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I was mesmerised by the Portico Quartet when they played a sell-out date the Acorn last year – in fact, it was probably my gig of the year. I could try and describe their music – modern jazz-classical crossover? instrumental folk meets world music? four outrageously talented blokes? – but nothing really works, so I’ll just say: don’t miss it.
Here’s a taster – the upturned barbecue is the hang by the way, the instrument that gives the group their uniquely mellow sound.
Crucial though pasties and Rodda’s are, I don’t intend to blog solely about Cornish delicacies. The name of my blog in fact comes from the seminal 1971 west Cornish folk album by Brenda Wootton and John the Fish. (Penwith dwellers, check out the broadsheet-format Cornishman newspaper on the table.)
Among the salty classics on the album is the title song, a patriotic number bathed in old-time Cornish pride. ‘Pilchard and herring that sparkle and gleam’, Wootton trills, ‘Though we may roam, Cornwall’s our home’. And I suppose that seemed like a fitting start to my blog: I moved back to Cornwall 18 months ago and fancied blogging (and maybe even a bit of flogging and vlogging) about life in the far west.
The song in question seems to have slipped through the holes in the Net, so I’ll direct you instead to this crackly old footage of Brenda Wootton and her bird-like tones for now.