Girls revive art of mouth music

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SAY the phrase ‘girl band’ and it can conjure up an image of manufactured pop lip-synchers wearing skin-tight dresses.

But hear Lady Maisery – a new female folk vocal trio with a difference – perform and they couldn’t be more original.

The group, starring Chesterfield-bred accordian player, clog dancer and singer Hannah James, are one of the first to revive the tradition of diddling tunes, which has nearly died out in England.

“Diddling is basically where you sing the tune rather than singing a song with words – it’s mouth music”, said Hannah, 24, speaking from London where the group are on tour.

“There are traditions in lots of European countries about singing tunes, places like Sweden and Finland.

“It’s something that’s happened in Britain but has died out a little bit – that’s a shame.”

Music-lovers curious about the art of diddling can see Lady Maisery perform in the first concert at Chesterfield Canal Trust’s new home, Hollingwood Hub, tomorrow Friday October 28.

Tickets for the gig, starting at 8pm, cost £8 on (01246) 477569 or by email at

• See this week’s Derbyshire Times for the full story. Click on the link to the right to see a video of the group performing.