Saturday 22nd February 2014 - Carnival Party at Lania Taverna, organised by The Cultural Educational Athletic Club of Lania. DJ, Buffet, Raffle, Music & Dancing, all for €12 per person including food. Superb evening hosted at the Lania Taverna by Dinos and his family. Food was fantastic, great service as always and a wonderful atmosphere. The costumes were varied and really good fun, I believe everyone enjoyed themselves! Thank you to everyone involved for a fab evening! Prize for the best costume went to Shake YerMoneyMaker. (See pictures in the Gallery). Posted 22/04/2014.
KM reports on Carnival Party at Sylikou Taverna 9th March 2013. "Thank you for all your hard work to provide a memorable Saturday CARNIVAL evening, An excellent new menu with lovely new dishes...,great service from SAVVAS & LEONADAS... The decorations were fantastic as was your GHOST outfit, SAVVAS as a PIRATE... Good fun!!" Posted 11/03/2012.
KM reports on Christmas in Sylikou 23 December 2012. " The village had one of the most successful carol singing events ever in Greek/English, attended by some 90 persons including The President of the Village Council and many who were new to Sylikou, to start the festive season. Plus the work done by Adonis and team to make the centre of the village look like we care: old frames tidied, new festive decorations, a real Christmas tree, new lights, timers, a snow machine ( thanks to Ross!) .... and weeds cut in the children’s play park (so that Mothers do not lose sight of the children!) & around the mosque etc.... " Posted 09/01/2013.
VH - Lania Lanes, May 2012... It was good to see those of you who visited the Lania Lanes event last month – welcome to our new supporters. We had a lovely weekend and the courtyards and Lania were at their best with help from the Lania Lanes Women’s group and the winter rain, having encouraged the flowers to bloom.
KM reports on... Tuesday 2 August 2011 ....8pm, Music in the Mountains, SUMMER DANCE PARTY. 60s & 70s pop dance music..... with top band “Cadillac Jack” and belly Dancer “ANITA”, plus special guest star.....Andrew Oliver. Sylikou Village Taverna Square- just off the Limassol to Platres road. Follow MONAGRI, AY GEORGIOS to SYLIKOU. Reservations were essential... at Sylikou Taverna with Master Chef Adonis - Tel: 99794187.
“The Mountains were alive...Sylikou village centre was transformed by ADONIS’ Taverna team into a street restaurant and dance floor as ANDREW OLIVER and CADILLAC JACK took centre stage and played the audience through the 60s & 70s.
ANITA, a professional belly dancer, joined them and showed grace, charm ...and the “WOW” factor.... KM and an entranced audience watched ANDRIA at her debut at the Music in the Mountains Party at SYLIKOU on 2nd August and reports...
Professional Belly dancer ANDRIA gave a stunning performance for the party-goers at SYLIKOU on 2nd August 2011 in her debut in the Mountains co-starring with Andrew Oliver and Cadillac Jack.... Professionally trained over 5 year ANDRIA demonstrated her expertise with great artistic style, humour and to delightful music! She is a teacher as well as a dancer and is available to give classes and To dance at events/parties etc.... contact is 97695179...book early!”
Dancing was both optional and compulsory (!) ....clearly many were assisted and attracted to take to the floor after “many years...” A power cut for 40 minutes in mid-show added to the charm...
Great cold food plate menus were ordered from ADONIS and his team, Glasses were refreshed...All in the candle lit square....And there were many requests to learn Braille...
“Been there ....on the square!!!”....A GREAT MUSIC & DANCE NIGHT in a wonderful location...
Thanks guys and dolls... KM.”
The 24th Sylikou Village Festival, Saturday 22nd August 2009
A great success for President of The Village Committee, Costas Polis and his Lavrania Committee. With more than 600 visitors, food, commanderia wine, music and dancing. The music fair blasted me out of my nest...volume replacing quality perhaps? Although the young bouzouki player was superb.
The High Table included Minister Sylikotis who spoke in Turkish on the attractions of an undivided Cyprus to the audience including some 120 visiting Turkish Cypriot guests. Then the Turkish Cypriot representative responded in a similar vein...
Several of my flock reported that the village Priest sat in isolation, his place having been taken by the vast retinue of “hangers on”... not a happy, or proper, situation...!
“There is hope”...said several Sylikotis residents on the Turkish Cypriot dimension ...others were less enthusiastic...mainly those with unpleasant memories of the Turkish Army’s Invasion. And maybe next year the village priest will get his proper place back!
I retired to my nest in the early hours to contemplate the easy and plentiful rubbish pickings later in the morning...a pleasant feature of such events...
Sunday 16th August 2009 - 'Of love and yearning', Lania Park
This musical cultural event was held to honour five long-time residents of the village for their considerable service to the Lania community over the years.
The honouree's were :-
The previous Muhkta - Mr George Sykas
Reverend Konstantinos Nikolaou (Lania Village Priest for the past 47 years)
Mr Andreas Tsiakolis (ex Lania Village Councillor)
Mr Hippocrates Christofi (ex Lania Village Councillor)
Mr Christos Ktistis (for many years the Lania Village Postmaster)
Following a valedictory speech introducing them to the audience of circa 300 by Andreas Roussias (the current Lania Muhkta) in the presence of the Bishop of Limassol, each honouree was presented with a specially produced Memorial Scroll commemorating their unique contributions to Lania Village life over many years, as well as receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
The presentations were followed by an excellent free cocktail party with abundant 'finger' food and free flowing wine, Commanderia and Zivenia after which those present were treated to an excellent concert of Cypriot music by The Admitos Pitsillides Band who continued to entertain to midnight playing both Classical Greek and popular Cypriot songs
(The evening was kindly sponsored by - The Cultural Services of the Cyprus Ministry of Education)
21 July 2009 - Cassus Belli, Lania.
The 2009 Commanderia Festival got of to a good start with a very well attended performance in the Church Square by the Modern Jazz sextuplet Cassus Belli. Their performance of a mixture of classical and 'cutting edge' contemporary jazz - fronted by an excellent singer - kept the appreciative audience entertained for over an hour past the official scheduled finish time while the audience enjoyed extensively tasting the free wine and Cyprus delicacies on offer!
Friday 10 July 2009 - Jump Jive Five, Omodhos Tavern
Brand new band Jump Jive Five, played two hours of feel-good fifties jive music to an enthusiastic crowd at the ever popular Omodhos Tavern. This five piece professional band consisting of sax/vocals, guitar/vocals, piano/vocals, double bass/vocals and drums presented a running narrative chronicling the history of jive through the 1950s. Different members of the band announced and sang lead for each section as one song segued into the next, to keep up the momentum. All the stars of he 1950s were represented with great songs from Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, The Coasters, Brenda Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and Bill Haley. And the crowd ,oved it! And who can blame them after a super dinner from Jason and team, a glass of local wine and the fantastic atmosphere under the trees. Another great night on Omodhos!
Friday 12 June 2009 - Abba Dabb Do at Omodhos Tavern
This was the bands first visit to the idylic mountain Taverna and by all accounts won't be the last! Right from the beginning Jason, Nikki and their family and staff decorated the tables beautifully, so all were expecting a very special evening. And the guests were not disappointed as the huge traditional buffet was opened to admiring comments.
Once all were fed and watered it was time to get up and participate in the sensational Abba dance party created by tribute band Abba Dabba Do.
The band had the crowd on their feet from the very start with Voulez Vous, Mama Mia and the rest. In the second half the mood changed as the band took to stools for a touching rendition of Fernando and I Have A Dream.
Then it was back on their feet as all joined in the final dance session with Dancing Queen, Waterloo and a whole bevey of hits designed to put smiles on faces and feet on dance floors world wide.
'Best ever' was the general comment on the night at Omodhos Tavern and congratulatons are due to the Taverna staff and promotors Music in the Mountains for bringing such a memorable evening to the village.
LOFOU Wednesday 20th May 2009
Re-printed from “Cyprus Gourmet Weekly” in The Financial Mirror issue of Wednesday 27th. May, by permission.
A MUSICAL EVENING… HARMONIOUS NOTES AT LOFOU
Costas Violaris has a flair for agro tourism, a love of his village and a feeling for business. A market gardener by training and profession he re-built a family house in Lofou in 1992 and opened it as the “Lofou Tavern”. I have known him since those days, and remember his first step into Agro-Tourism with the conversion of some upstairs rooms into tourist accommodation. Since then he has steadily expanded his village empire: more tables in the taverna; a lovely courtyard; some very comfortable hotel-style accommodations, and a most impressive wine bar and wine cellar suitable for meetings and functions.
Gastronomically Costas realised early on that supporting a place of its size depended upon more than local Sunday lunches and evening ex-Pat diners and with the energy for which he is noted he promoted his place to tour operators. He soon became a magnet for tourist buses, at lunch time and evenings. And, whilst some individual diners shied away from such things, clubs and affinity groups liked what Lofou Tavern had to offer.
Last week, for us, it was a return to Lofou after several years’ absence, to listen to some very pleasant and melodic classical music, performed by violinist Peter Witham and pianist Jon Kille, Cyprus residents both, whose talents are much in demand for various classical music occasions. The concert took place in Costas’s “Wine Cellar”, which seats about 60 for such events. The Wine Cellar has been built with the same pleasing style that marks everything Costas does – comfortable, customer-friendly, modern but retaining a charming rusticity.
The just-over-the-hour duration of the concert sped by as Messrs Witham and Kille played music by Dvorak, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Lehar and others. They did it with style and considerable accomplishment and the linking commentary by Peter Witham was witty and innformative. None of the pieces was hackneyed, but to very middle-brow music lovers like us, recognition of many, like “Air on a G Strong”, “Moonlight Sonata” and “On Wings of Song” heightened the enjoyment. Peter and Jon didn’t just play well, they gave the appreciative full house a rattling good musical feast.
From this feast then, the audience, who almost to a man and woman had taken trouble with dress for the occasion (some lovely frocks on ladies of three generations, for example and some smart male shirts and jackets) repaired to Costas’s Tavern and his “Set Meal”, which was generally enjoyed (to judge by the well cleaned plates). It was, I suspect, his “Tourist Meze”, and there were some good flavours, notably a pasta dish of vegetable-tinged “Kritharaki” (“Little Barley” pasta), Bamies (“Lady’s Fingers”), egg-and-spinach and pour-gouri pilaff. However, the meaty part, chicken and pork Souvla, was disappointing. Our portions were somewhat dry and over-cooked, and the accompanying roast potatoes were undercooked and barely roasted. It prompted the thought in my mind that Costas might well consider flexibility when catering for residents as opposed to tourists – many of us have been confronted with enough Souvla to last a lifetime, and for me at least a good pot of beans and vegetables and a chicken casserole would have been more appetising.
This small caveat doesn’t alter the fact that this was a good evening and at €25 a head all in, including generous provision of Costas’s Jug Wine – the every day red or white from Tsiakkas, which everyone found most acceptable – good value. It was one of the “Music in the Mountains” programme, whose versatile organiser is musician-singer and big name impersonator Andrew Oliver, to whom all credit. Andrew has built a programme for nearly all tastes and if you aren’t familiar with it, look at HAPPENINGS here, every week or the super website www.cyprusvillagelink.com
Wednesday 17th June is the next classical music night music for string quartet at Ayios Amvrosios.
Lofou Tavern, Coffee Shop, Wine Bar and Accommodation. Telephone 2547 0202 / 9946 8151. Taverna open every day, except Monday for lunch and dinner. Coffee shop and Wine Cellar, 9am to 10pm every day.
Report by Patrick Skinner, Publisher-Editor “Cyprus Gourmet Magazine”
Friday 8 May 2009 – Omodhos
Ross Neil was the star attraction at Omodhos Tavern on Friday 8 May as he made a welcome return to the friendly restaurant. He provided a fine performance of pop, rock’n’roll and even a little light opera that had the audience on their feet dancing and finally giving him a standing ovation.
‘It was a real pleasure to revisit Omodhos’ say Ross, ‘the audience were appreciative of the wide range of songs that I do my best to deliver’ He continued: ‘they were great fun too, which always helps the evening to swing'. The enthusiastic audience enjoyed the emotional songs such as 'Sogno' and 'Time To Say Goodbye' from Andrea Bocelli, 'Softly As I Leave You' from Matt Monroe, then danced well to 'Spirit In The Sky', 'Kingston Town' and 'Pretty Woman'.
