Scottish & Irish folk songs combined with Lord of the Rings music and Celtic music fun at Renaissance Faires

Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

The latest music news, stories, and events of The Original Celtic Renaissance music group, the Brobdingnagian Bards. CELTIC GEEK at its Best! Find out more from the Nagians page.

Glorious Weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival!

Wow! Another incredibly beautiful weekend in Plantersville, Texas at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Over 27,000 folks attended the faire on Saturday alone according to the TRF Beefeaters (the guards at Front Gate). And the weather was perfect. It was almost mind-boggling that more people didn't take advantage of the amazing weather.

I'm telling ye, after several years of lousy weather which piqued in 2000, which Andrew and I call the Texas Venice Faire (someone could've made a killing on Gondola rides), three weekends of glorious weather is welcomed. It was so welcomed in fact that we smashed the supersitious belief that the rain was due to performing "The Unicorn Song" having played that song over a dozen times this weekend. And I'm very happy for that. Aside from the fact that I'm not superstitious, I enjoy performing that song too much to cut it from our set list at TRF.

So what's a typical day like for the Brobdingnagian Bards at the Texas Renaissance Festival?

We have a fairly standard routine we follow every morning. First thing we do is warm up (and for me wake up) with some lively instrumental music, in particular, "The Morning Song" which we wrote at TRF many years ago for this very purpose.

We usually head left of the gate down to Lee Seed of Poppyseed Graphics' booth. Lee is the graphic artist behind Excalibur Fantasy Faire's amazing promotional graphics. She is a fantastic artist and well-worth stopping by and seeing her pieces.

From there, we make our way around the Pirate ship and the Odeon stopping to play music for anyone willing who listens and throws us a smile. There's a leather shop around the corner with a lass dressed in light tan leather and Indian attire who's become a new regular stopping point. Then all the way down to Penny's Magic Garden and The Pepper Lady (aka Mrs. MacArthur's Pepper Products).

The Pepper Lady and her sister have been regular fans of ours for years. It's amazing that two women can be so sweet and yet create such spicey salsa! For a real test, try the Dragon's Breath. I think you have to sign a waiver to try it, but wow! The most amazing thing about her salsa, is that despite the fact it can be so hot, it's so good. Very rare do those two go hand-in-hand from the stuff I've tasted.

Penny has been our personal maseuse since our first year at Excalibur. First thing in the morning, she helps warm and loosen up our hands with a nice hand massage that makes me melt. Heck, that alone is worth seeing from what I'm told. But the massages are amazing. My suggestion... go by first thing in the morning and setup an appointment for the end of the day. You'll be thankful you did!

From there, we make our way over to The Dragon Swings to visit Becky and her mother and play, "Happily Ever After" or another favorite. They've been family to us for years as well. It tripped me out when Becky told me a few years ago that she was in ROTC and turned the song into a soldier's chant for P.T..

On the other side of The Dragon Swings is a new stop for us. I don't remember the name, but you can down some padded armor, grab a padded axe and do your best to knock off the head of your opponent.

Next, we work our way over past Mockingbird Gazebo to play music for some Fortune-Telling hawkers. Erick, we affectionately call our Official Heckler, so we can't help but warm up our own insults by being verbally assulted by his. :) I'm pretty partial to "Angel's Lament" there. I think it's because of the fangs he wore a couple years ago.

After that, we head to one of my all-time favorites, the House of Dra, located next to the Sea Devil Tavern. Dra makes designer fashions... for the 1600s, but quite honestly, her clothing is designer clothing for today with a Renaissance look that is just brilliant. I think she enchants her clothing, but hasn't admitted to it. They are truely magical pieces!

Right past the Sea Devil, there are three shops that we stop to entertain. The first sells mugs. That's where we got ours from. Great pieces and instructions. Make sure ye get one of your own there. Next is a wee shop that sells gold and silver jewelry, in particular, little pieces that intertwine into your hair. One of these days, I'll get one of those for myself. Next door to that is another fine art store of jewelry and multi-national art and a jolly lad who's been dancing to our music since the days when we used to perform out on the South Mall of the University of Texas at Austin.

Just thirty minutes to go till we need to be the Warfside Gazebo, and it's been an adventurous morning. So we take it easy before our first set, stop to tune, and then listen either near or far to the dance tunes of the viola from our friend Owl Morrison.

First Show of the Morning at TRF
The first show of the morning always varies. Sunday, I was still half asleep. So we had a very personal show for the handful of people who showed up, sitting on the edge of the stage. We played a fairly relaxed set that was just nice and relaxing, a very pleasant set that was to set the tone for the rest of the day.

End of Part I
Well, I'm gonna take a break and continue this later this week methinks... Have a great day and can't wait to see ye at TRF!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, October 20, 2003

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