Mediæval Bæbes @ St Pancras Parish Church 11-Dec-08


12 Dic 2008, 11:43

Thu 11 Dec – Mediæval Bæbes

Having been turned on to the music of the Bæbes some years ago (back in 2002), it has taken me rather a long time to get around to actually catching one of their shows. Usually it is a matter of just plain poor advertising or the fact that they've been performing at some wacky event like the Joust or Witchfest in sunny Croydon, so it was a pleasant surprise to find advance details of the December shows here on (Well done that man for posting them).

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a concert and not having checked out the groups website recently, I was a little surprised to find that there were only half a dozen ladies singing, but it proved to be more than adequate with the ladies running through a great selection of material, both old and new, over 2 sets.

Starting just after 8PM, the concert began with the backing musicians taking their places and then the 6 Bæbes appearing in lovely white dresses, with flowers in their hair, opening the show with the rousing Salva Nos which immediately had the audience clapping along. One song following another at a fair pace, with the Bæbes taking it in turns to introduce songs, often pointing out the more spiritual/metaphysical nature of the texts. Other highlights from the first half of the show included Ecce Mundi Gaudium and Mad Song and there were some humurous interjections from the girls, particularly during the intro to Undrentide.

After a short break, the ladies re-appeared in red gowns and sung material that I was largely unfamiliar with. For this half of the show they also seem to play a bigger part in the music with an assortment of recorders frequently used as well as violins. The supporting players had a much larger part to play it seemed, in this half of the show and following the end of Sour Grove (apparently a song about the wonders of the female genitalia - though unfortunately performed in some language I am not conversant in), the ladies took leave of the stage for a while and the backing musicians performed a fabulous instrumental piece that was one of the highlights of the evening.

Returning to the stage this time in green gowns it was the voice of Katherine Blake which dominated the next couple of numbers (i love the folky twang to her voice on such songs) before the concert closed with The Snake (sung in Mediæval Spanish) and the wonderful Kinderly.

Of course it was inevitable that they'd be invited back and so the concert climaxed with encores of The Undivide and Pearl. The dancing was sweet and in keeping with the music, but the sheer joy that one could see on the faces of the performers (Esther in particular) was delightful confirmation that this was not just a routine performance. All in all a show that was highly entertaining both musically and visually.


Set 1:

Salva Nos
Love Me Broughte
I Sing of a Maiden
There is No Rose
Trovammi Amor
Ecce Mundi Gaudium
My Lady Sleeps
Mad Song

Set 2 :
Desert Rose
The Blacksmiths
Suicipe Flos Florem
Myrle Songen
Return of the Birds
Sour Grove
Yonder Lea
How Death Comes
La Bella Dame Sans Merci
The Snake

The Undivide


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