THE NEW ROPE STRING BAND: REVIEWS
Bent double with laughter at antics
"...The crowd were in for a treat, however, with the next act. Making a welcome return and with two new members, festival favourites the New Rope String Band announced their arrival with the aid of a loud speaker and bounced on stage to cheers and applause.
"Inviting us to join them on an 'ear-hole adventure', Jock Tyldesley, Vera Van Heeringen, Pete Challoner and Tim Dalling were a breath of fresh air. Or rather a hurricane. Their creative act consisted of a mix of music and gags which included a game of fiddle tennis, and an amazing display of timing with a life-sized musical scale which had holes cut out for the notes. Each band member then stuck their head through and sang a note each to form a hilarious song.
"It's difficult to choose between them as every song was brilliant in different ways, but the one about the Cuban revolution, dedicated to the late Old Rope String Band member Joe Scurfield, was priceless.
"People in the crowd were bent double laughing, but among the hilarity were some beautiful tunes and the band's genuinely outstanding musical talent is clear.
"Their show ended with a bang, quite literally, with a glitter explosion and rapturous applause from the audience, whose reaction confirmed my feeling that it is impossible not to love them."
Louise Thomason, The Shetland Times, May 8th, 2009
...probably the most bizarre review ever!
"...It really is one of those situations where 'you had to be there'. It's just impossible to put into words what it is that the New Rope String Band does. The important thing though, is that they do it so well; their musicianship is excellent and the way they combine that with the rest of the show is what makes it work.." Robin Savill, Centre Manager, The Exchange, Sturminster Newton, Dorset
Tim O'Brien laughed till he cried
"I'll use up the remaining space to say how much I enjoyed a performance by the New Rope String Band. Jason and I had a free Saturday just before the tour's end, so we took a day in Lincoln shopping and sightseeing before heading to the village hall in Helpringham to see the Ropes. I was uninitiated, so can't compare them to the tragically ended Old Rope String Band, but they made me laugh until I cried, and played some great music. The door prize drawing at intermission calmed me down but then they came back and did it again. If the Queen could Knight them each or something, it would be a good idea." Tim O'Brien's diary entry.
In October 2008 the New Ropes performed at Churchtown Primary School for their Arts week. Here are some of the things that the kids wrote to us afterwards:
"I really like your myoosick" - Madeleine
"It would not have Artsweek without you and when it was over I was sad because you had left. Your performance made me laugh a lot HAHA and I loved it so much." - Alison
"I loved that band. It was fun." - Elin
"You did a brilliant beeformens. I loved the music" - Jennie
Visit their website for more information and some pictures of the gigs.
A study in harmony
A skillfully preposterous blend of musical recital and circus
"Overall there was rather a lot of fiddling, an impressive amount of accordionising, a good deal of guitar-wielding, a noticeable presence of banjos, an assertive contribution of mandolin, an unforgettable trumpet, plenty of singing, ceaseless action - and more plastic tubes than you could easily count." Read the rest of this review in the Ilkley Gazette.
"How on earth do you describe that to people who haven't seen it?"
"I've got to try to convey the enthusiasm, the humour, the madcap tomfoolery and the sheer exuberant musicianship that comprises the New Rope String Band. In a few hundred words." Richard Beadnall saw the band at Moorsholm Live in 2007; read his review in full (and see his photographs!).
When we were very, very New
"The show is essentially guided by the same eccentric dynamic, but the musical backdrop is stronger than ever..." an article from fROOTS July 2006 introducing the band (reproduced with permission).