Jason and Nicky were wonderful hosts again and all look forward to future shows at this most hospitable of Taverns in the mountains.
JAZZ/ART Lania 1 May 2009
JAZZ/ART featured paintings by Michele Witthaus. All inspired by jazz music, titles included Let’s Take 16 Bars, Unsquare Dance, What Is This Thing Called Love and Move to the Groove. The twenty original and colourful works on show were acrylic on canvas/acrylic and oil pastel on canvas.
Michele was inspired by the idea of trying to document her impressions of jazz music, and tried to hear colours and see the structure of jazz sounds in a way that would make sense on canvas. Some of the works refer to jazz numbers, others pay tribute to individual musicians and composers, while one or two are just about jazz in its essence. Many of the works are layered, to reflect the way in which jazz works by layering instrumental and vocal parts, making space for solos to render the mood slightly differently each time.
Michele Witthaus has an MA in Art & Media Practice from the University of Westminster (2004). In addition to her painting and drumming, Michele works in Cyprus and the UK as a freelance writer, editor, photographer and web designer. She plays drums with several jazz bands in Cyprus and has exhibited her paintings and photographs in solo and group shows at a number of Cyprus venues over the last four years.
The event started with a first viewing of the works and a short and fascinating talk by Barbara Davies about the connection between sound and colour. Then, after a glass or two and a fine food platter provided by hosts Yiannis and Phoebe it was time for the jazz.
Da Capo consists of Paul Woodall on piano, Cathryn Robson on vocals and Michelle Witthaus on drums. They thoroughly entertained the capacity audience with jazz standards from Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Jobim and the rest including Don’t Get Around Much Any More, Paper Moon, Lullaby of Birdland
and Autumn Leaves. The audience were completely enraptured by classics such as Fly Me to the Moon, The Man I Love, Summertime and a particularly fine rendition of Fever. Da Capo ended on Sway and several guests did just that and danced the night away.
Friday 10 April 2009 - ELTON IN OMODHOS
Not the real one, of course but a very passable imitation of the Queen Mum of Pop made a visit to Omodhos Tavern to entertain a near capacity crowd with Elton Johns greatest hits. Andrew Oliver played piano and sang his heart out as the audience danced almost continuously. The evening started with fine service and a big smile from Nikki, Jason and his team at Omodhos Tavern. The log fire was roaring and all assembled were in high spirits. Many had booked a room for the night so had no worries about driving home.
The buffet meze was plentiful, tasty and very well presented, putting everyone in the right frame of mind to party the night away… and they did! Andrew keep the pop music for hours until well after midnight as the even the most enthusiastic dancers began to tire. The nit was time for home, but not before booking up for the next party night. Ross Neil is coming next month and promises an equally enjoyable evening.
Friday 21 March 2009 – Pleiades Art Café Lania - Mountain Folk with Blue Jar
Blue Jar, a Jazz and Folk Duo, performed in front of an enthusiastic audience of about 60 local people at the Pleiades Art Cafe on Friday evening 21 March 2009 (quite a cold night to be out and about) as part of the Music in the Mountains series of events scheduled for March and April. Blue Jar is a spectacled husband and wife team – Tommy and Lesley Lock from Belfast – respectively on guitar and violin, producing a classical jazz sound in the mould of Jean-Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt (1910 –1953) who was a Belgian Gypsy jazz guitarist. Reinhardt is well remembered as one of the most renowned jazz guitarists from his innovative and distinctive playing style particularly when joined by the jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli.
The Pleiades Art Café is a fairly new venue located in the centre of Lania Village next to Androula’s coffee shop (Platanos Café). It has used the foundations of a derelict stone building but adopting modern building techniques through the use of structural ‘I’ beams to carry the load of large open areas glazed along their full length on one side on the ground and first floors. The ground floor offers for sale many local artistic crafts, mosaics being a noteworthy speciality. Accessed from an external staircase, the first floor area is used as a café and entertainment area. Exposed steelwork might give one the idea of an industrial building but the ambience created by distinctive lighting, rough stone walls on three sides and comfortable café furniture says otherwise. Phoebe and Yiannis run the place and for this evening were ably assisted by Diane and Sue acting as waitresses but sans lacy pinafores and fishnet tights.
Lesley, the violinist is the good looking member of the partnership with long honey blonde hair and a glitter ball thigh length top that twinkles with every movement. Tommy, the guitar player, who would like to keep more of his hair, goes for a rugged outdoor look. The violin playing is extraordinarily reminiscent of the master and is accompanied by a continuous smile as Leslie bows and picks out the message of the music for a willing foot tapping audience. After a series of jigs and to the accompaniment of her partner’s guitar she continues with a wealth of Irish folk songs that talk of unrequited love, sweet sadness, sorrow and death that hurts our hearts. She finishes with a very pleasant rendition of Danny Boy to remind us of Ireland at its most popular. In amongst all this Tammy shows a fine skill with the guitar whilst keeping the sound mixer under control.
After the interval the programme moved into brasher melodies of the Gypsy violin and guitar calling for much audience participation to follow the rhythm with accurate clapping with the violin bow in need of a rapid elbow. Tommy picks up his solo vocal spot that have the Irish faces present enthralled as they follow the words, while the rest of us guess the meaning. Thoroughly washed by the music it is our turn to accompany Blue Jar with the aid of a song sheet covering half a dozen or so traditional Irish songs very well known to the world. The finale was another rendition of Danny Boy forcing warmth into our souls and enthusiastic applause for Tommy and Lesley.
21 March 2009
GREEN MONDAY PICNIC – LANIA PARK – 2 MARCH 2009
New Muhktar, Andreas Rousias, together with the Lania Community Board, Lania Cultural Club and Lania Ladies organised a new event for the village. The publicity flyer was a bit vague about timings and what exactly was on offer, but as it turned out a fine time was had by all who braved the cold afternoon in order to attend.
Traditionally, Green Monday is the beginning of Lent when no meat can be eaten. As Mr Rousias suggested, at can also be interpreted as Green, as
in ‘clean’ or ‘environmentally friendly’. The young (and not so
young) played football, as kites were flown overhead and local wine and Zivania flowed at the picnic tables. Local residents of all nationalities brought their own vegetarian food to help soak up the alcohol and after lunch all were welcomed by the Muhktar and invited to join the dancing and games that followed. The Lania Ladies offered wonderfully fresh traditional bread.
The multi-cultural disco was provided by MC Paul Costerton with a good selection of folk and pop music from Cyprus, Greece, UK and UK. Many guests danced in one style or another and occasionally both, and some joined in with various games, some involving skipping! There was a great feeling of community with lots of smiling faces and good humour and the last of the almond blossom provided a perfect backdrop in this most delightful park. The next outdoor event of the year will surely be held under warmer conditions!
MURDER MYSTERY – Pleiades Art Café, Lania – 9 January 2009
The mystery was called ‘Operation Murder’. Set in Killem Hall
Hospital, Sir John Snife was murdered by person or persons unknown. He was the
Chief Executive of the hospital Primary Care Trust. The task of the audience was to discover the identity of the murderer as the cast read from their scripts. Everyone enjoyed it and the food at Pleiades Art Café was very good too.
The cast of suspicious characters comprised Dee Spence (pharmacist) - Barbara Knights, Mal Practice (Surgeon) - Terry Knights, Ann T Septic (nurse) - Debbie Cunningham, Aachen Head (Doctor) - Ray Cunningham, Drew Blood (nurse) - Susan Costerton, Ray D O'Grapher (X ray operator) - Tom Darling, Sister Sledge (Matron) - Margaret Lyons, Willie Everwake (Anaesthetist) - Aron Sharman, Cilla Con (Plastic Surgeon) - Margaret McGarva, Lance Boyles (consultant) - Paul Costerton, Emma Roids (nurse) - Diane Sims, Ammin Trubbel (Doctor) - Ray Duke, Carrie Patients (Porter) - Dena Parry and Parry Medic (Ambulance Driver) - Derek Carr. Sheila Duke was the Narrator.
None of the actors had seen their script until just before the event and nobody but the murderer knew who he or she was. Not even the narrator knew until the 'denouement' envelope was opened at the end! All agreed it was
a super first event at the Pleiades Art Café, which is set to become a real asset to the village. It is a really nice intimate and welcoming venue
with a nice feel about it and, hopefully will be increasingly used in the future. Phoebe and Yiannis are to be congratulated on creating this superb space and the cast did a fine job of looking really shifty! This was a most entertaining evening.
BIG DAY IN LANIA – SUNDAY 28 DECEMBER 2008
One of the most exciting days in Lania has to be the Sunday between Christmas and New Year when local cultural activity reaches fever pitch. This year was no exception and even had some added surprises.
This reporters’ day started with tea at Catherine Stirrats’ village house in the heart of Lania. Here, she explained the concept behind a new publication: The Villager. It’s a local village newsletter packed full of stories, poems, recipes and a big what’s on section, all produced locally in the Commandaria region. Catherine can be contacted at - Email: email@example.com and Tel: 99713453, so feel free to send in your stories and adverts.
Meanwhile, over at Lania Park, a large crowd of the young and young at heart gathered to witness the arrival of Santa, not by traditional sleigh but by a very hi tech helicopter. St Nick circled the village twice to alert all of his arrival, as part of a regional tour, organised by the Kouris-Xylourikou Group of Communities. He distributed gifts to the children before flying off to the next village.
After all this excitement it was time for lunch as your intrepid reporter sampled the delights of turkey soup, turkey risotto, turkey pasta bake followed by mince pies with brandy and whipped cream and just a glass or two or red wine. What followed was a spirited (literally!) discussion on the state of Lania, the universe and everything, by the assembled guests in a delightful old village house hosted by a most hospitable couple.
The rollercoaster of fun then moved to the ancient Lania Museum, where the Lania Ladies were hard at work preparing local delicacies on the BBQ. After a jolly good natter with friends old and new, accompanied by wonderful traditional food and drink, it was time to stop talking and start listening as the main event of the day got underway. Not one, but two local choirs held an enthusiastic crowd enthralled with Christmas Carols sung in Greek and English. This was multi-culturalism at its best as famous songs were performed by locals and foreigners alike in a heart warming display of musical cooperation.
The singing over and all thanked, it was time for the real surprise of the day as George Sykas, the outgoing Muhktar, gave a fine speech with tears in his eyes as he handed the reins to incoming Muhktar, Andreas Rousias. Mr Rousias made an equally moving speech, explaining his vision for the future, after the fine work over thirty years, of Mr Sykas. Both speeches were translated, thankfully, for the non Greek speakers so all could appreciate what felt like a truly historic moment.
Feeling very reflective, your faithful hack was about to depart for his customary nap when he was invited to yet another soirée at another delightful old village house but some very dear friends. This time it was coffee and cake for the drivers and more wine for the walkers, as the days’ events were re-enacted, digested and mulled over in great detail. All agreed that Lania was entering a new and promising phase and the future was heartily toasted.
Finally, it was time to leave for home, but with the new Mosaic Workshop looking absolutely magical, illuminated at night, there was no alternative but to partake of a nightcap with proprietors Phoebe and Yiannis. This brand new cultural gem in the heart of Lania has been a long time coming, as many local trades people have realised the extremely imaginative vision of this most enterprising of couples. It comprises a mosaic workshop and studio downstairs with a modern Art Café upstairs. It has been christened ‘Pleiades’ which means a group of stars, representing a group of artists whose work will be featured in the gallery. The whole place looks absolutely magnificent and will clearly be a real asset to the village for many years to come.
After a day like today who can help but love Lania!
Carols By Candlelight – Koilani – Monday 22 December 2008
Kates “Carols by Candlelight” in Koilani village was a first (of many we hope) and a very successful event. Kate Tray orchestrated the event with the singing of Christmas carols by candlelight at her home in Koilani village. Lessons and prayers were led by Reverend Eric Freeman.
In spite of the inclement weather conditions the event was well attended, all being wrapped up against the elements. Mince pies, mulled wine, shortbread and Christ dingles for the children all added to the warmth and festivity of the event. Everyone was in good voice, sang heartily and it was agreed that a good time was had by all and we all look forward to repeating it next Christmas.
SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, LOFOU WINE CELLER - THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER 2008
Lofou was transformed into a Christmas wonderland for this special concert, presented by Music in the Mountains. There was tinsel a-plenty and lots of candles and several very pretty Christmas trees decorating this most atmospheric of venues.
The normally demure Andrew Oliver set the tone with his introduction, dressed in a reindeer hat! And then is was time for the trio to take to the stage. Peter Witham was a principal violinist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra until 2007 when he moved to Cyprus. Jon Kille, piano is Head of the Cyprus Music Service in Cyprus. Vicky Witham trained in acting, ballet and modern dance in the UK and has many television and radio appearance to her credit and has now settled in Cyprus.
Their programme was presented with great humour and energy. Melodies included Sleigh Ride, White Christmas and Little Donkey and were interspersed with poems such as The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, I Keep My Snowman In The Freezer by Ian McMillan and Christmas by John Betjeman. Serious pieces like Pachelbels Canon were contrasted by amusing verse such as The Lament Of The Ostrich by Gordon Snell.
At the interval the guests were treated to a very tasty glass of gently mulled wine together with warm, traditional English mince pies that were for most, the first of many to be enjoyed this month!
The second part commenced with the trio in Santa hats and the hilarious piece The Twelve Days of Christmas by John Julius Norwich. Narrator, Vicky delighted the audience with her spirited performance on the jingle bells in several musical numbers. The In The Bleak Mid-Winter melody by Gustav Holst played gently under a moving reading of the lyrics to In The Bleak Mid-Winter by Christina Rossetti. The concert concluded with the Largo from Winter from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. And then it was time for Carols. Many of the guests had been
humming along to the melodies and now it was their big chance to really let rip.. and they did not disappoint! A great selection of traditional Christmas Carols had the entire audience singing and the final, final encore of Jungle Bells left all fully satisfied.
Later, we all strolled up the lane to the Lofou Tavern for a super meze and lots of village wine. As usual Costas, the owner, played his bouzouki but this time was joined by Peter on violin who clearly knew all the traditional Greek and Cypriot melodies by heart. It’s not often you see an former member of a famous symphony orchestra jamming with a chef/owner/musician and the evening was made even more memorable for their impromptu performance.
LANIA CATSNIP CHARITY VARIETY SHOW, LANIA TAVERN,
WEDNESDAY 3 DECEMBER 2008
What a great time we all had at the Lania Tavern last Wednesday. It was a full house (very full!). There was entertainment for everyone - ranging from rock, swing and pop, magic and a DJ. Many thanks to our professional entertainers for giving their time so generously for Lania Catsnip.
Dino did a great job with the tasty buffet and the wine flowed freely. We were overwhelmed by the amazing raffle gifts and services offered to be auctioned.
Thank you all so much. As with any event of this kind, a great deal of thought and effort goes into making it a success. Susan and I are very grateful to all those who have been so generous over the last year and for their valuable help in organizing this very special event.
Catsnip has been up and running for a year now and we have neutered 20 cats. The funds raised at the Variety Show amounted to €1,594. So watch out all you ferals!
LANIA CATSNIP CHARITY VARIETY SHOW, LANIA TAVERN,
WEDNESDAY 3 DECEMBER 2008
A charity variety show was held at Lania Tavern on 3 December 2008 with the aim of raising funds for a very worthy animal welfare cause. The funds contributed by the commendable people attending the Variety Show are to be added to those previously raised by Catsnip and used to control the stray cat populations of Lania and district through capture, sterilization and, once back to health, release into the community from which they originated.
Andrew Oliver as Elton John, magician David Sebastian and lofty pop singer Dean Robins and DJ Peter Stirrat appeared without charge helping to further improve the total funds raised during the evening. A well heeled raffle and auction was held after all had shared a generous buffet. It seemed as though all those present received a raffle prize or, through their auction bid magnanimousness, went home with a worthy gift courtesy of open-handed local people and retailers. I’m afraid I didn’t win a night out for two to barter my good fortune with someone else who had previously won a dinner for two at the Four Seasons in a raffle carried out at the St Barnabas Church Christmas Fayre. Tonight she went on to win another meal for two at the Kings in Limassol! Her initials, by the way, are Bubbling Barbara.
A fabulous turnout of pretty mountain maids in posh frocks, pearls and gold accompanied by mature, handsome and lively men ensured that this would be a memorable evening for all at a full Lania Tavern. Lania Lady Diane, as she always can, produced a little black number that suggested an exchange of a large wad of Euros to show off her size eight figure. In fact, I was reliably informed, the cost of the outfit was astonishingly low-priced. Both Diane, Veronica and the rest of the team deserve our thanks for the splendid efforts they have made to make the Catsnip event such a success. I’m sure you won’t mind me using this forum to thank them on your behalf.
Close up card tricks and other magic toured the tables under the control of David Sebastian, a young man who can clearly move his hands under your nose to produce a result that defies detection but produces squeals of glee from gob smacked ladies and gentle throat clearing from the gentlemen. The ripping performance that produces a playing card of the audience’s free choice had us all stunned.
Andrew Oliver, a Lania local resident but with a village house just outside Paphos that was essential to avoid the strain of daily commuting to perform at shows in Paphos, got the musical part of the show underway. His rendition of Knock on Wood brought lots of applause. Cotton Fields, shortly afterwards, was bashed out on the piano in vigorous style for the joy of us all. A step change into a Simon and Garfunkle number and then Day Dream Believer had Vicky demonstrating a very cool hand jive. Hit the Road Jack encouraged some community singing and table finger tapping by the Lady in Red, aka Susan.
Lofty Dean Robins got the thumbs up from Harry, this is more his era he says, ‘40’s and 50’s for me any day but not Bing Crosby!’ Local wisdom has it that Twist and Shout was originally done by the Top Notes meaning that the Beatles rendition was a cover version. That information settled a frank discussion nearby.
After some more amazing magic ‘Elton’ returns welcomed by the Lady in Red who, as an umpire of musical sophistication, considers that the wild piano we are enjoying is better than the original – I can’t argue with that. Lania Tavern is indeed a fine compact place in which to immerse oneself in the pleasure of a musical evening with ones friends without breaking the bank. See you there soon, perhaps at the next musical evening?
The entire event raised €1594, which will be used to control the feral cat population on Lania.
Drahcir (Lania), 4 December 2008
ABBA DABBA DO, Karidaki Restaurant, Trimiklini, Friday 21 November 2008
‘A very enjoyable evening, thank you’, ‘we all had a lovely evening’, ’the taverna staff were very efficient and friendly’ ‘thank you once again for a great evening's entertainment‘, ‘very entertaining’. These are just some comments from the capacity crowd at Karidaki Restaurant.
The room was already half full an hour before the show, with a big coach party from Kolossi. The rest of the room quickly filled as Abba fans sampled the traditional Cyprus Meze served up by the fast moving staff. The restaurant management and staff bent over backwards to supply food and wine in double quick time whilst ushers Dianne and Ursula made sure everyone was sitting exactly where they wished. Village wine flowed and souvla was served and then it was time for the main event.
Trimiklini had never seen anything quite like this before: four musicians in white satin trouser suits, platform shoes and long hair strolled through the audience and immediately launched into ‘Voulez Vouz’, quickly followed by ‘Mama Mia’ and ‘Money, Money, Money’. The audience were already cheering and were soon on their feet and dancing like demons. Hit followed hit as Abba Dabba Do powered through the pop classics.
After the interval the band returned this time minus trousers (the girls, that
is) and knee length white patent platform boots were on view for the remainder of he show that had everyone bopping to ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Waterloo’ and the rest. They concluded with ‘Thank You For The Music’, a sentiment shared by the delighted audience. After the show, some guests carried on dancing to the disco whilst others sat down and mopped their brow! And then it was time for bed.
Friday 24 October 2008 - The Elvis and Elton Tribute Show at Karidaki Restaurant, Trimiklini.
Andrew Oliver as Elton John and Chris King as Elvis Presley performed in front of another enthusiastic audience of about 90 enthusiasts at the Karidaki Restaurant on Friday evening 24 October 2008 as part of the Music in the Mountains series of events scheduled for September through November. ‘Elton’ in his up-to-the-minute brightly coloured new suits showed off his slim, fresh figure that has been responsible for a dive in local beer sales of late.
‘Elvis’, as he always does, looked the part in a tight black leather outfit that emphasises his athletic features, US Army uniform and traditional chest exposing white two piece. Also present was the lovely ‘Priscilla’ who looked stunning in a low cut cocktail dress being the working clothes of the sound mixer manager.
For those attending this was to be an evening that in terms of value for money could not be bettered. Our Taverna hosts produced a meze containing lots of healthy green vegetables some of which I had never experienced before in my life though have often wondered what was casually being harvested by the odd old chap seen at the roadside. Their charges for this optional meal, wine and local beers were very competitive, by matching this to the attentive service given by an obliging staff they can be assured of repeat business for the Karidaki.
At first sight the concrete pillars of various sizes that support the roof of the Taverna, which were, perhaps, constructed to accommodate two later extensions, obscure the view for the audience. However, the artistes clearly know their stuff and overcame this shortcoming: ringmaster ‘Elton’ in long tailed red jacket and straw boater roams from one side to the other with ‘I’m Still Standing’ in the style of a happy clappy revivalist meeting, showman ‘Elvis’ follows and takes his music direct to admiring individuals in the audience giving them his version of ‘I’m all Shook Up’ and dancing well to ‘Jailhouse Rock’ with a very energetic thrusting pelvis worthy of the ‘King’. This pleasing meander of tonight’s stars gives all an opportunity to feel that they are part of the show.
‘Priscilla’ is not left out, as the fiancée of ‘Elvis’ she is told he ‘Cant Help Falling in Love with You’. ‘Return to Sender’ has the audience in the aisles, the waiters like it too. ‘Elton’, not to be outdone, makes his piano talk and attracts the exhibitionists amongst us to show off their dancing skills, Lania Lady Diane and Doros Dave the plumber move to the music like a pair from Pans People. It was all there, nostalgia by the bucket full, pathos mixed into a finale by ‘Elvis’ and Elvis on screen, ‘Elvis’ as Neil Diamond gives us ‘Sweet Caroline’ and a room full of waving arms from all the ladies present. At the commencement of the show, ‘Elton’ wanted to know if we were ‘Ready for Love’, we certainly were and felt we were given it by a pair that justly honour the original performers.
24 October 2008
BONNIE TOWARD, Omodhos, Friday 17 October 2008
Omodhos Tavern is fast gaining a reputation for is dinner dances as organisers, Music in the Mountains continues to send top professional acts there to get the audience on their feet and dancing the night away. This was no exception as Scottish lass Bonnie Toward powered through two great sets of popular hits from the 60s to the 80s that had the audience shaking everything they had!
As always, the food was superb and plentiful as Jason, Niki and their friendly staff did what they do best: keeping the customers satisfied. Once sated, the audience was regaled with hit after hit as Bonnie went through her extensive repertoire, including from the 60s, Baby Love by the Supremes and Shout by Lulu. From the 70s she gave us Heartbreaker by Dionne Warwick and Gypsies Tramps and Thieves by Cher and from the 80s the audience went wild for It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls and Material Girl by Madonna. Roll on the next one!
Cyprus Cretan Night in Monagri Village 11 October 2008
Monagri village was quite literally full to bursting point on Saturday night!
Finding your way into the queue for a drink was the first challenge, closely followed by the traditionally Cypriot-‘non-queue’ in order to sample the culinary delights that were on offer.
There were a variety of traditional foods from Cyprus and Crete on offer, including some very tasty bread that appeared to have been dipped into a savoury mix of tomato and then baked. Perhaps some of the other visitors managed to find out a bit more about it than we did, but it was very tasty.
Having been fed and watered, the next item on the agenda was to see the various activities that were on display.
Ladies were making Palouze (a non-alcoholic type of blancmange made from grape juice and cornflour), preparing fresh cheese (possibly Anari), and the team from Grigoriou foods were cooking up a storm with sausages and other meats on the grill.
