Sunday, 22 July 2012

Scary Morris

We’re staying in Buxton for a few days. It isn’t intentional, and to see how it happened there is a fuller account in my Travelling in a Box blog. So today (or yesterday by the time I find some internet) we walked down into the town and you can’t move for Morris dancers. It seems there’s a festival going on. Now, I’m a bit ambivalent when it comes to Morris dancers. I really don’t know what to think. Grown men, often with grizzly beards, dancing and skipping about with bells on their ankles and hats with flowers. It’s all very English, but... why?

I’m fine with the music, I enjoy a bit of folk music. And when they beat each other with sticks I’m thinking, okay, this is more like it. But it’s the bells and the skipping that I can’t get my head round.

So it was refreshing to find the Morris dancers from hell (actually they were from Sheffield) giving it loads in Buxton today.  These guys (and a few scary girls) were dressed all in black apart from their faces, which were blue. Some had silk undertaker’s top hats, and there was a real Goth look about them all. And when they started beating each other with sticks they did it with attitude. And they were big sticks. It was fascinating to see, because there was no doubt this was real Morris, but it was Morris that might have young children waking in the night screaming for their mums. Hell, it might be me screaming tonight. So well, done to Black Crow (I think that’s what they’re called) of Sheffield. Very entertaining. Very Gothic. Very scary.

And there’s got to be a story in this. Got to be.