Megson bring their pre-school concert to Crawley
Award-winning folk duo Megson blend their infectious mix of vocals and harmonies into a gentle, interactive concert specially for pre-school children
The Megson Family Folk Show will be at The Hawth Studio Crawley on Saturday, September 28 at 11am, featuring children’s folk songs old and new from their 2012 album When I was a Lad and from their forthcoming album in a similar vein, Little Bird which comes out on October 11.
Megson are Stu Hanna (vocals, guitar, banjo and mandola) and Debbie Hanna (vocals, piano accordion, whistle and kazoo), and between each song, they will playfully involve the audience, introducing ideas, instruments and stories that feature in the songs.
As Stu explains: “We released an album of children’s song songs in 2012 after we had our little girl, and really the album was to mark the occasion. It was just something we wanted to do, and after we had done it, we sent it around to a few people and a few venues said that they wanted a show.
“When we did the album, it was just about reflecting what was happening in our lives.
“There were some songs like Dance To Your Daddy and there were some American and some old English songs as well, things like Oats and Beans and Barley Grow.
“And the venues just wanted a show for children. We started at The Sage in Gateshead.
“They had a lot of families that were interested in folk, and we just developed it from there.
“We did the first show in 2013 and it has developed into an interactive show for the children.
“We get the children involved with dances and actions. Every song has a different aspect.”
And inevitably, it’s a very different approach to their usual concert style: “But we make sure that the music is not dumbed down in any way. We are very meticulous. Our style is all about the highest standards.
“Having our daughter at that age at the time definitely helped because we could try stuff with her. She is eight now and a little old for it really now.
“The show is really for nought to seven, but she gives us lots of advice still.”
Part of the challenge is developing the pace for the show.
“It starts off with everyone getting very intrigued about the sound of the instruments. We do a song called My Father’s Farm, which is about the animal noises and seeing which animal noises they know.
“And then we have songs with actions which is very lively, and then we take it down a bit before the final climax. And everyone comes out with a smile on their face.“The children are intrigued by the sounds of the instruments and by the sounds that we make. It is great to get them involved, and children really do seem to respond to music quite quickly.”
And the whole thing is a lovely counterpoint to their more usual, more grown-up shows: “It is a good chance to be a bit silly!”Tickets priced £7 (family of four: £26) can be bought from The Hawth box office on 01293 553636 or visiting www.hawth.co.uk.