Some of the dignitaries included the Mukhtar of Monagri the Minister of Communications and Works, Nikos Nikolaides, and the Mayor of Anogia, Socrates Kefalogiannis. Speeches were swiftly followed by music and dancing.
The event was organised by the Limassol Tourism Company and sponsored by Love Cyprus, The Kouris and Xylorikou Communities, Anogion Mylopotamou Rethymnis (Crete), Diadromes Magazine, Pame Aerodromiou (Airport Bus), Grigoriou Foods. Wine was provided by Menargos Winery (Monagri village).
Minister for Agriculture Mr Michael Polynikes Inaugurating the Olive Oil Factory alongside Lania Muhktar Mr George Sykas
Visit of the RoC Agriculture Minister and Bishop of Limassol to Lania - Saturday 4 October 2008
Mr Michael Polynikes, RoC Agriculture Minister, and the Bishop of Limassol, took time out on Saturday evening the 4th of October 2008 to visit Lania to inaugurate and bless the newly refurbished olive oil factory. The Village House Museum, Schoolroom and Olive Oil Factory, a unique range of preserved buildings conveniently located at one end of the village next to the Church and coffee shop were open throughout the day to the public. During the morning of the day of his visit I took the opportunity to wander around all three venues and take pictures before a throng of visitors made this impossible. Present was a team of men and women putting the finishing touches to a worthy collection of historical buildings.
The Schoolroom and Olive Oil Factory with donkey powered olive crusher
The Village House Museum occupies a house typical of those built over 100 years ago from local materials and, once restored, was presented to the village through the kindness of the late Mr Nikolaos Lanitis. As one might not expect, it survives as an enclosed courtyard house that was efficient for the needs of the first inhabitants who, through agriculture and animal husbandry, were able to live an almost self sufficient way of life. Odd room shapes determined by your neighbours walls and with a size that tends to be much smaller than we are used to today makes one wonder how large families were able to grow up together in apparent harmony. What I assumed to be the living quarters are on the first floor that were originally accessed via external stairs, these rooms currently house a number of household implements and a host of wall mounted photographs depicting groups of Lania people and events from an age that is fast disappearing from the memories of those who can still recognise some of the faces.
Courtyard of the Village Museum House as seen from the Schoolroom
Jacqueline Owen was my guide pointing out that some of the older individuals in the photographs are still with us in the village, one man having just celebrated his 93rd birthday. Jacqueline turns out to be a remarkable host blessed with a handsome figure, is an artist, former ballerina, and wife of Michael Owen – definitely not to be confused with the one that plays for Newcastle United; she once lived for a short while in this house pending the renovation of their own village property. On the ground floor and in the courtyard are agricultural artefacts (a broken pitharia has the date 1752) that go someway towards explaining what hard work was necessary in order to have some form of self sufficiency. Naso, a local lady that I also met but this time in the courtyard, tells me that it is planned to put names and dates to all the people in the photographs, a project that will help bring the faces and their setting alive.
Lania Church from the Schoolroom Window
The recently refurbished Schoolroom occupies the upper floor of a large stone building that houses the Olive Press and is accessed from external stairs. It is a large airy room with windows looking out onto the church. Naso tells me that when she was six she attended the schoolroom with about 40 other children but that soon after they moved to the new school beyond the football pitch. Mr Andreas Sykas, a Lania born resident and retired teacher from the schoolroom and later village school, was able to confirm how such a large number of village children of different age ranges were taught. You will need a vivid imagination to visualise how 40 to 50 children can be controlled by one teacher yet each age range must receive the necessary attention to get across an education that matches their needs. Andreas pointed out that the younger children gained from this arrangement picking up on what the older children were being taught. He also mentioned that it was necessary to haul miscreants up by the ear and administer a sharp physical rebuke to bring them into line.
Hydraulically Powered Vertical Olive Crusher
Residing in the rooms below the Schoolroom is a restored olive oil factory but not quite as it was when first built and equipped to store and process olives. Originally a donkey would have powered the olive crusher similar to that that can be seen on display between the factory and the church. However, about 50 years ago a diesel engine took over the work forcing the olives to sacrifice their oil after by being crushed by two heavy granite rollers rotating around a large iron bath.
Lister Diesel Engine, Power Take-Off Drive Belt and Pulley Drive Shaft
Alternatively, the olives, layered within a stack of rope like disc shaped baskets, can be pressed hydraulically from below in another machine to give up their oil. The entire process is powered by an ancient two cylinder ‘pop-pop’ British Lister diesel engine that delivers its mechanical energy via large pulley wheels mounted on an overhead drive shaft to wide canvas belts that connect to both machines.
Olive Crusher by Celestin Coq & Cie France
Ingineurs-Constructeurs Aix en Provence
The rotating crusher is French in origin and looks as though it was built to last a lifetime of cruel exploitation. The hydraulic pump is Italian as is the vertical press and centrifugal oil purifier.
During my morning visit, Andreas, the motorman, set the Lister motor running demonstrating the function of the pulleys and belts that in appearance could easily remind one in miniature of pictures seen of a Manchester cotton mill. In the courtyard leading to a storeroom is a toughened glass sealed well with a hand operated sprocket to raise and lower an iron bucket. At the foot of the surrounding outside walls modern lighting has been flush mounted at ground level to attractively play vertical light beams against the stone walls. The refurbishment has been done extremely well; details such as hand made forged nails that grace all of the new timber doors add strikingly to the fidelity of the whole.
Outside Lania Church
Saturday afternoon saw preparations being made for the visiting public, tables and BBQ’s appeared ready to provide tasty treats to mark the evening visit of the Agriculture Minister and Bishop. Later, the coffee shop culture club hosted a presentation in praise of the humble olive and the benefits it has brought to mankind. The presenters included various local people and a representative from Oleastro at Anogyra who gave their views in both Greek and English, the quality slightly exceeded by their length.
Some of the Throng Assembled Outside the Church Enjoying the Free Food and Wine
In essence we learned that olive oil has many health giving therapeutic powers and has renowned aphrodisiac effects which probably explains why Popeye needs to consume an awful lot of spinach to get together with Olive Oyl. We were advised what colour to look for in the olives so that we can pick them from the wild olive trees scattered about Cyprus that have escaped the developer’s JCB. Whether these can be processed at the newly refurbished village olive press was not clear, perhaps the future may lie more towards preservation in a museum sense with some days given over to the demonstration of the process as a tourist attraction.
Outside Wall Water Cauldron Wood Fire to Improve Oil Flow in Vertical Crusher
Leaving the presentation all were able to sample local olives, charcoal grilled bread in olive oil, cheese, other savoury bites and wine amongst a much larger gathering of people eager to see the olive oil factory in operation. Outside a log fire was built under a water filled cauldron let into the wall but open on the inside of the factory which I understand allows the olives, layered within a stack of rope like disc shaped baskets to be submerged in hot water before being placed in the press. This improves the flow of oil from the oil during the pressing action.
Dedication Prayer from the
Bishop of Limassol
At this point the Agriculture Minister and Bishop of Limassol arrived ready for the inauguration ceremony dedicating and officially opening the factory. Prayers were said by the Bishop followed by a few words from the Muhktar Mr George Sykas. The minister’s inauguration speech (four pages) concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony declaring the factory open.
The preservation of these unique buildings has clearly needed much foresight, dedication and hard work to produce what was on show today. This was a wonderful day for Lania and all that contributed to this fine achievement can feel justly proud.
5 October 2008
CLASSICAL SONG RECITAL, Lofou, Wednesday 2 October 2008
Once again, local concert organisers, Music In the Mountains, brought some musical magic to the wonderful surroundings of Lofou Wine Cellar. After a soothing beer or wine upstairs in the coffee shop, the audience descended into the atmospheric wine cellar for one of the most memorable performances ever in Lofou.
Margaret Piwowonska, soprano, was born in Krakow, Poland and has a Master of Arts in solo singing. She was accompanied on piano by Galina Dimova who comes from a
family of music teachers in Bulgaria and is equally well qualified. Together they graced the stage in their long evening dresses and delighted the audience with their sensitive performance. Their programme included Polish songs by Moniuszko and classical repertoire from Mozart, Handel, Strauss, Schubert and Delibes. Galina played some fantastic solo piano pieces by Chopin, Offenbach and Debussy.
After the concert, the guests and performers retired to Lofou Tavern where Costas and his team had prepared a hearty meal with unlimited village wine. And then suddenly Costas started to play his bouzouki and the mood just improved another notch as feet tapped and hands clapped. One audience member did an inspired dance to his lively melodies. An expert, clearly, she comes from Thessalonica where I am told this kind of spontaneous jollity is an everyday occurrence. Not for us it isn’t! We all had a super time and can’t wait till the next one
THE ELDERLY BROTHERS AT OMODHOS - 19 September 2008
The Elderly Brothers (Roger and Ian) played to another appreciative audience at the Omodhos Taverna on Friday evening 19 September 2008 as part of the Music in the Mountains series of events scheduled for September through November. A nipple hardening cool and breezy evening sans noseemes and set in the tree protected, lantern lit courtyard of the taverna - the sudden fall in temperatures this week did not allow a switch to inside comfort -
one hundred plus underdressed revellers, teens to oldies to bask in the music envied of others or their actual youth.
On guard was a single white and grey cat occupying a position of superiority looking down expectantly on the providers that would be the source of its next meal via the ample buffet supper supplied by John Charalambous and his helpful uniformed staff happily giving bar service to the table. Carelessly, instead of €5 a bottle, a €20 bottle of Sauvignon Cabernet from Zenos Winery came to the table, what looked expensive was a most agreeable red wine, with a smooth and very pleasant flavour and worth, in this reporter’s view, every Eurocent needed to fill a glass.
Roger and Ian took the stage at the top of the Taverna steps, fiddled with their guitar strings and voice amplification electronics and succeeded in producing all that we remembered of Phil and Don, the Everly Brothers. The build-up signalled the start of a boisterous sing-along that included such delights as ‘Don’t Leave Me Lonely and The Price of Love,’ that immediately stirred forgotten lyrics from the smiling mouths of the cognoscenti, for the unsophisticated that means: people who have a refined or superior knowledge, especially of the arts. Why is it that songs of the sixties have audible and memorable lyrics that were clear in their message and can still stir the listener to reproduce a lively hand jive that most males thought of as being altogether too ridiculous for public demonstration of the fact that you had such knowledge?
Part two of the evening expanded Roger and Ian’s repertoire to include many other artistes (not the cabaret version) served up with witty one liners and whose mimicry came across with the musical fidelity reminiscent of the juke box as it dropped its electronically ordered 45 rpm vinyl one after the other to the joy of the coffee bar audience. After 2½ hours of fun entertainment the last dance called the party to a conclusion, we had all, young and old, had a wonderful evening of blissful nostalgia served up in a delightful setting – memo must get myself a pashmina for the next outing.
Thanks are due to Roger and Ian and all who helped to make this evening such a memorable occasion, well done all of you. Perhaps an annual award evening is needed to show the appreciation of the public to all the Music in the Mountains artistes for the happiness they have brought to their lives.
20 September 2008
WORDS AND MUSIC, Lania Coffee Shop, 18 September 2008
The second event in the Words and Music series was introduced by organiser, Veronica Houghton, who had the idea for an evening of music and poetry with the additional aim of raising funds for the Sri Lankan Montessori School Fund. The audience was warming welcomed by the coffee shop manager Antonis and his staff and the venue looked wonderful.
Professional actress Vicky Witham performed a delightful selection of serious and humorous poetry under the banner The Compleat Gardener – A Little Light Weeding, with musical interludes from violinist Peter Witham. Their programme included Wordsworth: The Daffodils, Joyce Grenfell: Maud Replies (the answer to Tennyson's Come Into The Garden Maud), John Betjeman: Harvest Hymn, A.E. Houseman, Loveliest Of Trees and The Cherry Now (From 'A Shropshire Lad') Musical interludes included Rubinstein: Melody In F, Beethoven: Rondino, Bach, Minuet and Scott Joplin: A Breeze From Alabama.
