1 GIlderoy is a courtly sounding dance tune in 4/4 time performed more slowly here than usual. The hammer dulcimer plays a prominent part in this arrangement by Jeff Bates.
2 La Russe Quadrille is a favourite standby of folk dance bands. The exotic name and fussy figures indicate a dance absorbed from the gentry rather than a genuine country dance. Lord Mayo is a compelling but sombre Irish march tune "straight from the bogs".
3 Alman is an old English tune published before 1730. Prior to about 1750 popular dance tunes and song melodies were usually one and the same thing, so there must be some words for this somewhere. The Old Cushion Dance is also from the same period. Both tunes were arranged by Stuart Barry.
4 My Mother and Smash the Windows are two well known jigs (6/8 time) of Irish descent that we often play for 'dipping and diving' dance Waves of Tory.
5 Der Grosse Zapfenstreich and Da Floer O'Taft are two tunes of Teutonic origin that have been re-united. The first is a fanfare used by Panzer regimental bands in the last war, and was collected and arranged by Nick Cole. The second, Trowie Burn from the fiddle repertoire of the Shetlands, was originally taken there by a German, Friedman Stickle, who, according to tradition was put ashore by his shipmates.
6 Sloe Benga is a tune that we often play for a dance called Salty Dog that has some fancy stepping that is definitely challenging.
7 Danse Fisel is a suite of dance tunes from Brittany. This set was learned from the Breton band Satanazet. Breton tunes frequently pack noble sounding melodies into very few notes and they conjure eastern as well as Celtic flavours. The normal ensemble is a duo - one biniou (a small squeaky bagpipe) and one bombarde (a strident folk oboe). The tunes are normally played in long sets for country dances. Our arrangement, by Jeff Bates, which features the trumpet, is much shorter than usual! French bands often play these tunes for over 20 minutes, but Dave had fits and a rupture so we stopped.
8 Dkyk Shynski is the title track of the album and the mixture of this and Glas Maol sum up the varied influences on the album. The first tune was collected by Nick Cole from somewhere - he can't remember - perhaps some holiday in the east. The second tune is a traditional folk tune normally called Sheep-Crook and Black Dog, but renamed Glas Maol here. Both were arranged by Nick.
9 Wiltshire Six Hand Reel is a traditional folk tune and the dance has the same name. In a moment of madness or inspiration we decided to team it with a totally contrasting waltz, The Maid of Glenconnel.
10 Merçi Blanchard, La Dame du Lac and Piloune are bourrées in 2/4 time from central France. These simple tunes are still much played at country 'Bals' on bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies in the Auvergne, Bourbonnais and surroundings. This arrangement on completely different instruments is by Jeff Bates. The tunes are numbers 12, 11 and 9 in '80 Airs À Danser Du Centre France' by La Chavannée (1991).
11 The Original Scottische Polka and Jenny Lind are two polkas, bouncy tunes with a 2/4 rhythm. These two tunes are favourites for step hop dances.
12 Weasel in the Grass and Sweets of May both have plenty of drive, ideal for dancing. The trumpet is prominent in the second tune sounding very much like a trombone. Weasel in the Grass was composed by Chris Taylor, and we thank him for permission to record. Chris was part of a great Ceilidh band called Gas mk 5. They split up in 1994, but have played one reunion gig at Sidmouth since then. Look out for any past recordings if you can.
13 Copplestone Piece is another tune collected and arranged by Nick Cole from somewhere unknown. He thinks he got the inspiration from frequent driving round the M25 when at the University of South Mimms.>
14 Sussex Mazurka is a 3/4 tune, based on an untitled waltz published in 'A Sussex Tune Book', arranged by Jeff Bates, and is of an unusual type in traditional English folk music. Enjoy the nostalgic sound of the one row, four stop melodeon on this arrangement. Trip to Cheltenham is just a nice tune and good finale.