From Jelsa Cafe to Home Stage: Leedham Sisters Debut ‘Ode to the Bura’

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Of the many Brits who bought holiday houses in Croatia, I don’t think I have met any who have got more out of their investment than one family from Staffordshire. When I sold a goat shed in the almost abandoned village of Selca above Stari Grad on Hvar to a very nice couple back in 2004, I had no idea how much they would feature in my life. 

Three adorable children, aged 2, 6 and 10 completed the family, and they enthusiastically turned the ruined goat shed of 15m2 into a fabulous holiday home which at times has slept 15 people (yes 1 person per 1m2). The girls loved music, and after a few years, when they were about 6, 10, and 14, the two older ones decided to start busking on the streets of Jelsa.

And so The Leedham SIsters were born. 

Angelic voices, beautiful kids, polite and smiley – I watched with envy as they could earn more in an hour’s busking than I could in a week of blogging. 

Over a couple of cold ones with their parents, I agreed to organise a couple of gigs for them. When I say gig, it started out at the local cafe, with a paper plate saying “The Leedham Sisters live at 20:00” posted on a window. These concerts were always relaxed and popular with tourists passing by,  and the youngest child was a demon at collecting cash at the end. 

Here is some audio and great photo collage from one of their earliest gigs at the Total Hvar office, Cafe Splendid, back in 2013. 

Thanks to their undeniable talent and the efforts of their hard-working manager, their island fame quickly spread, and soon they were providing the entertainment at the Hvar Wine Association tasting evenings, while their parents drank away their fee. You can see them performing in the video above, starting at 02;22 (although the video – with English subtitles – is a nice snapshot of the role of wine in Hvar life). 

Their fame spread, and soon they were the support act at the biggest event on the island, the Puhijada, or edible dormouse festival (yes really), performing in front of 4,000 people. 

Time passed, kids became students, I moved from Hvar, and I haven’t seen The Leedham Sisters in a couple of years, but I do follow their progress. 

And how lovely to see them doing so well, including this appearance on Home Stage last week, where they debuted a song professing their love of Croatia, called Ode to the Bura. 

Their interview starts at 35:58, and Ode to the Bura begins at 43:50. There is even a mention of some manager called Paul. 

Those lovely young voices a decade ago are now magnificent. 

Go Maddy, Hattie and Charlotte! How about a reunion concert at Cafe Splendid in Jelsa this summer?

You can follow The Leedham Sisters on Facebook.


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