KRAMA DUO - LOFOU -Thursday 11 September 2008
On a clear summer night on the terrace of Lofou Coffee shop Music in the Mountains presented an unusual concert of Traditional Mediterranean Songs that had all enthralled. Kyriacoulla Constantinou introduced a wide range of songs from the 12th Century to the present day. She sang in a wide range of languages too, from Spanish to Greek. The audience may have mostly missed the exact meaning of the lyrics but there was no mistaking the intense emotion emanating from the singer. With piano accompaniment from Enrico Bindocci, the Krama Duo produced a magical mood that sounded at times medieval and at times New Age.
The formation of the Krama ensemble in 2005 resulted from the meeting of the singer and ethnomusicologist Kyriacoulla Constantinou, the pianist and musicologist Enrico Bindocci, a classical flutist and a jazz double bass player.
The ensemble, based in Perugia, Italy has appeared at important cultural institutions of Perugia, Umbria and Rome as well as regular visits to Cyprus.
The concert was followed, as is customary, by a fine traditional dinner at Lofou Tavern, where Costas and his team produced first class food and service plus unlimited village wine that was enjoyed by all. As the Cyprus Delight was served, Costas produced his bouzouki and played a selection of traditional Cypriot songs to which a number of men danced with great relish, much to the delight of the diners. It was a perfect end to a most memorable evening.
VIENNA BY CANDLELIGHT - LOFOU
Thursday 4 September 2008
Lofou Wine Cellar is gaining an enviable reputation as an historic and atmospheric classical music venue. Set high in the hills above Limassol it is situated at the end of a long, long mountain road. Concert-goers from all over Cyprus regularly make the journey to enjoy a variety of special recitals, all followed by a traditional dinner at the nearby Lofou Tavern. Some take advantage of the studio rooms available nearby and make an overnight stay, in order to prolong the restful mountain experience.
After a series of solo and duo concerts, organisers Music in the Mountains decide to push the boat out and engage a larger ensemble, namely The Salon Trio from the UK. Led by Peter Witham – violin and with Sophia Petousi – cello and Jon Kille – piano, they performed to a capacity audience. Their programme: included The Skater's Waltz, Offenbach's Barcarolle, Pizzicato Polka, The Blue Danube Waltz, The Tik-Tak Polka, The Champagne Polka, Lehar's Gold and Silver Waltz, Merry Widow Waltz, The Cuckoo Polka and the Radetzky March. Most pieces were accompanied by various sound effects and percussion played by Vicky Witham, who also provided amusing anecdotes related to 18th Century Vienna. Vicky skillfully blended gentle humour with the sublime music and had the audience in peels of laughter as she distributed various cuckoo and train whistles for guest to blow. The concert was followed by a fine traditional Cypriot dinner in the Lofou Tavern.
SO 80s PARTY BAND + ROSS NEIL - LANIA
Friday 22 August 2008
Back-combed hair, rolled up sleeves and disco fever took over the normally quiet atmosphere of Lania Park for one evening in August. So 80s Party Band performed a selection of classic party tunes from the 1980's. The very enthusiastic audience were on their feet and dancing in no time as the and performed songs from Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston and the rest. The evening started with the consistently high standard buffet from Marinos with a fine selection of salads, curry, pasta and souvla. Due to a last minute rush for tickets, resulting in a larger than expected audience, the souvla ran out just as the last few dinners headed for the buffet. However, all was not lost as Veronica Houghton, from organisers Music in the Mountains, rushed over to see Dino at Lania Tavern who provided twenty portions of chicken souvla in minutes.
As the guests dined, they were serenaded by the very accomplished Ross Neil. He delivered a laid back and entertaining selection of famous songs from his vast repertoire including The Drifters, The Platters, Matt Monro, Chris de Burgh, Lionel Ritchie, Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. He concluded with New York New York that had the audience on their feet and ready to party! Ross created an atmosphere for all to enjoy the rest of the evening. After a shirt break some really cheezy 1980s outfits entered the stage worn by some of the best and most versatile musicians on the island today. Wendi Kaye led the vocals with great versions of classic songs such as Get Into The Groove, Gloria, Jump For My Love, We Are Family, I’m So Excited, Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Let’s Hear It For The Boy, Call Me, and The Heat Is On. The rest of the band pumped out the disco beat with Andrew on keyboards, Steve on guitar, John on bass and Stan on drums.
All in all this was a super feel good party that left everyone smiling and more than a few with sore feet!
THE MOUNTAIN JAZZ FESTIVAL - LANIA
Friday 1 August - Sunday 3 August 2008
The first Mountain Jazz Festival was a bold attempt to bring quality international musicians to a tiny mountain village. Top professionals from all over Cyprus, UK, South Africa and Russia came together in a feast of excellent playing and good humour. Fortunately, the audience responded and the result was a great turn-out of locals and jazz fans from all corners of the island. The festival was presented by Music In The Mountains and staged under the pine trees at the enchanting Lania Park, a beautiful asset to this most charming of mountain villages.
On Friday 1 August the opening act was the Cyprus Big Band which played swing, latin, blues and funk. Led by Charis Ioannou on tenor saxophone the eight piece outfit was very well received as they went through their paces with great energy and inventiveness. The rest of the band consisted of Iakovos Parpas – Alto Sax, Mike Michael – 1st trumpet, Christos Loizides – 2nd trumpet, Pavel Ljalin – Trombone, Christos Yerolachitis – Piano, Gabriel Karapatakis – Bass and Rodos Panagiotou – Drums. The members are well-known graduates from famous American and European music schools.
On Saturday 2 August, Da Capo presented the American Jazz songbook with standards including Nice Work If You Can Get It, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Autumn Leaves, Lullaby of Birdland, The Man I Love, Fever, Fly Me To The Moon and many more. Cathryn Robson, the lead singer, held the audience in the palm of her hand with her crystal clear voice and charming personality. Renad Nourmanchine on piano and Michele Witthaus on drums provided an understated but solid foundation to Cathryns’ vocals and all agreed it was a magical evening of musical memories.
The concluding concert on Sunday 3 August was presented at lunchtime and though some may have worried about the midday August heat, this was not a problem due to the gentle breeze blowing through the shade of the pine trees. The Fontline Band consists of Russians Konstantinos Chekmak on guitar, Andrea Lafenko on bass guitar, Renad Nourmanchine on keyboards and Sergey Sergienko on drums. They presented a musical tribute to jazz funk legend George Benson. Their programme was introduced with great panache by Ian Goodall, who also contributed vocals on some numbers. The band took us through virtuosic renditions of Give Me The Night, On Broadway, Masquerade, Never Give Up On A Good Thing, Basies Bag and much more in a most memorable concert.
Organisers, Music in the Mountains, reported receiving many emails, calls and comments at the festival itself calling for a repeat performance next year. The musicians themselves also expressed great satisfaction with the entire event, the location and the generous spirit of the audience. They also expressed a strong desire for a second Mountain Jazz Festival in 2009.
ROSS NEIL, OMODHOS TAVERN FRIDAY 18th JULY 2008
Ross Neil has been singing in Cyprus for the last three years, having previously performed in Spain and England. Though very well know now in Larnaca and Protaras, this was the first visit to Omodhos for Ross and he arrived mid-afternoon for a sightseeing trip around the beautiful old village prior to his show.
His trademark, without doubt, is his amazing versatility, delivering a wonderful, natural tribute to Neil Diamond as he performed Forever in Blue Jeans and Beautiful Noise. He had the audience dancing for two hours with great pop songs including Saturday Night at the Movies, Unchained Melody and Lady in Red. His Finale literally had the audience in tears as he switched styles and performed moving versions of Nessun Dorma (Pavarotti) and Time to Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli).
Jason. Nicki and their team provided a tasty buffet and attentive service throughout he evening and all went home happy and looking forward to the next great night out in Omodhos.
LOFOU CHOIR FESTIVAL, LOFOU FRIDAY 11th JULY 2008
The first Lofou Choir Festival was a triumph of local co-operation, a
beautiful location and 80 talented singers all coming together to
produce a magical evening that moved, soothed and invigorated the
spirits of the audience.
The Paphos Chorale arrived from Paphos (of course) under the direction
of David Asater and performed with great sensivity. They presented an
exquisite mixture of songs and madrigals by various Elizabethan
composers including John Dowland, John Bennet and Orlando Gibbons,
together with more recent works by R. Vaughan-Williams, Sir Edward
Elgar and Gilbert
The mixed choir of the Epilogi Cultural Association of Limassol
performed a very moving selection of folk songs sung in the original
languages with works from Romania, Serbia, Italy, Greece, Cyprus,
The large choir under the direction of the charismatic Nenad
Bogdanovic were very disciplined, nicely contrasting with the dry
introductions. Example: ‘This song has many jokes but is in Bulgarian
you won’t get them!).
The final choir to perform in the superb setting of Lofou School
Grounds was The Phoenix Singers. They meet in Episkopi Village and
enjoy singing a wide range of popular music together. They were
directed from the
by the effervescent Jon Kille. The choir, dressed largely in red, gave
a spirited performance of much loved pop and musical theatre classics
including Hallelujah Come on Get Happy, You Raise Me Up, May It Be,
Chatanooga Choo Choo, God Help The Outcasts, Les Miserables Medley,
of Gold and Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
The audience responded to this feast of musical talent with great
enthusiasm and afterwards enjoyed the wine from Dave Cass’ Bar and the
food from Marinos Catering. As the sublime evening drew to a close,
the singers started to sing at their tables, a selection of haunting
melodies and old favourites, in an impromptu choral jam session that
rounded the evening off beautifully.
WORDS AND MUSIC, LANIA COFFEE SHOP, THURSDAY 3rd JULY 2008
The first event in the Words and Music series was introduced by
Veronica Houghton. She explained that it had long been her desire to
a poetry group in Lania and when George Ktistis of the Lania Cultural
suggested using their coffee shop for events, she had the idea for an
evening of music and poetry with the additional aim of raising funds
for the Sri Lankan Montessori School Fund.
The sell-out audience were warming welcomed by the coffee shop manager
Antonis and his staff, more used to serving coffee than wine,
he did a fine job and the venue looked wonderful.
Professional actress Vicky Witham performed a delightful selection of romantic and humorous poetry with musical interludes from violinist
Peter Witham. Their programme included poems by John Betjeman, Joyce
Grenfell, Gerald Bullett, Adrian Henri, Ogden Nash, William
Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, William Barnes, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, Thomas Hardy, Roger McGough and Oliver Herford. The music
included works by J.S.Bach, Gabriel Faure, J.P.E.Martini, Felix
Mendelssohn, Edward Elgar, E. Macdowell, W.A.Mozart, Thomas Hardy,
Franz Schubert and Cole Porter.
Many favourable comments were received by organiser Veronica spuring
her on to arrange further such events in the beautiful village of
ABBA DABBA DO, SYLIKOU, FRIDAY 27th JUNE 2008
The Cyprus Weekly in its 11th July 2008 edition reported: “It was a SELL OUT!” and the 200+ quality audience on Sylikou Plaka totally agreed.
The show started after a great buffet by Marinos of Limassol, with Christian Andrews of Cyprus and his solo performance of classic pop songs in a cabaret style to match his night-club experience… They loved him!
Then MAMMA MIA! Andrew Oliver’s newly created and Cyprus’ own group…
ABBA DABBA DO took to the stage to applause and utter amazement. The audience initially just sat and watched and listened to the show as the group of international performers went through their routines. Their dancing, the costumes, the footwear, the singing and the music just had the people floored! Then the foot tapping and singing really moved up a gear as the audience got to their feet as one. They danced for the next two hours!
“Pretty boy Bjorn” did a star turn and had everyone just, in the vernacular, gob-smacked. The girls were just stunning and wonderful…and the power behind the throne had all his pals fooled by his marvellous costume, hair and cute little beard! The film MAMMA MIA premiered in Cyprus in parallel but for sheer style, fun, enthusiasm and glorious ABBA costumes, see the real thing. SUPER TROOPERS the lot of them and, if you have not danced for a while, you will.
MONEY MONEY MONEY! Our major local sponsor, Chris Christou and co-sponsors Karseras supermarket, Ultra Properties and Sylikou Village Council are thanked again for their wonderful support. At 2359 hours the last two hundred of the party headed home, and the Plaka was miraculously cleaned by the Promoters and returned to Village. The Sylikou Muhktar, Costas Polis, agrees that Sylikou is now the Commandaria Village of Singers and Musicians and so do the charities that benefit. What a night! Pam & Mike now bow out as P3 turns into Music in the Mountains & Andrew & Veronica take the helm. So P3 thanks everyone for their wonderful support in the inaugural year…and Music in the Mountains moves it on….
