On Saturday I braved the gales and teeming rain in Sydney to join members of the Plantagenet History Society of Australia, Richard III Society and friends to celebrate (a year late) the 21st birthday of the PHSA. I was so glad I went: we spent a wonderful afternoon with the sublime medieval music duo, Pastance. Their music was centred around the Plantagenet era and featured everything from ancient ballads, ‘stamping songs’, songs sung on pilgrimage, and even a rousing battle song (the Agincourt carol) and a lament from Richard the Lionheart about his faithless friends not raising enough ransom money to free him from prison! Pastance (Megan and Alex Cronin) accompanied their songs on a wide variety of ancient instruments: gittern, lute, harp, shawm, recorders and percussion – and even what looked like an animal horn! And they told us of the fascinating origins of their songs while introducing them. It was a memorable afternoon of beautiful music.

Pastance at play!

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