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Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:31 am
by Goose

That was funny, but please for the love of my eardrums do not suggest that the ginger lumox plays Miss Dynamitee on a bombard.

Having heard his first few attempts the only thing I want him to play is over the hills and far away (very very far away).

Mind you just so as to be a grass. When De' Biossey bought said torture device at Harewood. He tried to get a noise (not a note just any old noise), and failed. The device was then passed round most other members of the group (including some of not musical ability) who then managed to get noise and some semblance of notes. He did look a little upset.:lol: :lol:

For ages the only thing De' Biossey managed was bulging eyes and a beetroot face. Ho hum I wish it had ended there, but no we are to be tortured at future shows, now he can actually get noise out of it.

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:53 am
by WhiteWolf
Kate Tiler wrote:I am also learning not to play the Ukulekelekelekelekele (trouble stopping there for a moment)

I was inspired by the rendition of 'Miss Dynamite' by the Ukulekele Orchestra of Great Britain: ... amitee.MP3

Perhaps you could create a bombarde version?


What have you done?

We have just visited the site and have now just ordered their entire back catalogue. :shock:

WW 8)

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 2:43 pm
by Vlad
This reminds me of George Formby’s famous re-enactment of the battle of Naseby, performed just prior to his death is 1961.

The cheeky gap-toothed comedian played the parts of Sir Thomas Fairfax, Cromwell and Prince Rupert, ably assisted by members of a recently formed comedy ensemble calling themselves ‘The Grumbleweeds’.

Formby’s rendition of ‘Mother What’ll I do Now?’ on the Banjo-ukulele, in the style of the Lord Astley was a show stopper.

Critics were more reserved when commenting upon Oliver Cromwell singing ‘With my little Stick of Blackpool Rock’, accompanied by Wilf ’Gasmask’ Grimshaw on the spoons. The Times described it as ‘the work of a fractured genius…(Formby) has earned is place in the comedy re-enactment Parthenon.’ Whilst the Guardian was less impressed, saying ‘Fromby (sic) falls somewhat wide of the murk (sic) with his lacklustre prefrmnce (sic)’.

A final medley, which involved Formby changing hats over thirty seven times, included such gems as ‘Mr Woo’s A Window Cleaner Now!’, ‘Leaning on a Lamppost’ and ‘Auntie Maggie’s Remedy’ and was preformed in the style of the defeated Royalist army.

Modern re-enactors could learn a lot from these pioneers of musical comedy.

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 4:15 pm
by david smith
Could I just make passing reference to the fact that today is the centenary of Joe Digweed's birth in downtown Milwaukee. Joe was a self - taught virtuoso on many instruments, including the banjo and the ukelelele.

Although little remains to us today of any substantial body of recorded works, many of his arrangements of classic folk songs can still be found at jumble sales and car boots. Who can forget his version of "The Runaway Train", for example. You might like to check grannies piano stool, and not just to see how damp it is.

Anyway, his most famous composition was " The Hokey Cokey" , which many amongst you will recall fondly from those wonderful parties your parents organised when you were too small to escape them.

Apparently, his family were by his bedside when he passed away, and everything went smoothly until the Undertakers arrived with the casket - a tasteful number in polished American Oak with brass handles.

They put the right foot in.....

Best wishes

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:35 pm
by Mark Sanderson
Hi Kate,

Ifyou are really not learning to play the uke' then you won't want to look at these web sites,
The last site is a guitar tab site but there are some great songs on there.

Perhaps next season we could duet around someones campfire. By then I should know more that the three chords I am currntly struggling with.

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:30 am
by deBoissey
I don’t know – I come back from a hard fought foot tournament behind the police station in Daventry to find that no one appears to be taking my innocent enquiry seriously. This thread now contains homicidal tail-less squirrels, a George Formby rendition of the battle of Naseby (I bought one of his healthy grill thingies by the way) and worse, much worse, ukuleles. Now I don’t wish to be picky but this is a bombarde thread right… right!

Whilst in Daventry one of my cohorts - Sir Roger de Barby (or big Andy if you wish) informed me that he has just returned from a region of Spain where the Bombarde is king, apparently during the festivals over there, everyone plays the bombarde… the whole flaming town plays the bombarde (actually, that would suggest that there is only one instrument and that they all take go’s and turns… or… there is one huge bombarde that they all blow into at once). This explains the violent Spanish wanderlust, the sacking of the Inca’s and, of course, the Armada – the poor buggers who couldn’t play had been turned into sociopaths by the racket and simply couldn’t stand to stay at home any longer.