Kouris Magpie. 14-.7-2008
POLIS CHARALAMBOUS, LOFOU WINE CELLAR, THURSDAY 26th JUNE 2008
Another great night of Classical Music in the Mountains and a Premier
performance on the veranda of the wine cellar. There are now two
concert venues at the wine cellar: summer outside and winter inside!
Our guest was Polis Charalambous. He was born at Evrychou village near
Nicosia, the 8th child out of nine, in a family whose musical
background goes back at least 300 years. He has been the director of
the Paphos Academy of Fine Arts for the last 25 years and has for
about 30 years working in the field of music as singer, session
musician and classical guitarist.
The capacity audience were enthralled by both the music and the style of
Polis. They loved the open air and the more comfortable chairs provided
Klio, Dimitris and Costas, managers of the wine cellar, who, with organisers P3 Events had again designed a concert venue that has style, good acoustics, good seats and easy access to parking, the bar and all facilities!
The occasional double-cab passing on the local road plus two escapees
Herod with a yappy dog and a rattly bike (P3 security officials “Had a
couple of Words”) and the “flamenco” of insects caught in the stage
lights could not interfere with the wonderful atmosphere created by
After the concert the audience went to the Lofou Taverna for a very
well presented meze. Many stayed late, entertained by Polis and Costas
on his Bazooki and several even managed to book into the associated accommodation.
AXIS, OMODHOS TAVERNA, WEDNESDAY 11th JUNE 2008
Is it something in the wine or are Omodhos the people just fitter than the rest of use? After a fine buffet of good old Cyprus soul food the crowd danced for hours without showing any sign of tiring as Axis rocked the place!
The trio consists of Howard on Guitar, Stan and Drums and John and Bass and they really know how to deliver a stomping night of classic rock and pop covers. The crowd loved them and were begging for more. Jason, Niki and team did a great job of providing ample food and drink and a very warm Omodhos welcome. All in all it was another super night of Music in the Mountains.
A RECITAL by DOROS ZESIMOS-CELLO & VIKKI HADJIANDREOU -VIOLIN, THURSDAY 29th MAY, LOFOU WINE CELLAR, LOFOU.
The early summer programme, part of the Music in the Mountains series of classical music concerts, saw these very professional musicians play J S Bach Suite No 1 and a variety of pieces from the Balkans both old and very new. Doros gave some very helpful and delightful explanations of both the history and the experience of the various composers; one a Rock Star who composed classical music. Then he explained his favourite pieces from the Balkan composers.
Comments by the audience include remarks such as Amazing, What a work-rate, How professional, Sheer enthusiasm and dedication. The audience were enthralled by the programme and the way the musicians were wrapped in their instruments, almost as if they were born into them! Encores were long and enthusiastic with at least one standing ovation.
Klio & Dimitris of the Lofou Taverna set out the concert room with its now famous village chairs and wine racks. The design seems to enhance the acoustics! Even the occasional passing truck does not seem to disturb or otherwise pollute the atmosphere.
After the concert the audience repaired to Lofou Taverna for their main course, wine and just Cyprus deserts! And further entertained by Costas on his Bazooki and Andrew Oliver extolling the virtues of Grand Mother's Feather bed in the style of John Denver. Not to be outdone, an Irish singer, Alan Pascall, then sang two ballads and a Swiss couple nearly Yodelled hopefully one or two booked into the accommodation that is associated.
ANDREW OLIVER as ELTON JOHN, FRIDAY 16th MAY, SYLIKOU TAVERNA, SYLIKOU.
The Sylikou Taverna doors blew open at 7pm and there was dining from 7.30pm before Andrew started his show.
The weather was cool, the music was cool, the roast
potatoes were hot and so the tale goes on…It would
have been nice to have the event outside as a street
party but a wicked breeze that came from the west and
rolled up many a vest like a roller blind, saw to it
that inside was the preferred option.
After the excitement of the last menu in April, Zena
produced one of her finest plated Taverna mezes, which
had the odd vertically challenged person craning to
see Elton John over the top of the pile. Some doggies and pussies did well for the next week…
Andrew Oliver then produced his “First Anniversary in
Sylikou” performance to the admiring looks from the
men (where did he get that great Barnett?) and women
(those amazing shoes!). The music of the 90s. 80s and
70s rolled off the keyboard accompanied by the now
legendary clothes changes…the King’s Road shops
must be bare!
At the end of his utterly professional and amazingly
athletic show, Andrew introduced the now much enjoyed
dancing which continued until the “witching” hour.
Hardly anyone failed to dance and the jiving from both
Sylikou and Dhoros couples was amazing and very
expert. Others just shuffled around and got to know
each other better…they did not seem to mind…
All in all, a full night’s entertainment with our P3
star, Andrew Oliver aka Elton John.
THE MOUNTAIN BOYS ROCK ‘N ROLL BAND LUNCHTIME, SUNDAY 27th APRIL, THE KARIDAKI TAVERNA, TRIMIKLINI.
P3 Events decided to launch a new Rock ‘n Roll band
for the summer 2008 season, especially for the
mountain people and their visitors at Sunday
lunchtimes. It is based at The KARIDAKI Taverna,
Trimiklini with its excellent managers, menu, views,
loos, access and parking.
The firt Rock n Roll Sunday Lunch was 27th April 2008.
Demetra and her husband Panicos, daughter Rea and
their team put together both a great venue and a comprehensive running
buffet with no empty plates allowed!
The stage was especially built and dressed for the
Premier with a brand new sound system and newly tuned
piano. The band set to their work playing a wide range
of classic pop and rock from the Beatles to Pink Floyd
with a vengeance. no wire netting needed!! Howard
Moss from Co. Meath Ireland (well known to P3
followers) took the lead guitarist role and was truly
amazing in both style and content of his numbers. The
bass guitarist John was incredible, straight from The
Rolling Stones? Well, he could be!! The “hairy guy” on
drums, Stan “beat the hell” out of any known rivals!
Maestro Andrew Oliver was on the super Karidaki piano and took all the calls and quedos for getting the team together for
this superb Premier, with MORE TO FOLLOW.
A number of amazed visiting musicians remarked on the
sheer professionalism, enthusiasm and quality of the
Mountain Boys’ performance. The audience ranged from
Rockers of all ages (8 months to “experienced” +VAT)
to just plain curious and hungry. Calls for requests
met the classic response “Whistle the first few bars
and we’ll follow!“... and they did!!
So be there, or be square. Sundays will never be the same again. The Mountain Boys perform every Sunday lunchtime from 1pm to 3pm.
ROCK 'N' ROLL SUNDAY LUNCH every Sunday, from 1pm, at Karidaki
Restaurant, Trimiklini, on the Limassol to Platres road, with The
Mountain Boys playing rock and blues. Buffet E20/£11.71. Reservations
- Tel: 77777191.
SORIN HORLEA.PERFOMS A VIOLIN RECITAL AT LOFOU
WINE-CELLAR, THURSDAY 17 APRIL 2008, presented by P3 events as
part of the Music in the Mountains series of classical
Sorin’s programme included J S Bach - 2nd partita for
solo violin, N Paganini – 9th Caprice and E Ysaye - 6th Sonata for solo violin. Comments by an
international violinist in the audience was that“Sorin is not quite a genius….” One lady was in tears
of joy… The quality audience were enthralled by both
the music and the style and the “encores” reflected
the audience’s appreciation for a superb musician..
Klio and Costas of the Lofou Taverna again provided a
concert room that has both style and good acoustics as
they develop with the advice and guidance of P3.
After the concert the audience repaired to Lofou
Taverna for a very well constructed and presented
meze. Many stayed late, entertained by Costas on his
Bazouki and several managed to book into the
accommodation that is associated.
ROGER LEE from USA and Cyprus, AT SYLIKOU TAVERNA, FRIDAY 11 APRIL 2008,
presented by P3 events.
The Sylikou Taverna doors opened at 7.00pm and there
was dining from 7.30pm before Roger Lee started his
Roger has toured the USA extensively and has now
settled in Cyprus and the term ‘romantic’ may have been coined just for Roger. His repertoire covered
passionate songs made famous by Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Enrique Inglesis and Frank Sinatra and he is blessed with a voice like velvet and
chocolate plus a delivery that relaxes and enthrals. He charmed us all and is clearly a talented professional.
At the end of his show, Roger Lee introduced the now
much enjoyed dancing which continued until the“witching” hour. All in all, a full night’s
entertainment with our star, Roger Lee.
NENAD BOGDANOVIC IN A CLASSIC MUSIC CONCERT IN THE
MOUNTAINS AT LOFOU 28th MARCH 2008
In the second concert in the Classical Music in the
Mountains series in Lofou, organised by P3 Events,
Nenad Bogdanovic performed a fantastic piano-accordion programme in Lofou Wine Cellar, run by Costas’ daughter Klio. It is amazing how many people have now discovered Lofou, thanks to Music in the Mountains and growing numbers are staying overnight in the associated accommodation!
Nenad was introduced by Andrew Oliver, P3 Event's
Principal Associate, and the programme was inspired by
famous Roma virtuosos from the Central European and
Danube regions, French Valse Musette and the most
famous Argentinian tangos. The attractive pieces performed by this well-known charismatic musician, described the character and passion of the people from
various continents and lead the audience through
romance, love, comic or sometimes deeply sad emotions.His programme included: Monti: Czardas, Russian
Gypsy: Two guitars, Matos Rodrigues: La Cumparsita,
Piazzolla: Oblivion Libertango and Dinicu: Hora
Staccatto and began with a variety of favorite pieces which buzzed with everyone. The applause from a full house was a traditional response to the sheer quality, enthusiasm and professionalism being displayed.
Nenad charmed the audience with his repertoire and, as
an added extra in between pieces, gave brief
introductions to the history of the piano-accordion.
The instrument has a fascinating history and one
remark was that in its day it was the equivalent of a
one man band!
Nenad just seemed to melt into the instrument. His
fingers flew up and down the keyboard…the acoustics
and the atmosphere created were unique. Said one
Gentleman “What a performance…and he played my
favorite piece so beautifully” This was typical of the
many comments in praise that were made.
Andrew then closed the concert but not before
rapturous applause, one very exciting encore and yet
another! And the audience finally eased themselves off
the village chairs to enjoy a traditional Lofou
Taverna meal with Costas and his family presiding.
PHILOSOPHY CLASSES, WEDNESDAY MORNINGS IN LANIA
The Chat Of Your Life
(Or a curmudgeon’s guide to Ancient Greek Philosophy) By Louis Kilonis
Pythagoras, the Greek Maths-guru, would probably turn
in his ancient Samos grave if he were to find out what
is going on in Lania village every Wednesday morning!
Well a few of us old faithfuls of Ancient Wisdom
decided last September to start a Philosophy Chat
Group. Whatever the original intention was, it has
turned out to be a weekly inquiry into what
philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates , and
lots of others besides, had to say on a variety of
subjects and, in turn, how they would relate to our
current lives and the Society we live in.
As yours truly, with the kind help of everyone in the
group, is the Chat leader I’d like to tell you what it
is about and that, in the between times, I have been
called argumentative, provocative, and at times
downright subversive - can you believe this from
friends (!) - but never, I dare say… boring. But
before any such undue credit is taken, let me say
straight away that those ancient philosophers knew
their beans. In fact Pythagoras – pronounced
peethagoras - was a first in declaring the shiny white
butter bean a non-starter. He refused to eat them, he
thought that bad luck!
