Pah! Who needs a Stonehenge Solstice Sunrise? Not us, because the very next day, the setting sun over Ruthin shone through a gap between the Chippy and the Kebab House, reflected off the wing mirror of a car parked outside the Anchor Garage, and was beamed through the window of The Feathers Inn, flooding the function room with magical light.
This heralded the gathering of almost thirty AllStyles Pagans, including sixteen performers who proceeded to fill the room with music.
Arch Druid Degney of Rhos-on-Sea began the evening’s rituals by offering up his good lady Lynda to sing “High on a Mountain” and to worship the “Carolina Star”. Tom then became a modern day soothsayer, singing “Rambling Man”, a song he had only just finished writing that very day.
Next came the sounds of a medieval flute in the hands of the fair maiden Di accompanied on the six string-ed guitar, by modern minstrel Pete, as they played the traditional Liverpool folk song “Johnny Todd”, more commonly known as the theme from “Z-Cars”. This, of course is the tune adopted by Everton Football Club, so in the spirit of impartiality, they made a neat segue into Liverpool FC’s anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
After Pete & Di it was the turn of one of Everton’s biggest fans, Mr Joe Lyon who sang “The Way You Look Tonight” and “See You in My Dreams”.
I put paid to any prospect of silence by singing “The Sound of Silence”. Bob Neale gave us a couple of Bob Dylan songs and the scholarly elder, Richard of Ruthin sang about the “Peaceful Easy Feeling” followed by Buddy Holly’s “Every Day”.
Next we were delighted to welcome back Wrexham musician Terry Allen who delivered a set of absolutely cracking self-penned songs, including “The Grip is Strong” and “Tattered Flag”.
Enid Toft & Neil Wilkinson entered the circle with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.
Penni Neale gave her first airing to a newly-learned song “Beautiful” by Christina Aguiler. And it was. Beautiful.
Every Equinox gathering should have a magician present. Cue Mr Skeet Williams who worked some rather delicious finger-pickin’ magic on his own instrumental arrangements of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and Scott Joplin’s 1902 classic piano rag, “The Entertainer”. The latter is tricky enough on piano, and commanded Skeet’s very special kind of magic to bring it to life so convincingly on guitar.
Our second Wrexhamite of the evening, Peter Leslie, gave us the second Paul Simon number of the evening in the form of “Kathy’s Song”, from the 1966 album, ‘Sounds of Silence’. Peter followed up with one of his own songs “The Lucky Few”.
Richard Eastwood sang “Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Distance Drums” putting that wonderful baritone voice to excellent use.
Then it was the turn of his wife Wendy, with some Patsy Cline loveliness in the form of “Loved And Lost Again” and “Sweet Dreams”.
This brought us to the pinnacle of any self-respecting Pagan Ritual, where we step into the Circle Sanctuary …and draw the raffle 🙂 A Bottle of White was offered up for sacrifice along with a rather seasonal booby prize – ice lolly moulds.
In the second half we did it all again, getting in another song each before Wendy and Richard took us up to the witching hour with what Richard described as the nosy parker song, John Prine’s “In a Town This Size”.
Next Thursday we do it all over again (but without the medieval nonsense) for our Ruthin Festival Week Singers’ Night. See you there folks.