Strict Standards: Only variables should be passed by reference in /customers/8/2/5/nicholas-corder.co.uk/httpd.www/_config/class_controller.php on line 71 The PIesteddfod | Nicholas Corder

The PIesteddfod

 

The First International Piesteddfod of Cilcain

Phill, my fellow Pie Man,* and I are just back from our stadium tour of Wales. On the Friday night we played the Raven pub in Ffordd Rhiw Ial (no, we couldn’t pronounce it either).


 

The First International Piesteddfod of Cilcain

 

Phill, my fellow Pie Man,* and I are just back from our stadium tour of Wales. On the Friday night we played the Raven pub in Ffordd Rhiw Ial (no, we couldn’t pronounce it either).

 

 

 

http://www.llanarmon.com/en/raven/index

 

This is a pub that has been taken over by the village and run as a community project. Without the villagers, there would be no pub, so they make sure it’s there as a facility for them, for without it there would be no real village.

 

There are several ventures like this around and about – there’s a community pub in Seighford, not far from us. We’re going to get more and more of this as people co-operate to fill the vacuum left by corporate indifference. Perhaps the world will become a workers’ paradise by the back-door.

 

The audience in the Raven was on fine form, joining in all the songs they knew, learning the choruses for the ones they didn’t. Turns out that they had several local choir members in, as well as a young lady who works for the Welsh National Opera.

 

Despite that, they all seemed to enjoy themselves. It’s not unusual (as Tom Jones would sing) to find several people in the audience who are better singers than us, but the entire audience …? Still, when you have all those lovely Welsh voices chanting ‘Muesli moves me’, you know you’ve stirred something deep in their bowels.

 

 

*Phill my fellow Pie Man sounds like it could be the first verse of a dodgy Wesleyan hymn for unrepentant carnivores. Here’s the extract from Frobisher’s Travels in Denbighshire, 1895 edition.

 

Forced by draconian laws that disallowed all forms of drinking, dominoes and other deviant Sabbath-breaking, the As With Gladness Men of Mold gather on Sunday lunch-times with one trouser leg rolled and waving wax cylinders of Max Boyce to sing the traditional tune that had been handed down to them through the generations:

Fill, my Fellow Pie Man, fill the crusty dish. Man cannot live on bread alone and only girls like fish.

 

 

 

And Cilcain … Home of the First International Piesteddfod

Another superb example of community spirit in Cilcain, where their village hall is the absolute hub of a village so pretty, they used it to film Hilary and Jackie, the story of cellist Jacqueline du Pré.

 

http://www.cilcaintoday.org.uk/

 

The line-up for the Piesteddfod was the same as at the Raven:

 

Ian Simpkins — aka Inspector Curmudgeon, Scottish peasant dances and reels

Ar Y Gweill — a close harmony singing group, mainly gibberish with ll-sounds

The Pie Men — Staffordshire’s Third Best Ukulele-Bass Duo, sexy beasts that they are

 

Two half-hour slots each either side of the interval, then we combined at the end to massacre a few up-tempo crowd-pleasers. Again, what a receptive audience. The music, the pies and the filth all went down well.

 

This committee here is just about to rescue the local public toilet from the County Council, an institution that would prefer to have men and women defecate and urinate in the street. Of course, it’s so much cheaper to deal with outbreaks of cholera and typhoid than it is to provide modern sanitation.