In order to follow what I’m saying, let me mention
that everyone that attends the Chats is given a sheet
of written notes as a reminder on a chosen subject
and philosopher; this time it was Pythie, just to keep
their interest alive. At the same time I sneak in some
of my own ideas - it sounds impertinent but absolutely
true - but then every one of the participants takes
turns to add, disagree, analyze, or distort, and that
is always done with a great and honest sense of
humour. The sessions last for more than 90 minutes and
debate is lively and interesting - no heads broken
Well as I said, Pythie was very fond of numbers and
geometry, as you know, nevertheless he was odd. Yes
odd. Because, on the one hand he had the imaginative
idea of squaring the sides of the Right Triangle along
with the neighbouring angles - did I put that right? -
he did anyway, he went on to say that our souls or
even better his, could – after death wonder around
into any sort of animal. So our pets, cats, dogs,
hedgehogs and donkeys could in fact, be our
predecessors. So keep talking to them because you
never know when you will join them again!
All this is good, yet where does the bean ban come
in? Actually, Pythie was very superstitious. Can you
work around that? A person you may think of as having
a great imagination, convincing himself to attribute
mystical evils to the seemingly innocent bean? Odd, I
say. Anyway, I think I’ve said enough about this
subject and like a lot of things for this ancient
thinker, I do not think it is taboo to say that he
influenced a lot of modern thinkers like Einstein,
Spinoza, Leibniz, Thomas Aquinas and even Shakespeare.
Indeed, a lot of what he had to say is still open to
NOTE: Incidentally you are all welcome to join as long
as you don’t pass under ladders on the way. Ring us
on 99604796. See you in Lania!
St PATRICK’S NIGHT with HOWARD MOSS, 17th March 2008 in Sylikou Taverna.
The first St Patrick’s night dinner and show,
organised by P3 Events, in the little Sylikou Taverna
took place under a shower of green balloons. The 50 or
so guests filled the room and were surrounded by views
of Ireland (thanks to the Irish Embassy and the Irish
Tourist Board) and great advice from The Irish Society
here in Cyprus. It finally got under way to cart loads
of traditional hospitality, a log fire, a great menu,
and warm plates! Shamrock, well wetted, was worn by
the Irish from Dublin, Kerry and Co Cork and jealousy
by the rest!
The first course caught out one or two as the cream of vegetable soup had the kick of a Puck Goat on very hot plates! A variety of cooling mains, beers and wine followed the soup and the beautiful apple pie desert (arriving in the nick of time) had them lazing in the aisles for a short while.Then, the star of the night Howard Moss from Co. Meath in Ireland, returned by very popular request after his show in January, gave a stunning performance with guitar skills so rarely seen & heard in the Mediterranean. The old Irish numbers melded into more modern folk. As before, the “Irish Rover” folk song seemed particularly apt for guests drawn from Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt (courtesy of guests from Co Cork and USA!), England, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Ireland, Poland, Rumania, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales. They all joined in and it was like a night out for the UN!
Howard then tried to end his programme on time but
could not resist the many encores and swaying ovations
as the dancers again got into the swig of the night
(Surely that should be “swing”?). No, you were not
there! The evening eventually concluded with a
selection of music for more dancing provided by Tina
of Co.Monaghan and Paul of Lania!
PS. The Irish Tourist Board Offices (Tourism Ireland) for
the area is based in Italy. The great posters were
mainly in English; the odd one in Italian. The Travel
Brochures were in Italian! But they were all very much
sought after so, maybe, there are some closet Italians
PPS. Thanks to The Irish Society here Sylikou found the
Shamrock!!! Eat yer heart out those who had no
PPPS. Sylikou still had no Guinness…so maybe they can do a
trade next year?
THIRD ANNUAL BLOOMING ALMOND TREE FESTIVAL, Limnati, Sunday 2 March 2008. www.kourisvillages.com
The Almond is a small deciduous tree belonging to the
subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae; an almond
is also the fruit of this tree. The plant is
classified with the peach in the subgenus Amygdalus
within Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera
by the corrugated seed shell.
The sweet fleshy outer covering of other members of
Prunus, such as the plum and cherry, is replaced by a
leathery coat called the hull, which contains inside a
hard shell the edible kernel, commonly called a nut.
In botanical parlance, the reticulated hard stony
shell is called an endocarp, and the fruit, or
exocarp, is a drupe, having a downy outer coat.
The leaves are lanceolate, 6-12 cm long, and serrated
at the edges. The flowers are white or pale pink, 3-5
cm diameter with five petals, produced before the
leaves in early spring.
VALENTINE’S NIGHT with RAY RITCHIE, 14th February 2008 in Sylikou Taverna.
The St Valentine’s night show, organised by P3 Events,
in the Sylikou Taverna started with red roses for the
ladies and lots of personal attention by Evro and Zena
as all the guests were welcomed with great
hospitality, a log fire, a lovely menu and warm
plates! All the lovers (including the odd Chicago
gangster and his moll) set about massacring the special menu as they prepared to romance the night away.
The Star, Ray Ritchie, then wowed his audience with his immaculate looks and very warm personality, speaking to all the guests. He then really swung into
his routine, as he sang the great songs of the Rat
Pack and the Big Band era. His style of soul, a touch
of gospel and a whole load of rhythm and blues charmed
the audience. Covering songs from Frank Sinatra, Dean
Martin, Bobby Darren, Ray Charles, Engelbert
Humperdink plus classics from Marvyn Gaye, Neil
Diamond and Chuck Berry, Ray produced a thoroughly polished performance to the very select and appreciative audience.
The night concluded with a variety of melodies to
dance to as the dancers disappeared into the night.
Who said romance was dead in the Mountains? Book early
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY at Sylikou Tavern, 28th December 2007.
The ladies (men having better things to do, like
Tavli) moved the stage into position under Manager
Evro’s essential direction. The Christmas decorations
and flowers were given a few final tweaks by Chefess
Zena. Andreas, Toni and Daniela sharpened their
pencils. All was ready. Our Star Andrew Oliver set
about the essential equipment location and tuning and
was ready in minutes before doing his quality control,
on the menu.
The doors opened at 7.30pm and the audience poured in
and poured out Nicos’ best (wine from Monagri) to go
with a very interesting menu. Wined and eventually
dined, the audience prepared for the Party Show at
9.30pm with a selection of numbers playing in the
background to focus their attention and sharpen up
their “chat up” lines. WOW…Spot on time, our Star
took centre stage with a fetching outfit once worn by
Sir Elton and got straight into his show, mounted on
the highest white heels in the Mountains and bouncing
on a slightly mobile stage. The other dancing started
shortly after.Sylikou audiences are known for their
love of a good party with lots of ACTION!
The roaring log fire and village chairs together
seemed to excite even the most restrained and some
danced, who had not danced for 35 years! One cannot
keep a good Mountain Man/Woman down. Perhaps the
altitude helped to lighten their feet? As the night
flew past there were creditable attempts to take the
Star home. But as Stars do, he had his own stable to
go to where there was still room to lay his aching
It was a great night out organised by P3 Events, as
part of their 'Music In The Mountains' series. Are you
ready for 25th January when the Irish Folk singer
Howard Moss hits Sylikou? Book now.
- Kouris Magpie, 28-12-07
CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERT, in Lofou 12th December 2007.
P3, a team of Mountain people with your entertainment at heart, had an idea to bring Classic Music to the Mountains. Dimitris, the manager of the Bistro and Wine Cellar agreed that the Lofou Bistro’s new Wine Cellar would be an ideal concert room…Costas’ car was moved out and much work was done on seating, lights, decorations and a stage with some nice fur rugs, a log fire and a Christmas tree set the scene.
The Cypriot guitar duo of COSTAS APOKIDES from Nicosia and YIANNIS PHILARETOU from Limassol entered the stage, introduced by Andrew Oliver, P3’s Principal Associate. The applause from a full house of over 100 people lifted the dust from the traditional village ceiling. The night was beginning.
|Andrew, Principal Associate of P3 and colleague Mike flanked by the guitar Duo of YIANNIS, left and COSTAS, right.
||YIANNIS with a member of the audience
The acoustics and atmosphere created was unique. A challenging programme was played to demonstrate their expertise. Said one lady: “I have to say that I so thoroughly enjoyed the recital last night. The two young musicians were utterly charming and Oh so talented, their passion and sensitivity brought their guitars to life. Thank you from a very happy member of the audience”…This was typical of the dozens of plaudits that were made…
If you get a chance to buy the musicians’ CD do so: see the Village Link…
Andrew then closed the concert but not before rapturous applause and an encore…and the audience finally eased themselves off the village chairs to enjoy a traditional Lofou Taverna meal with Costas and his family presiding.
So, watch out for the next P3 concert in the Lofou Taverna Bistro Wine Cellar
on 28th March 2008 and DO book early! In December many tried to get in late
but were too late. Put 28th March in your diary and watch the village link www.cyprusvillagelink.com and posters for details…set some Euros aside!!!
PUBLIC MEETING, Lania Park Sunday 25 November 2007.
The road to Damascus is not through Lania!
On the fine morning of Sunday 25/11/07 a sizable crowd of local folk and assorted friends gathered. They were hastily invited by the Kourris-Xylouricos Committee for the Protection of the Environment, amid rumours that the relevant Parliament Committee had been delivered a ‘stern’ warning to ‘speed up’ proceedings (ie: tell the ministry of Transport and its road designers to move ahead) to put a catastrophic piece of new four-lane motorway in the middle of the famous Commandaria wine-growing region and right on the doorstep (literally) of the Lania residential dwellings! Sounds unlikely I hear you say, or even typical of the heavy hand of state bureaucrats having an arbitrary binge of power mania.
Wait till you hear more.
The committee had, on the day, raised the actual maps of the proposed monstrosity – iron bridge, tons of soil being shifted, asphalt everywhere, spoiling the traditional flora and fauna, and adding new and exciting levels of pollution on a garden-like environment. And all this because some faceless people want to shorten the journey from Limassol to the peak of Troodos by a grand total of 5-7 minutes.
And at what cost, you may ask? Well, the proposed project started at £70m and will probably climb to a much more believable £100m. Exorbitant? Well, what did you expect? We are talking about a Motorway, for goodness sake.
People at the meeting wanted to be informed on every aspect of this sorry and unexpected saga, but for various reasons, they got only part of the answer. This happened because information is thin on the ground, as the officials responsible have had only sparse and indirect contact with the affected citizens, up to this point.
A lot of matters await answers. Namely, why is not the present Limassol to Platres road being widened for more efficient use? Or, why isn’t an alternative route, well away from this beautiful area, being considered?
Members of Parliament, who were present, sought to be informed about this pressing issue and muttered that they were looking into it with interest. It seems that the pre-election fever is slowing their reflexes down. A sip of Commandaria might help, as long as it is still around to drink! Soon, we shall have rides to Troodos and Pelendri on a dry throat! Sygnomi!
With the morning’s proceedings done, a protest slow-drive car procession, flying black flags of mourning the disappearing vineyards of Limassol, followed down the at the road below, hoping to raise awareness among the residents of this and other villages involved. It is, after all, their patch too!
The committee, with your support, is hoping to raise this matter on every forum possible, in order to make officials and the government reconsider. Failing this, protests will go on and, if necessary, the courts here and in Europe, will hear about it, including the Commissioner for the Environment. We hope for, and seek everyone’s support.
BROADWAY IN SYLIKOU, 2nd and 23rd November 2007 Sylikou.
The 2nd November and 23rd November 2007 will be engrained in the minds of the audiences...and on their rear ends, as the village chairs in the Taverna are somewhat unforgiving. They left their marks on the enthused audiences in a traditional way.
The Stars, Andrew Oliver and Jezebel produced a very professional, polished and amusing show in spite of the good natured chattering between friends in a full house and a substantial “sing-along” contingent “having a ball”. For Broadway 2 the new stage was, in more ways than one, a great step up as the extra 30cms in height allowed the Stars and the audience to gaze in awe at the various performances…on and off the stage. One small problem, it was produced by an agricultural engineer and needs several strong ladies, or a tractor, to move it.
The programme of show music was greatly entertaining and hardly any of the audience failed to dance and some hardly had time to eat…The music, the songs and the log fire had a very magnetic effect on the dancers who stayed at their task into the wee small hours.
Evro and Zena and their Taverna team had the occasional difficulty servicing the appetites for the special menus as no sooner did the plate hit the table, it was cleaned! However the wine waiters in the shape of Aristides in a very fetching traditional village outfit and Andreas did manage to keep up. Not so Nicos of Menagros wines who had to put in some overtime to bottle some more of the 1999 Mavro…and on the first night arrived in the nick of time with more stocks for the closing number…
Those of a spiritual nature can ponder on the significance of a pregnant cat awaiting everyone as they arrived…possibly being responsible for the now famous parting late night comment after Broadway 2 that “I can’t stay longer, I am on a promise….” -
POP PARTY on the PLAKA, Sylikou 5th October 2007.
