Turn O’ the Wheel feat. Rory Scammell and friends – Chemic Pub, Leeds 23/8/14


On the night that Peter Capaldi premiered as the new Doctor Who, we took a trip back in time care of The Chemic’s “Turn O’ the Wheel” night. Lee, Mitsu, Ana Luisa, Sledge and I joined host Rory Scammell for some 12th and 13th century Hurdy Gurdy tunes accompanied by a history of and guide to this amazing instrument.


Rory taught us how to dance to one tune before putting the instrument through loops to create a dance monster of a tune. Just fantastic!


Our journey continued with 24 string Lute playing from Robert Langley who admitted to fooling a crowd at Glastonbury into thinking he was singing in Arabic when the Arabian lead singer of his combo didn’t turn up. He was reading music from scans of old manuscripts – can’t remember from which century but they were very, very old.


We were brought right up to date with new songs from George Cheetham – some so new that they were as yet title-less but I loved the line “You’ll always judge me by where I’m from”.

And that’s when we had to leave missing out on the rest of the acts…….can’t wait for the next one!

Bob the Chiropodist

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3 Responses to Turn O’ the Wheel feat. Rory Scammell and friends – Chemic Pub, Leeds 23/8/14

  1. Rob says:

    Hi, Rob Langley here. Rory pointed me to this write-up last night.

    First off all, we like the pictures. Do you mind if we use them? Obviously full attribution will be given.

    For you and any interested readers, the manuscript I was reading from is the Balcarres MS., containing a weird mixture of British folk tunes and pieces from the French lute masters of the day. It dates to around 1700. There’s quite a bit of internet information available on it and a number of good players on YouTube performing pieces from it (although, in my view, the pieces themselves are a little hit and miss). Anyone wanting to hear some excellently played Scottish lute music, I would advise they check out Rob MacKillop, who started recording the entire Balcarres MS. a few years back but now seems to have abandoned the project: http://scottishlute.com/balcarres/

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