April 2017 will see a milestone event in Morpeth - the 50th Northumbrian Gathering – held on the 21st to the 23rd of the month. The “Golden” Gathering will not only revisit some of the themes and activities of earlier years, welcoming back some old friends, but also look to the future with younger performers, street events and workshops to get the general public joining in, and specially commissioned music – including a new piece commemorating a jumper worn by David Oliver at one of the very first Gatherings!
The programme is still being finalised, but the Northumbrian expression “gowld a gowpens” – literally “gold coins in double handfuls”, conjuring up a sense of overflowing riches – will be reflected in an especially full three-day extravaganza in Morpeth. Headliners include new Northumbrian super-group Alistair Anderson and Northlands, the Bottle Bank Band including ace fiddler and composer Stewart Hardy, leading band 422 playing at the Saturday night barn dance and the wonderful singer, Carolyn Robson.
From a single day of musical events and competitions back in 1968, featuring such luminaries as Laurie Charlton, Donald Ridley and the Cheviot Ranters, the Gathering has grown into a massive undertaking covering music, song, dance, craft, writing and composing, dialect, street events, battles, talks, displays, workshops, school and care home visits and publications, yet is still run by volunteers, battling on in the face of ever-increasing challenges of funding and logistics!
Anyone wishing to support the Gathering to help ensure it continues into its next half-century can become a patron, or buy copies of the Gathering’s CD, Morpeth’s Music, featuring much of the new music commissioned over the years from leading musicians of the calibre of Alistair Anderson, Jez Lowe, Benny Graham, Matt Seattle and the York Waits.
For more info see: their website or call 01670 513308