All the way from Prince Edward Island, Canada, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys gave a foot-stomping performance at Colchester Arts Centre last night.
As part of a UK tour ending at the WOMAD festival at the end of the month, the band play high-energy old-time roots music, led by Gordie on fiddle. He’s a figure you can’t take your eyes off, as he intersperses his fiddle-playing with jigs, with his steel-capped boots hammering the Arts Centre stage.
They played for two hours, with a short break to get another drink from the well-stocked bar, chat to the band and buy a CD from them. There was a good balance of music, including some slow waltzes with plaintive fiddle playing. The band swopped instruments from time to time, sharing an upright bass at one point, each taking their turn centre stage, and they were clearly having as much fun on stage as the audience was having watching them. The evening ended with Gordie playing the fiddle behind his back whilst dancing (a mashup of Jimi Hendrix and Michael Flatley), and then with him playing the fiddle whilst standing on the (semi)upright bass.
They deserved a larger audience, but it was a warm July evening (it was hot inside!), but it would be great to get to see them with a bigger audience (and room to dance/jig).
The Colchester Arts Centre hosts a wide range of music – so far this year we’ve seen The Churchfitters, Cara Dillon, and Roddy Woomble give great performances and there are some more folk/roots gigs which we’ll be getting ourselves along to.
Here’s a video of them performing Champagne Polka (not great sound quality I’m afraid!)