Wednesday 13 January 2010

BBC's Folk on 2 Presents Northumbrian Folk (1971)

English folk music is not something I could claim to know anything about, or even have any particular liking for, however I had to grab this album for two reasons:

1. It contains folk music from Northumbria, an area that encompasses Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne & Wear. County Durham is the area in which I was born and raised and I think I might have a few good memories of the place.

2. It was released in the year of my birth.

So you see, I couldn't really pass it up for a pound.

Little did I know that this album would be so evocative of my childhood, binging back hazy memories of the '70s. Hearing The Washington Greys Marching Band performing 'Bobby Shaftoe' on drums and kazoo brought back memories of watching the local Jazz Band in my home town of Newton Aycliffe. As a child I wanted to play drums in one of these marching bands, I loved the splendid mock-Napoleonic outfits, but remember being especially taken by the white plimsoles they wore.
Some of the interviews are really interesting, particularly the one where Archie Bertram talks about his life as a was recorded 40 years ago but its like he's describing another planet.

My favourite piece on the record though, is 'In The Bar Room'. Driven by the sound of the jaw harp, the song is an ode to the communal pleasure to be found in the pub, and a sly diatribe against work.


01The North Walbottle Rapper Sword Dance - The Monkseaton Morris Men
02 Morpeth Rant - Dennis Osselton & Archie Bertram
03 A Border Shepherd - Archie Bertram
04 The College Valley Hunt - Bob Davenport & The Marsden Rattlers
05 Bobby Shaftoe, Cushy Butterfield - The Washington Greys
06 The Lambton Worm - The Marsden Rattlers
07 Chevy Chase - Colin Rose
08 Blow The Wind Southerly - Anne Norman
09 Sea Lore - Bob Davenport
10 The Story of Grace Darling - Mrs. Kate White
11 My Bonny Lad - Bob Davenport
12 The Keel Row - Anne Norman
13 The Keel Row (2) - The Edith Adamson Carillon
14 Hadrian's Wall - Scott Dobson
15 Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinnie - Bob Davenport & The Marsden Rattlers
16 The Durham Miners' Gala - John Elliot
17 In the Bar Room - The Elliots of Birtley
18 Waters of the Tyne - Anne Norman
19 Woe Nannie's a Mazor - The Marsden Rattlers
21 Dan Leno's Hornpipe - Johnson Ellwood
22 The Blaydon Races - Bob Davenport & The Marsden Rattlers

If you're interested, then you can get it HERE.


peter said...

this is great! thanks for sharing, and especially for the auto-biographical details as well.. always cool to hear!

Richard said...

Takes me back to my childhood, some of which I spent visiting Grandparents in Boldon Colliery and various other relatives around the north east...

Times may have been hard, as the mines were winding down... but take it from me, Geordies still know how to drink & sing!

Anonymous said...

maybe as good a place to leave a comment as any. many many thanks for recordings esp the early king sunny ade. keep up the good work.

ps the congo seven album is sweet.

pps reminds me i'm trying to collect all the tunes featured during the radio links on malcolm mclarens duck rock there is a south american tune that i once heard on john peel but ain't heard it since. help! said...

nice to hear the old LP mentioned- I always claimed to be the first
fella to play the box for a clog dancer on a record (not exactly visual!)& well recall the trip south to make it, in some old roller skate venue in Maida vale.
Give you thirty bob for it!
jim Bainbridge