As if in answer to the question: how many morris dancers can you fit in a white van? a transit pulled up outside the main bar at the Warwick folk fest last night and about 15 young Earlsdon morris dancers piled out. It looked like a visual gag of some kind, as if they were getting out the back and going back round to the front again.
And what hats! They're the best I've seen for a while. Earlsdon weren't dancing, though, by the time I caught up with them - they were drinking - so I couldn't speak for the headgear's adhesive qualities. It looks as if there may be a weighting issue.
The scene in the marquee grew increasingly chaotic as the evening wore on, aided by a re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo up one end. I think the French won on this occasion, but there was a big crowd of burly men in the way so I couldn't be sure. There was also a lad who wasn't in morris gear who kept bouncing and leaping up and down, as if he'd come to the festival to be talent spotted.
At one point a gaggle of Spooky Men entered the tent by stealth, spotted a long-lost friend about half way down and ducked down below head level, the better to avoid being spotted before they reached their goal. This led to a rendition of the Jaws music by several onlookers as Spooky Men propelled themselves, crouching, through the tent, before positioning themselves behind their mate and shouting "Shut the f--- up" very loudly at him before he knew they were there.
At some point in the evening the Earlsdon Morris melted into the crowd, by which I suppose I mean that they must have taken their bonnets off. Leaving me wondering: do their mums make their hats?
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