We kicked off with some Whispering Roads at the end of April where Vicki debuted one of the Smörgåsballad tales.
Then via a wedding ceilidh we hit Framlingham Castle. Can you spot us in the picture below? (A bit like Where’s Wally!)
We performed at Apsley House in London and Jonny wowed the onlookers in his snazzy jacket. The spinet has enjoyed being taken out on the road again and survived the rigours of the journey without too much tuning!
Finally we got to put Smörgåsballad on the road. We’ve been planning rehearsing it for what seems like ages and finally it is well and truly launched. We have sung drinking songs, drunk lots of nubbe and even vanquished the devil in Chippenham Town Library!
We took some video to act as a teaser trailer. It gives a taster of what you can expect at the Smörgåsballad evening!
We then began the biggest chunk of our Mad May Tour. Chippenham Folk Festival was wonderful and we managed to have a harpa-play with five of us meeting up. Witley Court and Gardens was our next ‘office for the day’ and now we’re about to get in the car and shoot off down to Pendennis Castle. So make sure you come over say hello if you spot us – but we’ll be in disguise. 😀 Then Friday sees us at the Granary Theatre in Wells next the Sea… we can sleep on Saturday!
Vicki & Jonny
We had a wonderful evening at Haverfolk on Wednesday night. It changed from a half hour showcase spot to an almost complete outing for the show! We were really happy with it and everything went to plan. You’ll have to wait until Monday to see the full show set, but here’s a picture from the night and also a review! You’ll have to come to the show to find out what we’re pointing at and why there is a little table of shots!
Review from Haverfolk:
“Television is dominated by Scandinavian crime dramas but few have been as bleak and gripping as some of the songs and tales we heard at HaverFolk when the club’s old friends Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer dropped in. They came to give us a sneak preview of Smorgasballad, their new show which sprang from Vicki’s Swedish roots (her mother comes from that lovely country). We’ve often seen Vicki playing her nyckelharpa, the wonderful keyed violin from her homeland, but Smorgasballad offers a splendid introduction to Swedish culture with drinking songs, Maypole dancing, drinking songs, Midsummer celebrations, drinking songs, crayfish parties – did I mention the drinking songs? – and some folk tales.
And this is where the hint of Nordic noir creeps in with the chilling stories of Easter Witches, a Swedish version of the Pied Piper and feuding magicians. Plus a murder ballad that might be considered too grim even for an episode of Wallander. This was Vicki’s debut as a storyteller and she certainly has a talent for it. As for the music, it was of course of the high standard we have come to expect from this talented duo. They are taking Smorgasballad on tour and it can be seen in Essex at the Duton Hill Folk Club on May 21 and the Hoy at Anchor on June 2.”
You can catch Smörgåsballad at the following places over the next few weeks:
18.05.15 – Croydon Folk Club, Croydon – (Smörgåsballad)
19.05.15 – Great Knight Folk Club, Northampton – (Smörgåsballad)
21.05.15 – Duton Hill Folk Club, Duton Hill – (Smörgåsballad)
22 – 23.05.15 – Chippenham Folk Festival, Chippenham, Wiltshire
29.05.15 – Granary Theatre, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk – (Smörgåsballad)
02.06.15 – Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Leigh on Sea, Essex- (Smörgåsballad)
05.06.15 – Milkmaid Folk Club, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk – (Smörgåsballad)
Vicki & Jonny
We’re very excited! Tomorrow is the first outing for Smörgåsballad. As of last night we were presented with our final prop – the midsommarkrans. Made by our wonderful next door neighbours.
Take one big black floppy hat, sprinkle liberally with assorted feathers. Next add one midsommarkrans, a moon man and mix together with lots of nubbe.
What you get is a mixture of Nordic Noir, love and drinking. We can’t wait to share it with the world. In the mean time have a listen to probably the first Nordic Noir detective story: a medieval ballad from the show. It doesn’t get any darker than this (and thankfully we hit midsummer after this which is much more lively!)
See you soon!
Vicki & Jonny
It’s the end of April and we’re going on the road!
The winter was long and full of plotting and planning. Now it’s time for us to go on the road again. Between now and June we seem to travelling the length and breadth of the country. So where can you see us and what will we be doing?
We spent the dark winter months putting together a summery Swedish themed show which starts touring on the 13th April.
