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Three Legg'd Mare, Singing Storms

After Saturday's workshop for some strange reason I thought it would be a good idea to drive even further north through the storm. This was to photograph Three Legg'd Mare (again, I know - but in my defence, they are about to record another CD so the set list is a little different every time!).

The venue was perched on the edge of Snowdonia, at the Centre for Alternative Technology. The route there from Aber is usually fantastically scenic. However, on a late February evening after endless rain it was less scenic and more like rowing upstream in search of Noah. The bridge into the centre was even flooded - so water ran high from left to right below the arch, then it also ran front to back upon it. That was lots of fun. Then when we eventually crept into the Visitor Centre carpark all was in darkness... Not a sign, not a light, not an anything to tell us where the gig was going to be. Other cars gathered. People could be seen failing to connect to mobile internet in passenger seats. Meanwhile the rain came down with more than stair rods, more than cats or dogs or even the Devil's own latrine - raindrops bounced off the windscreen like ping pong balls.

After some deliberation, with nobody else making a move, I decided to venture up the hill to see if the shenanigans were to be in the main building. Everybody else followed. As did the rain, roaring encouragement to a small, persistent, river that had decided to take over half of the rough and ready track.

Some fun later... and we made it into a pitch dark clearing. Vehicles shared each other's headlights as we all endeavoured to park without falling into miniature lakes disguised as shadows. Still sharing light, a handful of car loads shuffled and shrieked our way into the main building, where we could finally see faces - and shake out our sodden shoes.

The centre itself is airy and pragmatic, the makeshift stage was eccentrically lit with standard lamps and boarded with Persian style rugs. Way more instruments than instrumentalists waited by long-shadowed microphones. Real ale sat chilled behind the bar and soon every seat was taken.

As always, the gig was superb; with exactly the right balance of information and song, humour and hiraeth. It was not the easiest to photograph - no height and no spotlighting created a wonderfully atmospheric settings, but was less than camera friendly. Nonetheless, I managed to squeeze out a handful of shots, for which see below. Maybe one day I'll manage to get a decent shot of Kate - but in the meantime, check out the band's music here.



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