Sunday 11 July 2010

From the Top!

Welcome to the Sunshine Panners first blog-post! Band members will use this space to keep you all updated as to where we have been and what we've been up to on our travels! So, as a little introduction, I will give you a brief outline of our most exciting trips and gigs that we have been lucky enough to participate in, so far.

2003- The band's first trip to Trinidad and Tobago- 40 or so members and their families jetted off to experience the traditional Caribbean culture during their Carnival celebrations. 

2003- Sidmouth Folk Festival, Devon- our first visit to a folk festival was brilliant! We played to great audiences in this seaside town, as well as providing workshops throughout the week to all the children who wanted to learn how to play pan.

2005- Highland Games, Northern Ireland- another first for the band! We headed by ferry with our instruments in-tow to Ballymena, where we had a very busy weekend of almost non-stop performances to huge crowds!

2006- Trinidad and Tobago and Highland Games- the band's much-awaited second trip to T&T, was absolutely fantastic and allowed members to experience lessons Caribbean-style in a visit to a local school, as well as learning new pieces of music in panyards on both of the islands. Later that year, we headed back to Northern Ireland for more performing at the Highland Games.

2007- Highland Games and Notting Hill Carnival- our third and very-rainy trip to Ireland (we must have taken the Northumbrian weather with us!) was a great success yet again! We took some of our youngest members with us who thoroughly enjoyed their first Sunshine Panners Trip! In between all of our other gigs and our performances in Ireland, the band was busy rehearsing 'Sharing Licks' in preparation for Notting Hill Carnival's Panorama. A hectic 5 days were spent in London, where we joined Stardust Steel Orchestra to perform in the competition, where we were placed 2nd.

2009- Towersy Folk Festival, Oxfordshire- our first invite to Towersy was a great success, having provided workshops to the younger festival-goers and performing in the sunshine to everyone's delight!

2009- Trinidad and Tobago- our most recent trip to Trinidad and Tobago was a rainy one- but still absolutely fantastic! Learning lots of new material was a definite highlight, as well as going to Trinidad for Carnival and meeting up with the players of Phase II. Everyone had a great time and we made lots of new friends. We all can't wait until we go again!

There you go then- a very short introduction to the bigger events that we have worked so hard to take part in, but look out for gig reviews and other band news!

Happy Panning!