FOLK COLLECTED: Weekly folk round-up from the Bury Free Press of Friday, March 27

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Whilst reading through a week-old Daily Telegraph (I can hear you now – ‘reading the Daily Telegraph, whatever next?’) I came across a short column suggesting that trumpets are to be taxed

I wondered what trumpets and trumpet players had done to attract such a sentence. Would this trumpet attack spread to fifes, dulcimers, whistles, ukuleles and cajuns. I read on. It seems that if your trumpet is played in the company of euphoniums, tenor horns and cornets the possibility is it will be taxed. But, if it is played with oboes, French horns and cor anglais it won’t. Enter the trumpet police: “’Ello, ’ello, ’ello, is that a trumpet you are playing?”

“No officer, it’s a cornet.”

“Looks like a trumpet to me!”

“No sir, it’s shorter than a trumpet.”

“A short trumpet, eh? Wait here I’ll have a look in my book. Ooh do you play for?”

“The Black Dyke Mills parlour ensemble officer.”

“Right! That’s okay then.”

“Thank you, officer.”

Policeman wanders off, happy he has prevented a heinous trumpet tax avoidance crime.

One wonders how many people know the difference between a cornet and a trumpet and in what bands they are played. Why should they? Trumpets, although not very frequently, are played in folk bands, John Boden’s Bellowhead being one of the best known. So why are trumpets due for the tax? Musical instruments are a joy whether a drum or piccolo, they have to be touched – leave one in a room and it is odds on it will be touched sooner or later by someone. Instruments teach students how to overcome frustration, instil patience, bring happiness and pleasure whether played for fun or financial reward. The concept of taxing musical instruments is bad enough, but to even consider taxing trumpets in brass band country and not in the concert hall capital is wrong.

“’Ello, ello again sir, is that a trumpet you are playing again?” “No officer it’s a flugel horn.”

“Looks like a trumpet to me. Have you paid the tax?”

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 – Milkmaid Folk Club: Constitutional Club, Bury St Edmunds 8pm. £5/£6. Showcase. Two Coats Colder CD launch. Support Martin Kaszak and Adrian Black.

SUNDAY, MARCH 29 – Bury Folk Collective: Oakes Barn, Bury. Collective Special. 7pm. £3 on door. Acoustic, friendly, real ale. The Invisible Navvies of Utopia, Brian Burns and Dutch, The Leftovers.

MONDAY, MARCH 30 – Traditional sing around: Gardeners pub, Tostock. 8.30pm. Free. Contact Dave 01359 241554

TUESDAY, MARCH 31 – Poets Aloud: Bay Tree Cafe, St John’s Street, Bury. 7.30pm. £2 on door.

Offers a sympathetic platform to local poets. First time readers very welcome Contact Rob – 01284 701947

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 – Bury Folk Collective: Oakes Barn. 8pm. Free. Acoustic, real ale, friendly. Kelly and Woolley, Bunny Tan, Derek Tooke, Allie Tooke, Fintan O’Leary, Moose.

THURSDAY, APRIL 2 – Horningsea Folk Club: Plough and Fleece pub. 8-11pm. Contact Phil 01638 741743.

Circle Dancing: United Reformed Church, Whiting Street, Bury. 2-3.30pm. Contribution fee £5. Contact Jen Larner 01284 705548 –

SUNDAY, APRIL 5 – Bury Folk Collective. Oakes Barn, Bury. 7pm. £3 on door. Wired night, professional sound engineer, lights. Real ale, friendly, atmospheric. Bex and Freda, Robert Cross, Thorpe and Bailey, and more.

-- Written and compiled by Brian Kew