Anyway enough of bombards – talking of savage woodland mammals… I once rode a badger, rodeo style, whilst wearing a parka. I can hear some of you thinking what’s wrong with that? Now, here’s the funny part… the badger was wearing the parka.

One autumnal morning my mate Nick “the nose” and I were walking across a misty Lancashire moor, the sky was the colour of a Tupperware base and the only noise was the swish of our sodden feet through the wet grass and the occasional caw of a distant crow. We had been walking for some time when we heard a strange, and obviously annoyed, barking noise coming from some small distance away. Nick and I approached quietly (much in the manner of the Blackfoot Indian of central and southern Canada… but without the feathers).
Over the crest of a small rise we found a large, thoroughly ticked off, dog-badger in a rabbit snare caught by its back leg. Nick and I discussed the matter at short length and with breath steaming, it was decided that we would attempt to free said Badger. The plan was almost Mountbattenesque in it’s simplicity: Nick would divest himself of his parka and would throw it smartly on said badger I would throw my self smartly on said parka, over said badger, and would hold the outraged animal down while Nick freed its leg.
We primed ourselves and Nick flung (or flinged) his outer wear over the mammal and I flinged (or flung) myself over the resulting mound. (My only experience with badgers at this point had been through the writings of Kenneth Graham, needless to say this badger was not wearing glasses or a tweed jacket but was in fact a large healthy wood dwelling creature formed of solid muscle and with teeth that would have caused Ridley Scott’s alien to blanch and flee, yelping like a scalded Chihuahua). Nick was quickly on the job attempting to free the animals leg while I found myself trying to hold a coat over something that had suddenly evolved - where, before, there was only one sharp toothed snout there now appeared to be at least forty-seven spread evenly all over the creature’s body and the three free dainty feet had each become Freddy Kruger’s gloves, all these pointy bits were tearing the parka to pieces in a flurry of cotton wadding, rubberised fabric and red, fake silk, lining. The situation was becoming desperate when Nick suddenly yelled “it’s free!”. I flung (or flinged) myself sideways and removed the shredded parka from the badger in the manner of a practiced toreador. We should at this point have had a Disney moment, the badger should have bounded away to the “Born free” theme in slow motion, it should have paused once to look back at us gratefully on it’s way back to the woods, its little black eyes shining with emotion.

In reality, the badger shook itself, rounded on us, and then came at us like a little fat polaris missile. Nick and I managed to outpace the ungrateful little sod in the long grass by doing the Jonathan Lomou high step and screaming like small children (whilst waving our arms about in a comedy manner).

Nick lost his parka and I feel that a badger damaged my dignity and, almost, much else besides.

Warn your children to stay well away from woodland creatures if you don’t wish them to end up as a statistic.

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 1:15 pm
by Goose
De Boissey,

Back in your box...........

My sides hurt too much. :lol:

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:59 pm
by Sal
Well it made me realise that although it's been bad, my day could have been so much worse :lol:

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:50 pm
by Wayland2002
Oh so it was you was it.....................there I was field testing my "Olde Brock's Badger Bondage Kit" when along comes this bloke with a parka.............well need I say more !!!!!!!!!

Now we Know what he wants the bombard imatate the mating call of the noble badger.

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:50 pm
by little_red_mare
should have used the bombarde to paralize the badger into submission :lol:

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:55 pm
by Ben_Fletcher
here am I sitting here with a nice dose of the Freshers flu starting (bloody students) and now I have tears of joy rolling down my cheeks from possibly the most amusing thread I have ever read... do carry on all...

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:26 pm
by PaulMurphy
Given deBoissey's inability to get a note out of his bombarde for the first three weeks, he might have been better advised to beat the badger over the head with it, thus solving three problems in one - the badger is persuaded to savage something else, the bombarde makes its first sound (a wet shwurg noise) as it wraps itself repeatedly around the badger, and the rest of humanity is spared the pain of hearing the proper sound of the bombarde when deBoissey gives us smoking for six days to find the breathe to blow enough air through it.

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:41 am
by deBoissey
I have to admit I am more than a little disappointed with the calibre of professional advice given in this thread. From a single innocent query pertaining to the playing of one medieval musical instrument I am now being advised to use the instrument as a badger mating call to lure the woodland creatures to me and then I am to beat the unfortunate fauna to death with the said instrument.

Had my query been about the use of a particular weapon, am I to infer that, by now, I would have been advised to use a sword as a flowering fruit tree or a bell buoy for passing tramp steamers?

