This picture makes me really, really happy
Earlier this year, at the summer solstice, we went up Derbyshire to find some special caves. These are the Druid Caves at Birch over and behind a pub called The Druid Inn
It is said that the vicar of the village many years ago was also a druid and held ceremonies here alongside his Christian duties
We watched silently as the sun set. There was no-one else around except for the spirits of our ancestors permeating the rocks and infusing the landscape with the heathen soul of ancient Britain
And during this song something mysterious happened. There was suddenly a very calm stillness that came upon us in the cave, like a moving disembodied form. It felt huge. Silent. We all felt it – even the baby. You may even notice towards the end of the song, during the last verse the sound altered.
I LOVE singing in caves
My hometown of Nottingham is built on sandstone rocks and the Celtic word for it was “Tigguo Cobauc” – City of Cave Dwellers
Ye Olde Salutation pub has caves underneath. One day I was on a ghost walk (not sure I even believe in “ghosts”) and while we were in the cave I felt/saw the spirit of a man who was wearing a cape.
The walk leader later revealed that this was indeed the spirit of a highwayman. He had hidden down there. It didn’t actually scare me, and I have been down those caves alone recording some other music since.
Oh and here is that music with my sister playing the harp
Gosh, such a long time ago!!
We have also held a couple of singing groups down there too. I have to say, the air is rather damp so the acoustics are not really that good. It is more for the ambience than the sound
There is one really really fantastic cave/ tunnel in Notts for singing – the Park Tunnel
What an incredible natural tunnel it is (though was probably dug out)
I love this – so breath-taking as you walk through the pigeon-shit-encrusted, piss smelling tunnel to get there!!
More group singing – think this was actually the first one I ever did
Then of course my favourite place and pub of my most recently deceased forebears – The Trip to Jerusalem.
Watering hole of Robin Hood and my dear old Pa (I even took his ashes with me there for a pint on the way back from the crematorium when I collected them – oh dear it does sound awful, but it really actually was not)
This pub is amazing – it is often full of tourists so best to go during the week and enjoy the atmosphere. We had an ace time singing there at the beginning of the year
I was really sad to see it all locked up during covid-scam-times and filmed a song there.
And of course, how can I forget my old favourite? – The Hermits Cave in Dale (sometimes called Dale Abbey) at the edge of Derbyshire
Another place for the ambience and not necessarily the acoustics. We went to sing carols there last Yule. It was like you were tuning into the past