Lynn Gold (figmo) wrote,
Lynn Gold
figmo

Lynn Does London, Day 3

[Okay, technically I was in Bromsgrove all day, but I like the title....]

Impressions:
  • The British filk community is more insular than most. Nearly everyone seems to know each other, much more so than in North America.
  • The Brits have a lot more of folks sticking to their own age group when they hang out. This is kind of sad because there are folks much younger than me whom I'd like to have gotten to know better.
  • Musically, the folks here are more formally educated than in the US. More folks here read music. Ah kin communikayte. :-)


My day started at 3:30am. "Lynn, this is Warren. Are you awake?"

"No! It's 3:30 in the morning!"

He then proceeded to first chew me out for not being on the Internet 24/7, then rattled a bunch of messages off to me, including one about a potential job, but I needed to get to the Internet to reply. He had told the lady I was "out of state on a family emergency." That only half-covered things, but why he lied, I don't get it. I then was crazy. I had to get to the Internet even though I was in an Internet wasteland in the middle of the night. I could not get back to sleep. This ruined my next few days.

It was eventually time for breakfast, so I showered, then went to the buffet and joined fleetfootmike and family. I was going to ask Anne Whitaker for help with a number, but she had laryngitis.

British breafkast sausages are fatter than ours. They also eat baked beans with breakfast (weird). Like the Australians, they like grilled tomatoes with breakfast, but since they were handled with the same spoon as the mushrooms and since tomatoes sometimes bother my stomach, I avoided them.

grey_lady came by with a little packet of Marmite because she knew I wanted to try it, so I spread a light glaze of it on a slice of toast and ate it. I could feel the B vitamins hitting and was a happy camper. I then started spreading some more. Anne said "wait," then slathered a slice of toast with butter, then on top of that lightly glazed her knife with Marmite, producing a thinner layer than mine. "That's how you're supposed to do it," she rasped, then remarked how my taste buds must be gone. I reminded her it was morning and that they hadn't yet woken up. :-)

The Whitakers had to get their son to child care, and I got up to get more food at the same time, but when I went back our table had been cleared, so I finished my breakfast sitting with Melusine, a lovely and charming filker I'd never come across before. She was sipping and diluting British coffee -- the stuff flower_cat had warned me off of. As I was finishing, my friend Duncan showed up. Duncan is a Canadian who recently moved to the UK, so this was also his first British filk con.

We had a little time, so we went into town in search of a couple of items, then rushed back so I could hit the Ropers' workshop and Duncan could register. The Ropers kick ass, btw. I learned a lot about comedy improv from them. If we ever get them out to Consonance I am going to insist they do the workshop for us.

Afterwards I went to catch the concerts and was just in time for the Split-Level Band featuring Martin and Andy Gordon-Kerr. Five people ran out to their instruments and started playing with no introductions as to who was who. Duncan and I had no idea till after the set which one was Martin and which was Andy. They were fantastic instrumentally and did good material, including "Don't Play the Theremin." Andy's voice warmed up as the set went on. Andy is very much a "she," btw; somehow I'd been led to believe Martin and Andy were brothers. Big mistake. There were times when they'd do a song, saying, "I'm sure this one is familiar to you" and Duncan and I wouldn't "get it." Again, filk is highly regional, and folks don't realize how regional it is till they travel.

They were followed by the lunch break. Brits seem to eat lunch at 1pm rather than at noon. Duncan and I rushed back into town to get copies of music made, and unfortunately didn't get back in time for most of the N'Early Music Consort's set. We caught their last number and it was good. They also Ying Tonged their way off stage, and I had to explain why that was funny to Duncan (I knew the reference from having collected old comedy records; he didn't).

Next was The Main Concert. That's British Filk Con-ese for "the clump of 2x10s." I caught a few, including one by a terrific performer named Lawrence Dean I'd never heard of before this weekend, but because I hadn't slept that night I needed to nap. Badly. I missed the offsite dinner run because Duncan felt I needed sleep more (sigh). I did, however, get to dine with rinioth at the hotel, so that was way cool. He's someone I wanted to spend some time chatting with. Valerie had the vinegar for the fish and chips, which is when I learned the hotel did have it but probably figured the "Murrican" wouldn't want them (and here I was thinking "these sure do taste flat!"). I put the vinegar on my remaining fish and chips and they were much better. (I like malt vinegar and eat it in California.)

I rested a little, socialized a little, then it was time for the GOH concerts. First the Ropers did theirs. I had to skip out midway to escort Duncan to the lobby so he could catch the train back to where he was living. I then caught the end of the Ropers' set. They're good. Bill explained how he'd become The Grim Roper and how Gretchen had pulled him away from that. Yaay Gretchen! She was in front looking oh-so elegant.

Between GOHs we had Divine Strumpet, a group so hot Talis Kimberley was the matron of the quartet -- and if you know anything about Talis, she's anything but matronly! The other three were callylevy, little_cinnamon, and Rachel, a gal who performs with "Cosmic Trifle." They kicked ass. I didn't quite get the "Supercats" joke, which appeared to be poking fun at something with a reference point I didn't have. The "Cottontail Girls" number they ended with was hysterical, especially when Talis tweaked one of the Playboy Bunny ears she was putting on Rachel.

The last concert was unclechristo's. He was amazing. He did stuff with his 9-string guitar (a 12-string with three not strung), a keyboard, kalimba, whistle, a harmonizer (I've played with the same model in the US and they're fun), and his infamous Theremin. In one of his last numbers I was part of a trio playing a three headed half-alien girl with pola_bear and Kate Soley Barton. shannachie loaned us her shawl so we could look like one alien like the other "three-headed girl" on stage did.

After the concert, Valerie Housden, Kate SB, highstone, and hrrunka and I rehearsed "Winter On My System" in my room. Eventually we tired out. I visited the filking but was too tired to participate, so I downed some nummy Swiss chocolates and staggered to bed.
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