I have laid my heart bare to you people…(sniff)

Mr Murphy… shame on you, the last time I heard you play the bodhran the sound was as rhythmic as a rhinocerous fight in a biscuit tin.

“The old bombarde badger basher of old bodmin moor” – sounds like it should be a song by Ramblin’ Sid Rumpole.

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:42 am
by PaulMurphy
Yes, that's why I took the hint and stopped...

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:22 pm
by Braidwoman
But if we give you sound musical advice, the thread might stop, and we wouldn't like that!

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:29 pm
by Jemima
If you want more advice, I had a spare five minutes this afternoon and I found this information;

All bombarde reeds are, by definition, stiff (read: difficult to play). To a beginner, this will be a major obstacle to learning the instrument. There are a couple of things you can do to a new bombarde reed to make it more playable. One is to shave it to make it thinner. This is a subject that is presently beyond the scope of this article (I hope to expound on this subject eventually here; stay tuned). The easiest way to make a new bombarde reed playable to a beginner is to close the two blades up so that they will not be so loud.
In order to close the reed more (bring the two blades closer together), take a small pair of pliers (without teeth) and grasp the reed so that the plier grips are positioned halfway between the cork and the string. Grip the reed so that the wide side of the reed is facing up as you look down the end. Squeeze the reed slowly and carefully. Be careful not to close it too much or it won't play at all, especially after it gets wet; experiment. Logically, you would think that squeezing two flat surfaces together in this manner would open it, not close it. But you're actually squeezing the metal staple inside the reed, shaping it in such a way as to cause the blades that are wrapped around it to close the two pieces of cane. Later, if you want to make the reed louder, of if you've played it so much the cane has become soft, you can open the blades in the opposite manner.

It's always a good idea to soak your reed in water for about five minutes before playing. This will condition the reed to the natural playing environment (inside your mouth) and put it closer to the intonation it would eventually reach when playing for a period of time. There are several schools of thought as to where the reed should be placed in the mouth. But just remember that the further into the mouth the sharper the instrument will be and generally louder. Find a comfortable position and go with that.

this was from

I have got interested now, I think I might get a bombarde myself. I could go up into the mountains and frighten the sheep.

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:06 pm
by Cat
When I played the liquorish stick, I used to soften up my reed either in a nice cup of tea, or in brandy....huzza! With the brandy you get a nice soft reed, and you just don' care about th'noish anymorble


Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:22 pm
by Kate Tiler
Cat - I hate to think what the penalty points are for being drunk in charge of a Bombebard?!

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:00 pm
by Jackie Phillips
I don't claim to be able to play the bombarde - though I will admit now to be very keen to have a go. I'm an oboist , though I don't play as much anymore as I'd like to - I was also a reed maker for modern double reeds.

A couple of additions to the points Jemima found. First and most importantly, soak the reed thoroughly BEFORE doing anything at all with it, otherwise you'll split it, the cane needs to be flexible and it isn't when it's dry. When the reed is wet, it also vibrates easier, therefore not requiring so much effort to get a sound out of it, meaning it ought to be quieter.

Secondly, the point about squeezing the staple (the metal core of the reed) together - it might help initially to pull the cane together and therefore make it easier to play, but it will also send it horribly out of tune - not a problem possibly at the moment, admittedly.

I can't actually recommend that you scrape it down either unless you are sure you know what you're doing.

DeBoissey, are you going to be at TORM at the end of the month? If you are and you want to bring the reed with you, I can scrape it down a little for you, and possible also wire it, which has the same effect as the squeezing of the staple described above, but without the intonation problems.


Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:04 pm
by Wayland2002

How much would you charge to make a bombard reed?
All mine are broken, Ive contacted hobgoblin and they charge nearly as much for a reed as for a new bombard.

has anyone ever tried playing a crumhorn? I quite fancy having a go

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:25 pm
by Jackie Phillips
Wayland, sorry, don't think I can help in the making from scratch, no longer have the equipment - hung onto the adjustment stuff only for my own use (and in this case, others).

Hobgoblin website seems to have bombarde reeds available for £3.95 which strikes me as very cheap, the only other price I've seen was £15.95 and even that didn't seem particularly outrageous when you know how much work goes into each of them.

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:41 pm
by deBoissey
Ah hah! – do you see! Jemima and Jackie are the very voices of informed and helpful reason!

Woodland creature wrestling has it’s place – I can’t deny that - but in the in the lofty circles of us medieval music folk (amongst whom I am now proud to find myself, now that I have a quacking stick of dubious quality) such pastimes are to be frowned upon.

