The Golowan Band practiced for 8 weeks leading up to the Mazey weekend. Some rehearsals were at the Barbican, however there were occasions we practiced processing along the promenade. The diners in the Queen’s Hotel restaurant were delighted to see the band and opened their windows to hear us better. We performed a static performance there and the customers showed their appreciation with applause, cheers and requests for an encore. Many see our practices as 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 the band 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 Golowan Band tunes invokes the spirit of Mazey as the procession begins.
During the first part of the procession it is easier to focus on the music, but when our beautiful Penglaz the Penzance ‘Oss appears, we need to be watchful and ready to move each time she unexpectedly enters the band. This year Penglaz was alone as her Teazer Elise was in her last few weeks of pregnancy. Penglaz did well and the marshals were there to assist if needed. There were moments when she rested and observed the band looking absolutely wonderful while awaiting a certain moment within a tune where she dances once again.
A 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 now 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 witness this wonderful moment.
Image – Greg Martin
Mazey Day begins early, some adventurous members of the band enjoy the ‘Dawn Raids’ meeting at 7.45am and play music in the streets of Penzance. Children appear at the windows, excited by the music and the anticipation of the day ahead.
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 us showing their support and proudly acknowledging us as part of their village.
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 friends of Pendans and Craggs Law who are fabulous musicians.
Musicians in the Golowan Band dance while playing and surprisingly the stage was still in one piece after our performance! We received such a wonderful reaction from the audience and I left the stage with a fabulous feeling of achievement!
We had a well deserved drink at the Dock Inn with some supportive friends who were at the harbour. It was an exhausting but fabulous weekend and I acknowledge all hard working performers that participate and contribute to this fantastic event.