As with most events of this nature, it’d be a rather futile thing to attempt to talk about ALL the awesome vendors who displayed their wares throughout the weekend. Thus, I’m not going to bother! Instead, I’m going to highlight three of my favorites from the weekend.
Steampunk Funk Bizarre – These folks have one of the best business cards I’ve seen. It says “Airship piracy has its rewards… and we sell them. Pre and post Armageddon fashion accessories for Goth, Vamp, Neo-Victorians, and all others so inclined.” Seriously, how can you not love that?? They sell spectacular jewelry, pocket watches, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Their website is still somewhat under construction, and will be having a “grand opening” on May 10, 2010.
Threads of Time – Very high-quality historically-influenced clothing, wedding garments, specialty costumes, etc. Celtic, medieval, renaissance, and fantasy-flavored attire and accessories with lovely Celtic knotwork embroidery and embellishments. Very reasonably priced.
The Goblin Bazaar – Don’t be fooled by their relatively empty Etsy shop – I suspect they took most items offline for the Con, and simply haven’t replaced them yet. Their shop at RenCon contained a fabulous array of … Well, basically, of creatures in jars. Small figurines of faeries, goblins, and the like, inside clear glass jars. Utterly fascinating, and quite lovely. Hopefully they’ll put some up in their Etsy shop, because I think I might need to purchase one or three or five!
Figures that the week after a big event is always too busy at work to let me write! But I did want to be sure I posted about Estampie and the Gypsy Nomads, the two bands that played at the Medieval Masque ball on Friday night.
The Gypsy Nomads opened the evening with their boisterous and toe-tappingly catchy set. I first saw them at FaerieCon 2008, and have been a fan ever since – their music is full of danceable rhythms and rollicking tunes, sung in both French and English. One can’t help but move to their music – don’t tell anyone, but I even caught my stolidly non-dancer partner-in-crime doing a bit of foot-shuffling.
Band members Samantha and Scott were joined at various points by a dreadlocked gentleman on a djembe and by a very talented belly-dancer. At times they rocked out on guitar and drums, at others both performed intricate and energetic percussion duets. I swear, if I had half the energy these two exude in concert, I’d never take another elevator!
The Gypsy Nomads have become a staple act of Faerie, Folk, Renaissance, Celtic, and Steampunk festivals around the country, and seem to be enjoying their well-deserved popularity. Check ‘em out!
The second band of the evening was Estampie, a musical project of Sigrid Hausen and Michael Popp of Qntal (the band which performed on Saturday). I was familiar with Qntal, a German medieval/goth/electronica band that’s lovely to listen to as mood music, but not great for dancing. I hadn’t, however, heard much of Estampie, but was intrigued by the handful of songs on their website.
I wasn’t disappointed. Whereas Qntal is somewhat subdued and moody, Estampie was much more lively and danceable. They played a variety of medieval arrangements, with the two female singers trading harmonies and variously playing violin and whistle. Several other period and modern instruments rounded out the line-up and added a great deal of musical variety. Despite being a forced-morning-person, I stayed till the end of their set and found myself wanting more. Good stuff!