Bottle Bank

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Bottle Bank

The first of four tunes on this CD associated with the great Tyneside fiddler, James Hill, ‘Bottle Bank’ is a hornpipe named for the street in Gateshead which led down to the Old Tyne Bridge. It was known as an extremely lively place with lots of pubs, many of which boasted a resident fiddler. Hill himself was associated with a pub on Bottle Bank called The Hawk. The popularity of music hall on Tyneside coincides with the latter years of Hill’s life and this hornpipe has more than a whiff of the stage about it. I imagine a Chaplin-esque drunk attempting to climb the steep gradient of Bottle Bank, placing one foot carefully in front of the other and occasionally stumbling back down towards the river Tyne.

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