Last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to a local venue to see Megson’s Family Folk Show. We raced to the front row which meant the children had easy access to the dance floor area directly in front of the stage.
Megson is a husband and wife duo who play instruments and sing. The songs they perform all have a folk lilt and their family show has been carefully designed to appeal to parents and children.
The songs were catchy, had actions for the audience to join in with and some had sign language. Interaction and fun were at the heart of the show from start to finish. The couple play and sing beautifully so it was a real pleasure to watch (and join in!)
There was plenty of audience participation and Matthew was picked to name a bird for their ‘Little Bird’ song (he chose a jackdaw) and laughed hysterically at some of the suggestions for She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain (this got slightly out of hand on the drive home as the kids tried to be more and more absurd with the lyrics, but demonstrated how much it had caught their imagination).
Anya and Zach were completely spellbound for the entire show, dancing, signing and singing along with the music. For the finale they were up on their feet with the other children and no one wanted the show to finish.
Chris and I enjoyed the performance so much and there were plenty of songs that we recognised from our own childhoods and could sing along with (for example, Oats and Beans and Barley Grow, Ha Ha This A Way).
My only complaint was that the show was too short for me (I reeeeeeally didn’t want it to end!) but at 45 minutes was perfect for young children. Megson happily chatted to their fans after the show and, as you can see from the picture below, Zach was quite starstruck!
Take a look at the tour dates at the end of this post: are they near you sometime soon?
Megson present a brand new collection of children’s folk songs – little bird
Seven years since releasing their “When I Was A Lad” album, husband & wife folk duo Megson have followed it up other another collection of folk songs old and new entitled “Little Bird”.
One half of the duo Stu says “ever since we released When I Was A Lad we’ve had countless families asking us when there will be a follow up! We’ve been told on many occasions that their children have worn the cd out its been played that many times on car journeys. We’ve been promising to make this for the last five years so we’re chuffed to by finally able to share it with the world!”
Megson, aka Debbie & Stu Hanna, have been writing, recording & performing traditional & contemporary folk music for fifteen years. They have been nominated four times in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and have won three Spiral Earth Awards. Megson draw heavily on their Teesside heritage to create a unique style of folk music. They combine original compositions with traditional music from the north east of England arranged for vocals, mandola, guitar, piano accordion & whistle. In 2010 they were described as “The most original duo on the British folk scene” by Robin Denselow in The Guardian.
Along with other their nine other regular folk albums this was produced and recorded by Megson in the home studio (a converted garage) and performed on a plethora of folk instruments including banjo, accordion, penny whistle, octave mandala and many more. It is very much a homemade affair with their daughter Lola and their dog Wizard even making guests appearances. There are a few nods to nature on the album with a song about dogs and two about birds, as well as a little colour in bird spotting guide which comes with the CD album.
In 2014 Megson developed their concert series for young audiences – ‘Family Folk Show with Megson’. Throughout the show Megson blend their infectious mix of heavenly vocals and lush harmonies to create a gentle, interactive concert specifically tailored for young children It features children’s folk songs both old and new from their ‘When I was a Lad’ & “Little Bird” albums. Between each song, the performers playfully involve the audience, introducing ideas, the instruments and stories that will feature in the songs. Family Folk Show has completed sell out shows at prestigious small venues including Half Moon Theatre Children’s Theatre, Cambridge Junction, MAC Birmingham, artsdepot, Kings Place and Colchester Arts Centre.
Arts education & the lack provisions in many schools is also an issue very close to Stu & Debs’ hearts & they frequently take their Family Folk Show into primary schools to help spread the joy of folk music to as many young people as possible.
28/09 – Crawley The Hawth
11:00am – 01293 553636
05/10 – Huntingdon Commemoration Hall
2:00pm – 01480 455167
06/10 – Brentford Watermans Arts Centre
3:00pm – 020 8232 1010
12/10 – Colchester Arts Centre
2:00pm – 01206 500900
13/10 – Cambridge Junction
11.30am & 2.30pm – 01223 511 511
03/11 – London, Kings Cross Kings Place
2:30pm – 020 7520 1490
09/11 – Oxford Pegasus Theatre
2:00pm & 4:00pm – 01865 812150
16/11 – Banbury Mill Arts Centre
11:00am – 01295 279002
*We received tickets to see Megson in exchange for this post. All pictures and opinions are my own.