Jez Hellard and the Djukella Orchestra - Direct from the Shire

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Top  Upcoming Gigs
October 4th Thu
8:00pm - 10:00pm
Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra
Nottingham University
October 5th Fri
7:30pm - 10:00pm
Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra
Songs from the Curate`s Lounge, Long Buckby
2019 May 18th Sat
8:00pm - 10:30pm
Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra
Glenbuchat Hall, Strathdon

Top  Waltzing with the Landlord, by the sun-stroked sea...

Just a quick note to thank Jaz Delorean and the astonishing Tankus the Henge for an epic gig last night at Broadstairs Folk Week and to wish them well on the road to Lake Guarda (I guess they’re half way across Germany by now), all the fine people who gave us such a smorgasbord of music and humanity along the south coast, and to remind you all that pretty much your only chance of hearing the Full Fat Djukella Orchestra is this coming Sunday, August 19th in one of Dorset’s most beautiful valleys with one of the best sound engineers in the business, in the footprints of the great Richard Thompson, at The Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, so if you’re free, get your tickets now and join us.

Last weekend we were blessed with every kind of sunstroke available and a wealth of human kindness, first with the great Zoë Moffat at The Cheriton Sesions in deepest ‘Ampshire, playing for my delightful nieces and all sorts of faces old and new, thence to the best pub in the world,The Square & Compass at Worth Matravers with the redoubtable James Patrick Gavin, to play the Square Fair and end up roped in for an extra day to play with and listen to some of the finest players I’ve met in ages.

On arriving from a four hour traffic jam from Winchester to Wareham with six minutes to show-time, I was attacked by a bizarre gammon-faced second home owner who’d apparently come down from Berkshire for the weekend to complain about the noise. Having successfully avoided him and cleared the rising blood with a good cobweb-shaking song, I had a great time with the lean mean Djukella Orchestra before James slipped off to entertain the upper crust on the classical scene and we were left to drink all the beer and listen to our mates Maurice Dixon and Catherine Ashcroft (fresh from Riverdance - “keep those knees up, Maurice!”) play a blinder.

Having no particular reason to leave the heaven-on-earth that is Worth Matravers, we decided to check out the second day’s music, and I’m so glad we did, sun-stroke or otherwise.

I was totally beguiled by the songs of Tori Reed, all the way from the ends of the earth in New Zealand, accompanied deftly by our dear friend Rick Foot, the only double-bassist in this country who could give Nye Parsons a run for his money. Her third album is currently in production, and if you fancy buying one of her first two, or even pre-ordering the new one, you’ll help her get it done as swiftly as possible. If you’ve yet to hear her songs, find out when she’ll next be in your area.

As her last chord drifted out across the Winspit to The Channel, the Rajahstan State Heritage Brass Band exploded out of the aforementioned gammonisto’s garden and round the corner, in full baffle-the-white-man bling; silk turbans, elaborate tunics, the best trousers you’ve seen, horns blazing, and gave us three full sets of delightful dance tunes in the baking sun. Kevin, your programming is truly magnificent.

My favourite part of the day, however, was being roped in to join the aforementioned Rick Foot and the inimitable Arnie Cottrell in a hastily improvised line-up of The Velvet Doonigans. If you’ve yet to experience Arnie, you must. A fine song-smith and teacher for many years, his patter has me delighted for days and his derrangements are just sublime. Here’s to many more times. Let’s record an album, gentlemen.

Deepest thanks to Paul, Retta, Charlie and the team for making Cheriton such a welcoming port, to my sister for bringing the whole Irwin clan down, to Kevin for immaculate taste, to Charlie for waltzing so delicately with me and for condoning the whole shebang, to all our delightful friends who turned up along the way and most of all to Nye Parsons, Zoë Moffat, James Gavin, Rick Foot, Catherine Ashcroft, Maurice Dixon, Tori Reed, Arnie Cottrell and the Rajahstani horns for being so darned amazing.

Anyone who is close enough and can get a ticket, come and join us this weekend for Purbeck Valley Folk Festival. Just look at the line-up! That’s the closest I’ve ever had my name to Richard Thompson’s. Marvellous. See you soon.

Posted: 16th Aug 2018 | Contact