Sam’s remarkable musical journey

Made in the Great War - Sam Sweeney
Made in the Great War - Sam Sweeney

A remarkable show at The Stables this Friday evening comes courtesy of Sam Sweeney, the fiddle player with contemporary folkers Bellowhead.

And there is a fascinating story behind the performance of Made in the Great War waiting to play out for you.

In 2009, in Oxford, Sam bought a violin.

To the naked eye it was a new instrument, but the date, and name inside, said different.

It was dated 1915 and had the name Richard S Howard.

Research showed that the violin had been made –but never finished – by the luthier Richard Spencer Howard. He was Leeds-based and a sometime music-hall performer.

In 1915, at the age of 35, he was conscripted and two years later, lost his life at the battle of Messiners Ridge.

The violin remained unfinished in his workshop, until Luthier Roger Claridge completed the job in 2007...before being put in the window of that Oxford store, and spied by Sam.

While researching the instrument, and its amazing story, Sam visited Flanders, and the cemetery where Richard’s headstone is.

“I actually took the fiddle to him,” Sam said, “It was an amazing experience, incredibly moving...”

Sam will tell you the full amazing story of the fiddle that took nearly 100 years to complete with a multimedia performance.

And it goes without saying that the ‘star’ of the show will be the fiddle itself.

Tickets for the performance are £14 and £16.

Also at the Wavendon venue in the coming week...

This evening, Forever in Blue Jeans take you back to ‘the rock n roll 1950s, the swinging 60s, the Motown 70s and the Abba 80s.

On Saturday, Shakatak – famed for material including Down on the Street and Night Bird return.

It doesn’t seem possible, but the band has been together for 31 years now, and have delivered more than 50 CDs.

Over on Stage 2, The Wishing Well will create spellbinding sounds that produce a rich tapestry of mesmerising folk, pop and rock.

Join the troubadours from 8.45pm.

Sunday evening belongs to The Big Chris Barber Band, a stalwart performer with a lifelong passion for the jazz side.

2014 marks his 65th year as a bandleader, and this performance with his 10-piece band will be a suitably celebratory affair – from his roots in New Orleans style in Bourbon Street Parade (which remains his signature tune today) to the early sounds of Duke Ellington and Sidney Becket.

Pam Ayres sees out the week with her current show, which follows the release of her latest book of poetry, You Made Me Late Again, which features the beautifully real and emotive Tippy Tappy Feet, which has just given this writer watery eyes!

If you think Pam Ayres is all about ‘that’ toothy ode, you really want to look beneath the enamel of this exceptional talent – and where better to do so than on your doorstep at our premier venue?

Can’t make Wednesday’s date?

Relax, she’s booked in for two nights – try for next Thursday (Sept 11).

For bookings and information call the usual number MK 280800.