Smörgåsballad is an evening of music and tales from the Sweden. Banish the winter blues by finding out about the tradition of the Easter Witches, what happens if you pick seven different wild flowers and put them under your pillow at Midsummer, the real meaning of the midsummer majstång and participate in some traditional drinking songs celebrating the crayfish season. Be introduced to the ancient cow horn, willow flute, Swedish bagpipes and the ethereal nyckelharpa.
A visual treat for the eyes and the ears be transported to the land of the midnight sun. Enjoy some “nordic noir tales”: fall in love with the heroes and heroines, at all costs avoid the devil and never cross a nyckelharpa player.
We’re really excited to be taking this show on the road and you can expect some unexpected things! Come along and see!
We’ve also got some standard folk evenings, a couple of festivals and we’re also out in historical alter-ego (three different periods of time!) So have a look at the list, come and see us and make sure you say hello! We start this weekend with The Whispering Road …
13th May – Haverfolk, Romford – preview showcase slot
18th May – Croydon Folk Club, Croydon
19th May – Great Knight Folk Club, Northants
21st May – Duton Hill Folk Club, Duton Hill, Essex
29th May – Granary Theare, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
2nd June – Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
5th June – Milkmaid Folk Club, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
The Whispering Road with Nick Hennessey
23rd April – seriouskitchen at Bishops Wood Centre, Crossway Green, Stourport on Severn, Worcs, DY13 9SE
24th April – seriouskitchen at Malvern Cube, Malvern, Worcs, WR14 2YF
25th April – seriouskitchen at Chinley Community Centre, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK23 6DJ
26th April – seriouskitchen at The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, WR11 7JE
12th June – seriouskitchen in York
13th June – seriouskitchen in Cheveley, Suffolk
Vicki & Jonny standard Duo Stuff
28th April – Dartford Folk Club, Dartford, Kent
6th May – Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham – (Joint headline)
8th May – Rhyl Folk Club, Rhyl, Wales
9th May – Tredgar House Folk Festival, Newport, Gwent, Wales
17th May – Forty Hall May Event, London (Concert 7pm)
11th June – Bromsgrove Folk Club, Bromsgrove
24th June – Dorking Folk Club, Dorking, Surrey
3rd and 4th April – Framlingham Castle (Medieval)
15th and 16th May – Apsley House (Georgian)
24th and 25th May – Witley Court and Gardens (Victorian)
27th and 28th May – Pendennis Castle (Medieval)
If you can’t get to see us live you can visit the shop and buy assorted duo albums and Scandinavian tune books. By the time the autumn arrives we’ll have recorded The Whispering Road, a new duo album and diverse other projects. It’s going to be a busy summer!
lots of love
Vicki & Jonny
We’ve had a fine old time touring around the country for the past few weeks. Now that we’re back home we’re dusting out the cobwebs and trying to tidy the house! We have a quiet few weeks – which is just as well because our Summer Swedish themed show is just round the corner and we’ve got a lot of preparation to do for it! We’ve built a whole website dedicated to the show, but we’ll talk more about that slightly closer to the time and have a big reveal.
We’ve finally got our map back up and running and all colour co-ordinated and having completely run out of my fiddle book we’ve had a restock and are back in business again. Hurrah!
Vicki & Jonny
We’re on the road again. This weekend sees us in Devon slaying trolls with the awesome storyteller Nick Hennessey. We’re spending three days down south here, so do come along and be entertained with our epic Swedish tale. (Details on the gigs page). Then on Monday we’re up to Runcorn in Cheshire for a duo gig, Tuesday we’re off to Chester to celebrate international bagpipe day and Wednesday we’re up to Lytham St Anne’s, before finally heading home again.
Hope to see you at one of those places!
I can’t believe that it’s March already! We’ve had a quiet time post Christmas, catching up on all the emails, the sleep, learning new stuff. Jonny has just completed a book for Schott – no prizes for guessing – Scandinavian Tunes for Accordion. It’s been type set at the moment, so will be out sometime in the summer. I’m now busy with my next Schott book, more about that when the collection is finished! We’re in the middle of a little seriouskitchen tour at the moment, Dorset last weekend and Devon next weekend. So join us for some troll slaying!
