The Golowan Band practices for 8 weeks leading up to the Mazey weekend of the Golowan festival. Some rehearsals are held at the Barbican, however we also practice while processing along the promenade. The diners in the Queen’s Hotel restaurant were delighted to see the band and opened their windows to hear our static performance. The customers showed their appreciation with applause, cheers and requests for an encore. People beging to feel the energy of the music, heralding the arrival of summer and the exciting festivities ahead.
On Friday evening this year St John’s Eve and Mazey Eve merged on the 23rd of June. The band met at the Union Hotel bar and warmed up with a lively music session welcomed by onlookers awaiting the event. As the time for the first procession approached, the band congregated outside as the anticipation and excitement of hearing Golowan Band tunes invokes the spirit of Mazey.
During the first part of the 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 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 ‘takes off’ and dances 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 also from Cassandra to Penglaz as her first ‘Oss. They hold one another’s gaze for a while and it delights 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 to 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 heart-warming moments when residents from our village of St Buryan called 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.
This weekend has been an eventful one as the celebrations of St Piran the patron Saint of tin miners is an important yearly event.
Cassandra and I participated in the St Piran Furry, playing music with the Golowan Band. 600 school children processed and danced throughout the town of Penzance. They later sang in Morrab Gardens by the bandstand. It is wonderful that children are taught the Cornish traditions to ensure their continuation throughout the generations.
We also took Penkevyll the Lands End ‘Oss to the St Pirans celebration in Redruth. Cassandra has handed on the role of Teazer to me as she now wishes to put her energy into the percussion within the band. The showers and high winds did not dampen the festival spirit.
On the actual St Piran’s Day we enjoyed a beautiful roast dinner and a bottle of Pinot wine in our local pub the St Buryan Inn.
Later that afternoon we attended the yearly St Piran’s event at the village hall, where all residents gather for cream teas. It was enlightening to converse with the locals, answering any questions they had and listening to their opinions on local events. The residents in the village put a huge amount of effort into organizing their own events connected with the village church.