I shall soak my reed immediately… and Jackie, I shall take your advice and consult an expert like yourself before I scrape or wire my reed. (Is it just me or does this sound quite rude?)

I am hoping to be at TORM – I have a ton of kit to order and buy before next season - I may track you down and take you up on your kind offer at some point during the day, if you are not too busy.

I have never experienced an oboe at close range or gauged the relative loudness of say… a clarinet; I have, however been saxophoned at and remember that was quite loud. Bagpipes – now there’s an outrageously loud instrument (instruments). Is it a bagpipes or a set of bagpipes – is it a set of instruments or an instrument? I have now confused myself beyond all hope and require sweet tea and a lie down.

I once went on a pub-crawl in Rochdale around Christmas time with an alcoholic friend; I remember with some fondness that we arrived in particularly well-to-do pub in a posh part of Rochdale (yes… there really is one). The noise in the pub was limited to that warm murmur and occasional good-natured laugh that you often find in pubs with leather chairs and books bolted to the walls. Un-beknownst to most of the patrons, a five-piece bagpipe band, on their annual charity carol bash had sneaked into the premises. I can only assume that this was done furtively with the offending pipes hidden under trench coats and the like. What I remember is that there was a quiet sound vaguely reminiscent of distant emigrating Canada geese - followed by an immediate and un-holy blast that would have registered a nine-point-five on any Richter scale, this cacophony eventually resolved itself into some ridiculously loud yuletide ditty. The effect from the initial blast, however, was amazing… drinks were hurled into the air from people’s glasses, an old chap in a flat cap at the bar toppled backwards from his stool, undecided whether to grab his whisky or his heart. One of the barmaids dropped a bottle of port and the landlord trapped his fingers in the till (not having the reaction time of Arkwright or Granville). The air was full of various wines and spirits, cigar ash and blue language. My mate Glynn and I decided that there was good sport to be had here and timed our arrival in the next few pubs to be five minutes before the sadistic pipe band - we would get our drinks, watch the ninja pipe band arrive and then chortle at the resulting shenanigins. The pipe band must have been on the payroll of a local carpet cleaning firm, I don’t know how much they actually collected in their tins or how many people arrived in A&E because of them but they got my 10p.

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:06 pm
by Kate Tiler

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:18 am
by Jenn R
:shock: You have to stick swords into your groin to play it properly??? :shock:

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:23 am
by Kate Tiler
Maybe that's just for the high notes...

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 9:38 am
by busy mole
We'll be at the NLHF and have a spare bombarde reed if you want to try it. We can get them (usually for less) , and apparantly you can use a practice chanter reed. :D

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 9:26 am
by Mark Sanderson
Having sen the pic' Kate submitted, I'm sticking with the ukulele where body piercings are optional!

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:08 pm
by Goose
So, De Boissey has to stand in the pot noodle horn. Florentine his nadgers while blowing on his bombard.

I'll have the defib and the O2 ready for you Chris.

By the way is this recreation happening before or after the Corset Display Team?

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 4:00 pm
by deBoissey
Har…Har someone is having a larf.

“When you have masterered it:” what you have there m’lady is music – real music written on a stave, not only that, but it’s old real music written on a stave… old real music written on a stave adorned with weird fairy folk who are either half snail or representatives of the naturist fairy guild.

What I need is pictures of where to put me fingers, that’s how I play guitar and how I intend to learn bombarde, or by ear – I have already mastered a shaky, squeaky and slightly farty version of the theme from “last of the summer wine”. I have played it a couple of times and the dogs next door are still howling like banshees, it also appears that all my house spiders have moved out in disgust.

The list of tunes I must master include the theme from Grange Hill, the theme from Bod and baggy trousers by Madness – (I can see myself as a real boone to medieval music in re-enactment).

Goose… I do not intend to stick swords in my nadgers… I leave it to you and the other members of Tournee to do that for me.

As for the synchronised corset display team, I think they should each have a blast on the bombarde, the resulting fall out would be more than impressive.

Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:11 pm
by Wayland2002
This thread seems to have gone quiet.

Nothing to do with bombards really, but its to do with music (and noise) girlfriends bought a sax (as in saxophone not the dark ages knife before you ask).
I can get several notes out of it, and even a "passible" tune, "past times with good company", it seems pretty easy to play.
The closest medieval instrument i can think of to a sax is a crumhorn, maybe i should buy one of those.
We could make a band, a couple of bombards, a crumhorn and kate on her ukelale(?).