London’s Celebration of Cornish Music, Comedy, Food and Language on St. Piran’s Day – Cornwall’s National Day

News From Kernow Matters To Us:

Now in its seventh year, Kernow In The City celebrated St. Piran’s Day in London with two Cornwall-themed events attended by over 600 people.

A special daytime event – Kernow In The Chapel – was held at the Union Chapel, Islington featuring a Cornish ‘shout’ of traditional songs sung by the Wreckers Singers (a group of singers formed at London’s monthly Wrecker’s Wednesday night) plus an acoustic set from Redruth folk-rock group Hanterhir and a short stand-up set from London-based Cornish comedian Colin Leggo. There were readings of Cornish poems in English and Kernewek (the Cornish language) by Mark Elton, a Cornish Language student at London’s City Lit College. The audience also enjoyed Barnecutt’s pasties and saffron exported especially from Cornwall for the event.

Then, in the evening, it was back to the Rich Mix Arts Centre in Shoreditch for the seventh Kernow In The City and it was a splann-tastic night of Cornish music, comedy, food and language!

This year’s event was also the launch for London’s first-ever gig rowing club – the London Cornish Pilot Gig Club. The club formed at the monthly Wrecker’s Wednesday nights and train at the boat club in Richmond set up by Cornish boatbuilder Mark Edwards (who built the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Barge). The club’s patron The Kernow King announced the launch by video-link on the venue’s screen and encouraged the audience to support the club when they compete at this year’s World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly in May!

The audience were entertained by an electric set from Hanterhir, the anthemic guitar-rock of Perranporth-based Auction For The Promise Club and another longer, excellent stand-up set from Colin Leggo.

They also enjoyed proper Cornish pasties supplied by London’s Cornwall-themed Northbank Restaurant and Betty Stog’s ale from Skinners Brewery - to make sure that everyone got flavour of Kernow at its best.

At 9pm, Kernow In The City joined with the rest of Cornwall as the event’s comperes Mark & Lenny led the audience in the ‘Trelawny Shout’. The Cornish anthem was sung so loud that it was probably heard in Cornwall too!

Following the ‘Trelawny Shout’, video messages of St. Piran’s Day greetings from around the world were screened. Cornish ex-pats from Arizona to New Zealand via Bangladesh passed on their best wishes to their Cornish cousins in London.

And to keep the audience up to date with what’s happening back home, DJ and comedian Steve Heller presented a special live edition of his ‘Cornish News’ followed by his legendary ‘Pool Market Rap’.

Finally the headliners Flats & Sharps, one of the UK’s best bluegrass and country bands, played an electrifying set. They started off busking as teenagers on the streets of Penzance and now they play acclaimed shows all over Europe. This was their biggest London show to date and the 300-strong audience were soon dancing to their infectious and joyous banjo-driven boogie.

This year was the biggest-ever St. Piran’s Day celebration in London and Kernow In The City’s organisers are looking forward to bringing Cornwall to London again in 2017!

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