#chesterculture – Fiddle D Dee – The Bridge Inn – Thursday 12th May 2016

So, what is Fiddle D Dee?


Fiddle D Dee are a group of like-minded fiddle (violin in new money) players who meet once a month to teach each other a new tune.  Mandolin fiddles,  recorder fiddles, guitar fiddles, bass fiddles – all things vaguely folk …

It’s as simple as that really; Fiddle D Dee are a mixed ability from beginners (“Which way up do I hold it?”) to pretty accomplished.  But above all, what they all are is friendly.  It’s a great way to start or enjoy or return to playing with others.

Mostly what is played is folk – but if you something you want to bring to the group that’s not folk – that’s fine too.  They love a good tune to learn!

Mostly they teach and learn by ear – though usually whoever’s leading the workshop will relent and give out printed stuff at some point.

There’s easy parking near their current venue of The Bridge Inn – ask and they’ll share details! Fiddle D Dee are nursing a hope to get some pieces ready to take out to some of the local folk sessions – come and join in! The more the merrier!

Fiddle D Dee welcome violin/fiddle players but also recorders, guitars, whistles, mandolins – pretty much anything really… They’d love to see you at their next meeting.

Fiddle D Dee
Thursday 12th May 2016– 8pm
The Bridge Inn, Boughton, Chester. 

Email fiddle-d-dee@hotmail.co.uk for more information or find Fiddle D Dee on Facebook

#ChesterCulture – R.E.M. tribute – STIPE – 26th March 2016 – Alexander’s

R.E.M. tribute band STIPE are inviting music fans to step back to 1992 and the birth of Automatic for the People.  R.E.M.’s eighth studio album Automatic for the People sold 18 million copies worldwide and is critically regarded as one of the best records released in the 90s.

Stipe have been working on bringing the album, in full, to a live performance which will see its debut at Alexander’s Live on 26th March.

Stipe’s lead guitarist, Dave Nicklin, tells us,

“We’d known we were going to do something new, and bring ‘Automatic’ to life.  And we’re thrilled to be playing at the all-new Alexanders.  It made sense to us to bring the two new things together.”

R.E.M. began; rock boned and country rooted; growing up in a live music scene where bands succeeded by touring.  They were, from the very beginning, responsive to their crowds.  That’s very much the thing about live music; that it lives in you, long after the gig is over.

“That’s what makes R.E.M. a perfect band to tribute,” says Johnny Stringer, playing bass guitar for STIPE – the definitive R.E.M. tribute – “these tunes are made to be played live.”

poster alexanders - all white.jpg

R.E.M. built a back catalogue that would reach from the addictive highs of Losing My Religion and Shiny Happy People down to the reflective darkness of Everybody Hurts, covering all else in between.

“The best performance I ever saw was my first R.E.M. gig,” says Richard Southern as lead vocal for Stipe, “the music of R.E.M. left such an impression that it will always be a part of my life.”

A recent reviewer says:-

“Where this band succeeds is in the accuracy of the sound … the lead singer looks the part, his voice is a fairly uncanny likeness of Michael Stipe’s …the other musicians also create a brilliant rendition of the songs, fully convincing and delivered with confidence.” – Platinum Al

R.E.M. was one of the first alternative rock bands, playing large arenas and supporting many political and environmental causes along the way.

They ended after some 15 albums but not before Michael Stipe, on hearing Stipe perform live, declared, ‘These guys are awesome.’  

BBC Radio said ‘My advice to you – if you hear Stipe are playing a gig near you then drop everything and go and see them.’

Stipe can be found here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Stipe present R.E.M.’s Autonatic For The People

26th March 2016



#ChesterCulture – World Poetry Day 2016 – Road Home by Rebecca Sowray

Here’s my offering for World Poetry Day.  Come on #Chester – let’s give it our all xx

Share your poems

Road Home

by Rebecca Sowray

photoLeaves and walls and windows spin,
a jigsaw broken by a falling sun.
the road home,
a breaking storm.
I wonder what we began.

There is no calm centre,
power and colour after.

Yesterday isn’t the journey,
no lies built or truths undone.
was a right.
Fantasies told
of tomorrow’s plan.

There is no map,
you are not measured.

Lamps fail and thunder’s quick,
duty’s a dead engine.
are a dream.
I never woke
and never wanted.

This is no ending,
our long day’s after.

Your warm hands drive the day
and frame day-glo memory.
with you,
mountains fall.

I have no use for cool.


So.  Steve Pottinger’s a poet. And he’s doing a gig at Alexander’s Live on 10th April and this is why you’d need to be there.

portrait_chester 2016-page-0 A performance poet that’s capable of holding an audience mid breath as he reads; he combines wit, wisdom, protest and zeitgeist; adds musical references like there’s a sound track running in your head as he does so.
With credits as a festival poet for the likes of Beautiful Days and Rebellion this is poetry for protest and beauty all rolled into one.

At Alexander’s Live he’s got the awesome Laura Taylor reading with him – who describes herself as “a gobby northerner with a penchant for upsetting apple carts” – and is passionate and lively as a performer.

It’s going to be a good one.  Oh and there are open mic slots if you fancy sharing the floor with two of the best poets on the circuit.

Steve Pottinger

Sunday 10th April 2016



Writing good feedback …


(and a few words on copyright)

So, writers, what makes good feedback?

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The super friendly, warm and welcoming Fiddle-d-Dee is a group bridge for Fiddle and Folk music for Chester and the surrounding district. Their aim?  To be somewhere to extend your playing, to learn from others and to share your own experience of learning and playing fiddle and to be a bridge to playing in a folk session.

fluffThe next workshop session is 8pm on 12 November Upstairs at The Bridge Inn and will be led by Clare Smith. Clare’s passion for both folk music and teaching is infectious and not to be missed; she’ll be known to many from local bands The Reads, Full House, Galleon Blast and more besides and her musical interests exclude little!

So all welcome – just bring your fiddle and your enthusiasm.

The charge for the workshop is £3 payable on the night.

We meet usually on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 8pm.

For more info on the group get in touch via Fiddle-D-Dee on Facebook

STIPE – the definitive R.E.M. tribute at The Live Rooms on 14th November

STIPE – the definitive R.E.M. tribute return to The Live Rooms on 14th November

The band are made up to be playing this gig; having had an amazing time at the Live Rooms in January, there’s a sense of anticipation to build on that gig; which produced this ace review:-

Live Review – Stipe – the R.E.M. tribute at the Live Rooms

Music’s better live – see you out there 😀

Get tickets here