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Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands

Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands
Saxon Moon. Photo by Catherine Downes.

30 miles south of town there is a mini fortress wall, and once you buy your ticket and walk through its portcullises, the Scarborough Renaissance Festival awaits. It's a magical land, where the bacchanalia of 1533 (mead poured into horns!) meets the bacchanalia of 2013 (deep fried macaroni and cheese!).

We went this weekend expecting to wander the grounds for a bit and be gone within a couple hours. Because what is there to do, really, for a bunch of adults? Eat unhealthy/delicious food, drink said mead (16% ABV, we're told), window shop some battle axes? Maybe try and dunk the jester? Instead we shut the place down. Partly that's because the grounds are enormous, but more it's because no festival or fair or market of any kind is populated by as big and colorful an array of personalities as this place. Between the actual employees of the Festival, who must audition, and the "playtrons," who show up in impossibly detailed character every weekend, you can pretty much forget you're standing in North Texas.

I talked to five of the official bands at Scarborough about their past with the Festival and some of the current music that inspires them. The answers range from classic rock to Swedish death metal. Enjoy.

Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands
Photo by Catherine Downes

Stonhenj

How long have you been playing Scarborough Renaissance Festival? Since '97.

What is your most prized article of clothing or accessory? Leader Marcus Desmond has owned his thigh-high, quarter-inch-thick leather boots for 15 years. They're in the shop now because he wore through them. "It took three years to find a cobbler," says band mate Dona.

What's your favorite post-germ theory band? Marcus Desmond (character name): Queen Dona Dulicnea Rosita Palma (character name): Twisted Sister Cooper Daniels (character name): Blackmore's Night Mira (character name): Straight No Chaser

Where can people see play you other than here? Libraries, museums and special events.

Saxon Moon

How long have you been playing Scarborough Renaissance Festival? We've been a band for two years -- this is our first Scarborough.

What is your most prized article of clothing or accessory? Paul Adam bought the mug below on eBay and food-grade epoxied that pentagram to the bottom.

What's your favorite post-germ theory band? Paul Adam: Mike Patton/Faith No More Dave Elles: Amon Amarth. (Note: Here's the Google image search on that one.) Louis Finkel: The Sword

Where can people see play you other than here? Various Celtic and Renaissance festivals.

 

Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands
Photo by Catherine Downes

Traveller Song

How long have you been playing Scarborough Renaissance Festival? 5 years, but its members have been attending or performing for 15 years.

What is your most prized article of clothing or accessory? Jeremy Welch's cittern. "It can do it all."

What's your favorite post-germ theory band? Jeremy Welch: Great Big Sea Matthew Young: Flogging Molly

Where can people see play you other than here? Every other Wednesday at the Abbey Inn in Denton. Details here.

Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands
Photo by Catherine Downes

Queen Anne's Lace

How long have you been playing Scarborough Renaissance Festival? 17 years.

What is your most prized article of clothing or accessory? Anne Ellis is also the Festival's ale-conner, meaning she tastes the drinks for quality. She uses this tiny mug -- it's new this year. Someone stole the old one.

What's your favorite post-germ theory band? Anne Ellis (the blue one): Aerosmith Heather Ethridge (teal): The Beatles Katrina (green): Dar Williams Sharon (yellow): Plain White Ts Michelle (red): Showtunes

Where can people see play you other than here? Renaissance Festivals around the country.

Here are the Scarborough Reniassance Festival Musicians' Favorite Modern Bands
Photo by Catherine Downes

Tartanic

How long have you been playing Scarborough Renaissance Festival? 2nd year here, but they've been playing at various festivals around the country for 10 years.

What is your most prized article of clothing or accessory? The bagpipes. They aged 20 years before Ethan bought them and he's had this set for 12 years.

What's your favorite post-germ theory band? John: Nijaz Ethan: Eric Whitacre

Where can people see play you other than here? Festivals and the occasional pub.

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