The Golowan Band practised for 8 weeks leading up to the Mazey weekend. Some of the rehearsals were at the Barbican, however there were occasions we marched along the promenade. The diners in the Queen’s Hotel were delighted to see the band outside and opened windows to hear us better. We decided to practice our static performance and the customers showed their appreciation with applause, cheers and requests for an encore. Many see our practices heralding the arrival of summer and the exciting festivities ahead.
On Friday evening St John’s Eve and Mazey Eve merged on the 23rd of June. The band met at the Union Hotel bar where we warmed up with a lively music session welcomed by others awaiting the event. When we neared the time for the first procession, the band congregated outside the Union and took their places to lead the procession. The anticipation and excitement of this moment is wonderful and hearing the Golowan Band tunes evokes the Mazey spirit as the procession begins.
During the first part of the procession it is easier to focus on the music, but when the beautiful Penglaz the Penzance ‘Oss appears, we need to be watchful and ready to move as she charges through the band. This year Penglaz was alone as her Teazer Elise is in her last few weeks of pregnancy. Penglaz did well and the marshalls were there to assist if needed. There were moments when she rested and observed the band looking absolutely wonderful while awaiting a certain moment in a tune where she dances again.
The special and significant part for me was when Penglaz danced through the band and paused in front of Cassandra who smiled up at her. This occurs each year. Penglaz bends towards her and there is an unspoken mutual respect from the ‘Oss to Cassandra as her ‘long term Teazer and also from Cassandra to Penglaz as her first ‘Oss. They held one another’s gaze for a while and it delighted me to be in the right position on this occasion to witness this wonderful moment.
Mazey Day begins early, some adventurous members of the band enjoy the ‘Dawn Raids’ meeting at 7.45am and playing music in the streets of Penzance where children appear at the windows, excited by the music and the anticipation of the day ahead. The Pirate Inn provides breakfast for band members at 9pm.
Three processions including the Golowan band occur at 11am, 3pm and 4.30, full of local talent, musicians, dancers and schoolchildren displaying their magnificent creations. Thousands of people line the streets cheering and applauding.
There were some wonderful heartwarming moments when residents from our village of St Buryan called out to me showing their support and proudly acknowledging me as one of them.
We spent some of our free time supporting our friends in Whippletree who were performing on the Folk Stage.
On Quay Fair day the Golowan Band performed on the stage at the harbour. We arrived early to support our friends in Pendans and Craggs Law who are fabulous musicians and we love their music.
Musicians in the Golowan Band love to dance while playing and I was surprised the stage was still in one piece after our performance! We received such a wonderful reaction from the audience and as I emerged from the stage I was smiling due to a wonderful feeling of achievement and happiness!
We had a well deserved drink at the Dock Inn with our lovely friends who arrived at the harbour to support us. It was an exhausting but fabulous weekend and I acknowledge all the hard working performers that participated and contributed to this fantastic event.