30 May 2024

An amazing afternoon with talented quintet

Last Thursday was a historic day for Morning Dew, surely Withernsea’s most talented – and versatile – quintet, now performing completely, and with a greatly enhanced repertoire, for the first time since the pandemic.

And the occasion? The monthly Food, Friendship and Fun event laid on by Withernsea Methodist Church.

The day before this amazing 70 minutes of the fourth “F” (folk), it had taken no less than two hours to set up and tune five musicians’ complicated equipment, all ready for the start.

And the names of the five interlocking artists: Gordon Beastall (compere and tambourine), Rachel Beastall (soloist and violin), Paul McGilvray (song, violin, pipes and harmonica), Andrew Wells (vocals, composition, guitar) and Eric Godfrey (song, guitar, percussion). And naturally with such gifts, the entire quintet is far more than the sum of its parts.

Turning to the actual programme, there was a heavy emphasis on maritime: Andrew’s haunting Sands on Spurn gently rendered by Rachel; Henry Priestman’s Ghosts of a Thousand Fishermen; Bill Meek’s Humber Bridge Song; and MacCalman’s story of The Smugglers.

But there was also a rendition of that traditional Irish ballad: Lannigan’s Ball, and the Cornish Jokers, No Hopers. And if there wasn’t a dry eye left among a large audience, along came Farewell to You, Lincoln Castle – the ship cruelly axed the very first day the new bridge over the estuary opened.

It will be difficult for the carefully co-ordinated output of this brilliant South Holderness quintet to ever be excelled.

Godfrey Holmes, Withernsea.