We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and developing this spring and we have our first outing for a new trio coming up in April. Together with John Dipper we are Purcell’s Polyphonic Party (that might become the name of the show and we take a different name, we’re at that stage at the moment!) The best way to find out about it is to visit our new website (still under construction) and listen to our soundcloud clip (of us rehearsing really!) This is all just a sneak behind the curtain, but it’s going to be very exciting when we finally get out on tour. To get a real live sneak preview come along to the Zesty Playford Dance in Coventry on Sunday 19th April to hear us!
Next up is a brand new Swedish themed Summer show – smörgåsballad. Best visit that website too to find out about it! This starts to tour in May and we’re busy brushing up our Swedish accents. We’ve got a photoshoot for the poster this evening!
Anyway – practise beckons! I’ll try not to leave it so long before writing the next update!
Vicki (& Jonny)
We’re now half way through all our Christmas work. It’s been a hectic time running around from Worcester to Salford to the Isle of Wight. In the middle we put out a mail shot and since then we’ve been running a well trodden path to the post box each day with our Christmas album. It’s been wonderful to finally be able to sell the album having recorded it 10 months ago! It’s now getting radio play and has been voted album of the month on two radio stations.
We have the first of our Victorian Winter Warmer Concerts on Monday and we’re really excited. Finally after nearly a month of performing the songs around the country at Christmas Fayres and other Heritage sites we’ll be performing our complete show to a sold-out audience in our own home village! The publicity photos that we’re using for the show were taken at the St Barnabas Church Hall – check out the stop motion video taken by our wonderful photographer Terry.
We’re taking the show to Skirwith in Cumbria and Bretforton near Worcester. So although our Essex show is sold out, you can still catch it elsewhere in the country. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until next year when we take to as many places as we can!
So it’s all systems go, we’re up and down the country, so if we don’t get chance to say it before then.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Vicki & Jonny
It’s been a good time here at Vicki&Jonny HQ. Lots of things are finally coming into fruition. Here’s a little list of the projects…..
|A Sound of Christmas Past – we worked on this in January/February and although we’ve been selling it since May, we are finally approaching it’s release date. We’re celebrating with some gigs around the country of our Christmas Winter Warmer. Not our usual set list, but a very Christmassy Music Hall evening. Check out our special Christmas website for more details of how to see us be Christmassy. Also check out the webpage for the album.|
|Scandinavian Fiddle Tunes – Vicki worked on this last February/March and it’s now available! It’s a book of duets and although it’s a fiddle book, the CD is recorded by Vicki on nyckelharpa and is perfect the nyckelharpa. It’s been written out in a very clear way with simple audio so that it’s perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about playing Scandinavian tunes no matter what level the player. Check out its webpage here on our website.|
|Scandinavian Folk Tunes for Flute – Vicki worked on this last March/April and this is now available! It’s a second edition to the fiddle book. Really it’s the same book, but perfectly arranged for the boehm system flute. The keys have been changed and altered so that it covers a large range of the instrument. No more adapting to cope with the bottom notes of the fiddle, this is the book that I wish I’d had when I was learning flute when I was younger. Check out its webpage here on our website.|
|Days ‘o Grace by Hector Gilchrist – Vicki and Jonny worked on this in July and it’s now available. This is an album of Hector singing the songs that he loves accompanied by us. It features the full range of instrumentation and lots of and lots of the newly added oktavharpa. (If you think you can hear a ‘cello – it’s not, it’s a nyckelharpa, you can hear an example on the wildgoose website, half way through this track) It was great fun and we’ll be playing for a launch event in January.|
|The Boy in the Clouds – Vicki worked on translating this during 2013 and it’s finally available. I had a lot of fun translating this wonderful children’s book. This book takes the reader in to a wonderful new fantasy world up in the clouds. Suitable for age 10 upwards it’ll make a superb Christmas present. You can buy it from the wetfootmusic publishing website.|
So as you can see we’ve had a really creative time this year, lots of things to add to the Christmas list. We’ve got some new projects lined up for next year with tours being set up. Watch this space – we’ll try to write something a bit more often!
Vicki & Jonny
We’ve just got back from a 9 day stint of recording at Wildgoose studio with Hector Gilchrist. It was hard work, but good fun. We brought out all the big guns, the car was packed to the gunnels. More nyckeharpa than you can shake sticks at and a really good workout for Otto the Oktavharpa. The weather was incredibly hot, so we were grateful for the stream at the bottom of the garden. Now we just sit back and wait to see what comes out at the end of the day.
We’ll let you all know with a teaser track as soon as we get some tracks back.
Vicki & Jonny