Today, we have the lovely hobbits that make up the Songburrow Strollers visiting from Laurelin! Let’s hear what last year’s co-winners of the Light in the Dark award have to say!
- What made you decide to start a band?
- The Strollers is a kinship band in the Grand Order of the Lost Mathom. We first started playing together before the wedding of two of our members, Lothilia Bolewood and Rurydoc Featherfoot, where we had a concert for the wedding guests. After this, the band has stayed together over the years, playing concerts or embarking on tours whenever the desire to see hobbits dancing gets irresistible.
- How long have you been making music together?
- It is soon to be four years now, ever since August 2008. Of the current members, Simbo (the band leader) and Rowana were part of the original lineup, while Lina and Sevelda have joined over the years. We also have Bootsy as an honorary member, who joins us when she’s not off selling taters to the dwarves. And, from time to time, we bring in surprise guest musicians too!
- What kind of music can Weatherstock goers expect to hear?
- While we haven’t set the list of songs to play there yet, us Strollers generally play a lively mixture of folk-inspired jigs, reels and ballads, all suitable for the ears (and feet) of Shire folk. We take our inspiration from a wide variety of sources, on the principle that if we think it sounds right (and in keeping with the lore), then we will play it. And hopefully you will dance to it and sing along as well!
- Do you transcribe the music yourselves?
- Oh yes, we like to tinker with music, so we find our own hobbity sound to the songs we play. It is grand fun indeed! And this way, we can stay well clear of pesky bagpipes too… *shivers*
- Does your band have any original pieces they play, or is there a particular tune known as your band’s staple song?
- We don’t write any original music, but we write our own lyrics to many songs, and quite a few of them have become staple songs in our set lists. So we have a number of songs on topics that are dear to hobbits, like dancing, biscuits and other foodstuff. “Home Sweet Home” is our usual closing number, where the audience joins in and sings along to the chorus. And, of course, there is our “Bywater Bouncing Song”, which we have played on all our shows since 2010. That always has the crowd bouncing along, reaching for those pies in the sky. It is a grand sight to see!
- How do choose which songs to add to your repertoire?
- Oh, besides avoiding bagpipes? *shivers* We tend to go for the songs that are sure to get hobbits onto the dance floor and singing along with us! As mentioned earlier, songs related to food and the good life in the Shire are particularly popular.
- Do you hold regularly scheduled concerts on your home server?
- Indeed we do! We often go on tour on Laurelin, and we regularly play at our own parties. You can read reports from these tours on the Grand Order noticeboard: http://lostmathom.org/libraries/the-songburrow-strollers.50/
Currently we have embarked on a tour of the Shire farms, and we’re set to play on Milo Bolger’s farm near Budgeford on June 24. We’ll see if we can make them pigs there dance along to our tunes! Before we bring out the sausages and bacon for the after-party, that is…
- Are you available for parties/events other kins may be throwing?
- We are sometimes asked to do that, and if we’re available, we certainly welcome any requests to play. Especially if we get some pie, biscuits and ales!
- How do you decide on wardrobe and colour choices?
- Rowana selected the band’s uniform, which was originally white before the move to a more practical green. Traditionally each band member has picked a suitable piece of headwear and an optional cloak of their own choosing. Our uniform pre-dates many of the more fancier cosmetic outfits now available, but the look has become synonymous with the band and has remained. And we quite like it too!
- Any special surprises in store for Weatherstock that you care to share with readers, or any special message you’d like to give readers?
- Well, we wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises in advance. As for messages? Enjoy the festival, mind the bagpipes *shivers*, offer us many biscuits, and come dance the night away with us. And sing along to our tunes!
Weatherstock, Weatherstock, hands up in the air
Weatherstock, Weatherstock, sing with voices fair
Be yer hobbit, dwarf or longshanks
If yer dance we give yer our thanks
We’re the Strollers, dance with us tonight