Folk virtuoso John Kirkpatrick enthralled the Tickhill Music Society on Friday 9th December with his programme of Carolling and Crumpets: a festive occasion featuring the nativity story as seen through the senses of the beasts in the stable. This original composition subsumed an amusing variation on Gaudete, as befitted a fleeting member of Steeleye Span. Many in the audience knew of John’s pedigree, a member of numerous combos from The Albion Band to The Home Service plus a recording history inclusive of Richard Thompson and Martin Carthy, performing in theatres and the odd pub. Indeed, he spoke of his initial passion for the Morris.
A selection of wassailing songs and the Boar’s Head Carol encouraged audience participation from the start. You did not have to be a fan of Bake-off to appreciate That Great Christmas Pud, though some audience members doubted the veracity of the recipe, fearing soggy bottoms.
John engaged us with the finer details of his instruments, the accordion and the concertina. Whether performing original compositions or traditional pieces, he proved master of both. Probably the first concert in the Music Society’s forty years to feature these instruments, not to mention an original rendition on the triangle! He ended the first half with an impressive display of a windmill chimes from his concertina; the bells of St Mary’s never peeled so finely.
John impressed the audience with his knowledge of his music’s origins and regaled everybody with many amusing anecdotes. In his huge boots, a shoe-in for the Big Friendly Giant should Mark Rylance be otherwise engaged, he charmed us all with his musicianship and tales from deepest Shropshire.