What can I say but WOW! Around four hundred revellers
were entertained by a mixture of Folk, Pop, Rockney
and Heavy Metal music the like of which has probably
never been witnessed in one venue on Cyprus. The evenings' entertainment began with Christian Andrews who's voice had people dancing from the outset.
Christian was followed by Howard Moss who mellowed the
evening with some fine Irish folk music. Next up were
the Rockney Band Hot Nuts, Chas 'n Dave never sounded
so good. Finally Howard Moss and a couple of rockers
from Hot Nuts reappeared to particularly impress me with some heavy metal numbers (anything by Pink Floyd does it for me).
All in all a truly successful evening thanks and
congratulations to the organisers, workers and those
who never get a mention. -
Pop Party on the Plaka (P3): Sylikou 5th October 2007.
Presented and Promoted by P3 Events and sponsored by:
our major sponsor, Chris Christou of Sylikou village
and co-sponsers: Ultra Properties of Paphos. Karsaras
supermarket of Limassol, Call Simon electrical and plumbing, Avis Car Hire, Sylikou Tavern and Sylikou Village Council.
300+ party goers (2-300 planned!), three solo singers
(UK, Cyprus & Ireland) and two bands (UK and Ireland)
gathered on the Sylikou Plaka to Party with Guests
from the Sponsors and Sylikou Village Council!
The weather forecasts from various radio and TV
stations, pundits and Sages that had aching elbows and
the like, all promised rain like you have not seen…
since the day before! The Promoters are made of
sterner stuff and noted a shower of rain in the
morning to keep the dust down and BLUE SKIES for the
event!!! Some members of the audience were not
Glastonbury trained BUT the VAST majority were more
positive and passed through the Box Office…where Evro
and Pam of the Promoters welcomed people… some
arriving at 6.30pm!
Sharp at 8pm the Party started. The weather was“fresh”. A wandering balloon crafter and a close-up
magician warmed up the crowd who were looking
enviously at the market stall selling woollen goods
from various EU countries and China. The electrical
engineers kept an eye on the amps, the caterer turned
up the heat and the food was VERY good. The market
stall selling Honey Balls (minature dough-nuts
finished off with honey from the Commanderia) did a
buzzing trade as did the Waffles man. The stall
selling fishing tackle was popular with those who
thought it would rain. The stall selling fresh coffee
beans hit the scent spot. One selling flashing light
necklaces also helped amuse the several Birthday
Parties. The bar was staffed by Zena of the Sylikou
Taverna speaking Greek/English and Rumanian and Assen,
Toni & Daniella speaking Bulgarian. An international
bar! They were well supplied with Menargos wines from
Nicos in Monagri and Keo beers.
Andrew Oliver, the Maestro and Pop Party Promoter, started the show with some of his excellent pop numbers. His outfit stole the vote for the Best
dressed and Brightest Star. Christian Andrews, a
Cypriot singer, wowed the arena with a brilliant
performance of a medley of numbers in the style of
their originators. He was very clever and
professional. Howard Moss from Co Meath, Ireland then
went into several solo routines of traditional and
modern Irish Pop songs which really excited our Irish
The London band, Hot Nuts with Chas and
Dave style music and Andrew on piano thumped out some
cheeky 50s & 60s rock’n’roll. Finally classic rock band Axis closed the show as the dancers partied until midnight.
Our major local sponsor, Chris Christou was represented by his Father, Panayotis, in the front row with his feet tapping. We thank them for their major
sponsorship as a token of their love for Sylikou and which enabled us to plan this unique Sylikou village event: the first Pop Party on The Plaka. Ultra
Properties came to the Party with a very attractive
stall and smart staff. Karsaras supermarket were the
major suppliers of food and beer and Call Simon
electrical and plumbing services made sure that we had
the power and water! Avis Car Hire provided a unique prize for a Half Yard drinking competition, won in 37 seconds!
At 2359 hours the last hundred of the party headed
home, and the Plaka was miraculously cleaned by the
Promoters and returned to Village, just before the
rain bucketed down! The Sylikou Muhktar, Costas Polis,
agrees that Sylikou is now the Commanderia Village of
Singers and Musicians.
P3 Event Promoters thank everyone for their support…. KM.
MUSIC IN THE PARK 14 September 2007 Lania.
On 14 September 2007, we held what I think is the
first of it's kind event at Lania. We called it Music
in the Park. It was held under the auspices of Lania
Cultural Club who provided the venue. Andrew Oliver
arranged the acts, advertising and the bunting as well
as roping in a lot of support and I tried to organise
the rest so we could have a smooth event.
In the end due to the brilliance of the organising
skills of Andrew and myself (preen,preen), a very good
night was had by all. I must acknowledge the very good
quality of all the performers, from the fantastic
voice of the young Cypriot Christian Andrews to the
gyrations of Elvis (Chris King), the backing band and
vocals and yet again that man, Andrew Oliver as Elton.
The food was superb,the drink, especially the wine,
had a lot of people staggering home and generally the
joy of the people, who attended, at having an event of
their own ensured a grrrreat evening.
Having now given my report to the cultural club as the
organiser and treasurer I can go ahead and tell you
that the sum of £1,065 was raised. This will go a very
long way towards modernising the facilities at the
club premises something urgently needed if we are to
attract more members, especially of the female
The committee as a whole were stunned at the
popularity of the event and it's success, so it is to
be hoped that when in the future I ask them for the
use of the venue they will be delighted to agree. I
have been asked by them to convey to all who attended,
the committee's thanks and appreciation for the
support that was shown.
Also on behalf of myself and Andrew I would like to
express our thanks to all who helped in making it such
a success, especially Andy and Yvonne at the bar, Dena
and Alice in the ticket office and Jackie, Hugh and
Veronica for their help in preparing the venue. -
ENRICO, COOLA, MICHAEL and SARAH sang in Sylikou Taverna....
On Saturday evening 18th August Nicos and his daughter Elli of the Menargos Winery of Monagri arranged for a few friends to have a meal at the Sylikou Taverna. And they sang, for at least their supper…
Three are classically trained musicians studying. Coola & Eduardo at a University in Italy, Sarah at the Paris Conservatoire in France...and Michael is graced with the descriptive of an emotive and natural Cypriot singer.
It was truly magic....traditional and modern Cypriot folk songs floated through the night air accompanied by the classical Spanish guitar playing (and how!) of Coola. Enrico, Michael, Coola and Sarah all sang as did some of the guests. Tears of appreciation and emotion were obvious....
Midnight came and went… as did 1am… and 2am....it was a night to remember… something rare and beautiful and the audience was totally captivated.
Eduardo and Coola are shortly to be married in Cyprus which certainly influenced the romance of the occasion. Then they return to their studies in Italy and so cannot sing in Sylikou until Christmas. Sarah returns to her studies in Paris until Christmas...Michael happily remains here, but....So watch out at Christmas for these romantic and professional singers.
Thank you Nicos & Elli of Menargos Winery….and Evro of Sylikou Taverna, more please! -
The evening began well with an excellent meal and the entertainment was
first class. The entertainment was interrupted by long speeches, with no attempts
made at translations, and what appeared to be a great deal of mutual
appreciation by members of the Culture Club. Sadly the organisers missed an ideal opportunity to promote the integration of the Cypriot and overseas communities, by completely ignoring their non-Cypriot guests, of which there were around 60. Again, an opportunity missed. I got the impression that Lania Cultural Club is only for Cypriots and the organisers didn't care whether the foreigners were there or not. I couldn't caption the pictures because I didn't have a clue what was going on. -
On Saturday 4th August Doros hosted a party in the village square which was attended by at least 1000 people. The £8 entrance fee covered the cost of all food and drinks, the supply of which never ran out. Music was provided by a five-piece band playing a selection of traditional and modern music which had revelers dancing into the night. All in all the evening was a great success and the organisers and participants are to be congratulated on all their hard work.
- Doros Dave
LANIA, AY GEORGIOUS AND SYLIKOU AUGUST 2007
This is THE festival season "par excellence". The Tavernas' trade slips out of sight into the negative and owners raise their eyes towards heaven, bank managers….and the end of the holiday season...Holiday makers traditionally come to the Commandaria region armed to the teeth with food for the 5000 and hardly affect the well prepared Tavernas’ atmospheres and takings.
Lania started the trio with a beautiful location, lots of enthusiasm but limited local dancers except for two three year olds who stole the show. There was a useful group of musicians and a singer who held all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. The food was contract catering and the odd large bone was disguised as meat. The compulsory speeches by the great and the good were “bum numbingly” long as was a solo discourse on the state of the nation….although some 20% of the audience were other than Cypriot there were no translations provided for those struggling to speak Cypriot (perhaps a gracious act of God?). The sound engineer clearly had a night off and left everything on full. In all, they pedalled hard and missed the boat…
Ay Georgious on the other hand had the feeling that all the road signs had disappeared and nobody could find the place. It was a real family affair and the low numbers did not spoil a lovely evening where everything worked, the food was OK and one could at last hear oneself speak and, more to the point hear others and the pleasingly short speeches.
Sylikou rounded off the trio with a well organised night. The District Officer Mrs Anastasia Mavrelli arrived in the statutory black limo and sat at the very nicely presented High table. The dancing was by local, young and well prepared dancers and very neat. The music and singing was mostly at a level one could both enjoy and talk. The contract catering was average and pleasant. The speeches were thankfully none too long. Again there were no translations provided for those significant numbers struggling to speak Cypriot but friends helped out where they felt it necessary to do so…A nice touch were the boxes of fresh “sultanina” grapes which followed their liquid brothers and sisters very easily.
Hopefully next year the Trio of Festivals will benefit from this year’s experiences. Kyrie Eleison…
The 6th Commanderia Festival, 29th July 2007.
The final night of the Festival week with closing celebrations in AGIOUS
MAMAS on a beautiful and clear night with a full moon rising. The
celebrations centered on an arena set in the valley bottom, bedecked
with medieval style stalls, banners and a village house backdrop to the
stage, great lighting, wide screen television and packed tables and
chairs for at least 3000 people. Parking was a lottery much helped by
The range of stalls included:
· the Wildlife Department showing how they and the oft maligned hunters
cared for the fauna,
· a rope chair maker,
· two walking stick makers, whittling away,
· several local basket weavers,
· a traditional shoe and boot maker,
· wandering balloon sellers (and lost balloons!)
· stalls selling all sorts of delicious food and cold drinks and
· Nicos from Monagri giving (several!) samples of his beautiful
The view of all of this as one came down from the mountains was
stunning. We drove down the dirt road through young wild hares racing
the car and roosting
nightjars and then passed the beautiful churches lit up for the
All those not there missed an evening of superb dancing by one of the
most enthusiastic, professional and athletic dance groups from Crete
that have ever graced the Commanderia festivals. This was followed by a
very professional singer who involved all the age groups in the audience
so children and mothers and fathers and grandparents, even great
grandparents, all danced!
The comedian got good laughs and the MC was very good at linking the
events, including the statutory orations by the organisers and the group
photo of all
the Chairmen of the Commanderia Councils.
The sound engineers had only one speed, pedal to the metal, with
loudspeakers the size of ISO containers. This may have been in the plan
to blot out the use of mobile phones but was disappointing. Everyone was
there to meet family and friends and talk with them as well as see the
stage events. Being able to merge the two needs is something the
organisers should work on for next year in DHOROS. Or I for one will
watch from the other side of the Kouris Valley!
The finale was the firework display and it duly echoed around the
mountains and lit up the skies, watched over by the Fire Department who
only weeks earlier were in the surrounding mountains fighting one of the
biggest forest fires for years. Happily they were not called out…
By popular demand the singing and dancing then continued well into the
night and early morning…
NEXT YEAR DHOROS… so plan your holidays to include the last week of July
in the Commanderia region at the 7th Commanderia Festival and its final
evening in DHOROS! Keep visiting the Village Link for more details…- KM