|The Sailors Horse|
|Flowery Morris hat my daughter liked smelling on a Lodestone Morris Man|
The pub was stuffed with musicians playing what seemed like 24 hrs a day, in at least five different sessions, with such incredible skill I was too overawed to get out my own humble fiddle. One man in particular caught my eye, Nick Scott, the bagpipe player from Last Nights Fun, who day and night seemed to be flowing out the music, eyes closed, or opened into a deep trance, sweat pouring form his brow and music like the ocean flooding from his pipes. Always he was surrounded with 10 to 40 other musicians emptying their souls into the raging air.
|Exmoor Border Morris in a South Zeal road|
In the corridors I was shouldering through men booming out sea shanties with skillful harmonies...
But best of all for me, and the reason for this short preliminary post was the unexpected appearance of the Sailors Horse, from Minehead. Sitting and watching it shake and dance and bow was a truely awe inspiring sight, and the adrenalin of watching it select its sacrificial (and unwilling?) victim had the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Was the young woman really panicking and in pain? Should I stand up and intervene? here is the small video I managed to eke out of my dieing batteries -
Here is a more competent video someone else shot...
As a footnote I should say I saw the young woman half an hour later being talked to by the Minehead Sailors Horse lot, and surrounded by her friends. Although she still seemed a little on edge there appeared to be no hard feelings. As a truly visceral spectacle it completely worked. Dartmoor folk festival is amazing for raising the 'wild' and the 'civilized' in me whenever I go. I sit in rows of old grey haired people listning to musical eloquence one moment, the next I am protecting my eyes from the splinters of massive wooden cudgels being hurled at each other by the ragged burly men of Grimspound Morris the next (as happened a few years ago).
I love it.]