All of the band dance or play regularly for dancing. Four of the band either dance or play with Berkshire Bedlam, Red Stags Morris or Wickham Morris. They work with Jo and Simon Harmer (founding members of Chequered Flag Appalachian Dancers) to revive and reinvigorate the tradition of step dancing in the southern counties, and this influences their musical development. Gill is co-founder of EuroBal Wessex, a French/Breton/Euro dance series in Dorset and Hampshire. Ben, Cath and Gill play for Playford and Regency dances with Mrs Savage’s Whim.
Jigfoot’s other musical activities demonstrate the enormous range of influences that feed back into their music. Nic’s cafe swing band Bad Cat evokes the film noir style of the 1940s and Cath plays in a chamber trio and with an acoustic folk/punk duo. Gill plays music from continental Europe with Confluence and deps with the Mellstock Band, and her ‘cello can be heard on albums by the Mellstock Band, Dave Townsend, Geoff Lakeman, Bob and Gill Berry, Sarah Matthews, Mick Ryan and Paul Downes, Geoff Liles and Annette Davies of Kantref, and Graham Moore, amongst others. Between them they all have many other past bands and projects too numerous to mention!
All of the band enjoy playing in sessions, with Cath coordinating an English session and Nic running a swing jazz session, both in Southampton. The band worked with Jo and Simon Harmer to start a step dancing session, building a community to reinvigorate the tradition. They lead festival tunes sessions, including the Steppin’ Time sessions at Sidmouth Folk Festival.
Teaching and Workshops
Cath is co-director of FolkActive, a social enterprise that uses traditional music, dance and folk arts to bring people together, and leads Southampton Folk Orchestra. Gill is a well respected tutor of folk ‘cello and has run workshops at Whitby Folk Week, the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention and Strings at Witney.
Nic runs Green Dome Audio, a small project studio, production and mastering facility, and is an experienced PA and recording engineer.
Welcome or Welcome Not
A short film featuring archive and contemporary footage of Hampshire mummers’ plays, screened with a live soundtrack by Jigfoot using traditional tunes with local connections. The project was originally conceived and performed in March 2012 at The Sound of Silence, a series of events celebrating film and music. The band were subsequently invited to bring the performance to the Groovy Movie Solar Cinema Groovy Movie Solar Cinema at Wickham Festival in August 2012.
“a one off experience and a superb festival find” eFestivals
The Hither Side of the Hedge
A show blending stories, poems, music and dancing with Simon Harmer’s meticulous research that brings to life the songs, dances and Gypsy culture collected by Alice Gillington from Romany families in the New Forest 100 years ago. Content is customised to cater for different areas of interest. Custom presentations have been created for the Romany and Traveller Family History Society, for the local community in Thorney Hill, where Alice lived and collected much of the material, as a hands-on music and dance workshop for the English Country Music Weekend and for performances at Sidmouth and Chippenham Folk Festivals.