
Thank you for enriching my life with every concert in so many ways.
Celebrating not just the festive season but also indigenous identity, the audacity of hope and everyday human foibles, the troupe served up a banquet of delights. From Morris dancing through Sixties mod to a Highland fling, from Phil Coulter to Noel Coward via the Beatles, they covered the spectrum with their trademark passion and playfulness.
Among the vocalists, Meredith Williams drew a tear from these jaded eyes with her fervent rendition of John Rutter's "Candlelight Carol". Dean Bell could have doubled for Neil Young in "Harvest Moon" while Greg Thompson and the doo-wop chorus gave righteous testimony to the Housemartins' take on "Caravan Of Love".
On the instrumental front, John Macrae's clarinets, Cody Costello's didjeridoo and the riffing violins of Kazu Milne and Robin Cant ably underpinned the repertoire. However, it was the troika of flautists Samantha O'Brien, Meredith Williams and Kathy Potter which most impressed me.
Inventive arrangements by Samantha, Kathy and bandleader Wayne Richmond helped to produce a powerful synergy - this group always proves greater than the sum of its modest parts.
In keeping perhaps with the show's title, it's the warmth of these performances that remains with me. No tangled tinsel here! As the Christmas crush bears down upon us, I revel in the knowledge that a few devoted souls are unafraid to proclaim the all-but-forgotten virtues of love, peace and joy. May we join them in the dance!
Paul Cruise (Avalon Branch, Amnesty International)