The Magic of Mazey

The Golowan Band practices for eight weeks leading up to Mazey weekend of the Golowan festival. Some rehearsals are held at the Barbican, the band also practice while processing along the promenade. Diners in the Queen’s Hotel restaurant were delighted to see the band, opening their windows to hear our static performance. The customers showed their appreciation with applause, cheers and requests for an encore. People can feel the energy as our music heralds the arrival of summer and exciting festivities ahead.

On Friday evening of this year St John’s Eve and Mazey Eve merged on the twenty-third of June. Our band met at the bar of Union Hotel to warm up with a lively music session. When the first procession is imminent, the band congregate outside creating anticipation as Golowan Band tunes invoke the spirit of Mazey.

During the first part of a procession it is easier to focus on the music, but when our beautiful Penglaz the Penzance ‘Oss appears, musicians need to be more watchful and ready to move at short notice as she unexpectedly dances through the band. This year Penglaz was alone as her Teazer Elise was in the last few weeks of her pregnancy. Penglaz performed well and marshals were there to assist if needed. There were moments when she rested to observed the band while looking magnificent and awaiting a certain moment in a tune where she suddenly ‘took off’ and danced along the street again.

A special and significant part of the evening is when Penglaz dances through the band and pauses in front of Cassandra who smiles up at her.  Penglaz bends towards her and there is an unspoken mutual respect from the ‘Oss to Cassandra as her ‘long term’ Teazer and from Cassandra to Penglaz as her first ‘Oss. They hold one another’s gaze for a while and it delights me to witness this moment.

Image – Greg Martin
Mazey Day begins early, some ‘early risers’ of the band enjoy ‘Dawn Raids’ meeting at 7.45am to play music in the streets of Penzance. Children excitedly appear at windows in 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 heart-warming moments when residents from our village of St Buryan call out to us showing support and proudly acknowledging us as part of their village.
We also spent some of our free time supporting friends in the Whippletree band performing on the Folk Stage.

On Quay Fair day the Golowan Band perform on the stage at the harbour. We arrive early to support friends of the Pendans band who are fabulous musicians.

Some of the energetic musicians in the Golowan Band also dance while playing and the stage surprisingly remained intact after our performance! We receive 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 our friends who came along to support us. It was an exhausting but fabulous weekend and I applaud all the hard working performers that participate and contribute to this spectacular event.

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