Went to The Olde Young Tea House for another Pay for the Piano Recordings gig. Bob Fischer and Old Muggins and William K.J. Anderson. Bob Fischer is a presenter for BBC Tees. His co-performers Old Muggins were in the room plus a couple of handfuls of other. The banter was flowing in dulcet Teesside tones.
One guy told how he was the first kid on Teesside to have a Daim bar because his dad worked on the docks. Henry told how his nana was the first person on Teesside to use paprika because it was special ordered for her for a recipe she wanted to try. Some more craic about the Boro…Rob Nichols was in the room. I was an observer enveloped in Teesside with the decade before me and the decade after in the form of William K.J. Anderson (DARTZ!, Algiers) and his family and friends. Two sets of songs, with local references, some I get and some that I don’t – it doesn’t matter, it was a friendly kind of night.
Culture gets to the core of a place like nothing else.
Reminded me of this passage from The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.
There were eighteen men all told, plus Corlath and herself; and she was sure she could have recognized them as a group, as belonging together and bound together by ties as strong as blood or friendship, even if they had been scattered in a crowd of several hundred. They had an awareness of each other so complete as to be instinctive. She knew something of the working of this sort of camaraderie from watching Dedham and some of his men; but here, with this group of strangers, she could read it as easily as if it were printed on a page before her; and their silence – for none bothered with the kind of greeting Harry was accustomed to, any Hill version of hello and how are you – made it only more plain to her. Rather than finding their unity frightening, and herself all alone and outside, she found it comforting that her presence should so little disturb them. That instinctive awareness seemed to wrap around her too, and accept her: an outsider, an Outlander and a woman, and yet here she was and that was that.
She didn’t notice when the conversation began; it proceeded too easily to have had anything so abrupt as a beginning, and she was preoccupied with how to manage her food. From the tone of their voices, these men were reporting to their king, and the substance of the reports was discussed as a matter of importance all around the table. She understood no word of it, for “yes” and “no” and “please” and “good” are almost impossible to pick out when talk is in full spate, but it was a language she found pleasant to listen to, with a variety of sounds and syllables that she thought would well lend themselves to any mood or mode of expression.
Her mind began to wander after a little time…
Bob Fischer and Old Muggins
William K.J. Anderson