A Crossword War

I’m proud to present my new album-

ACW title&sub typewriterYou can:
Stream it
Download tracks
Buy the CD

And here’s a taster:

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The Vesuvians

Some years ago I told the story of my Grandad Kendall in the song Here Is Jack, and Roger Kitchen filmed me singing and talking about it. Video- ‘Here is Jack’

At the time of writing the song I was intrigued by a story my mother had told me, that Jack, her dad, had played in a dance band. I so much hoped this was true, because it gave me a feeling of connection with him denied to me by his early death, but I had no proof. Sadly, my mum had passed away herself before I finished the song, so she never got to hear it, and couldn’t tell me any more stories about her dad.

Then, clearing out my father’s bungalow following his death last September, my sister and I were excited to find this photograph:

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Vesuvians City Hall Players

Isn’t it great? Here are The Vesuvians at the ‘Philharmonic Hall’, East Ham, on October 3rd 1930. My Grandad is on trumpet. Continue reading

Ciné Qua Non

‘Ciné Qua Non’, as everybody knows, is Latin for ‘publish video on Youtube or not’.

In my case, as a determined late adopter, (see here for instance) the answer has been ‘not’. Until now. Continue reading

The cosmology of song writing

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Song writers have to be prepared to answer these two questions ad nauseam:

“How do you go about writing songs?” and “What comes first, the words or the music?” Continue reading

The Ghost of Lady Bennet

This song was written for the Living Archive Band’s radio ballad The Horse and the Tractor, but was not included when the ghost story fell victim to the editorial axe- a not inappropriate metaphor! Continue reading

Farewell, old friend

No going back. I have sold my fiddle.

My 19th century German workshop Maggini copy, with two bands of purfling front and back, and an extra turn in the scroll (apparently not one of Maggini’s signatures).

In thirty years together we have seen and done a lot: from Castlethorpe Village Hall to Westminster Hall, from Leicester to Leipzig, countless ceilidhs, innumerable morris stands and nearly as many pubs as there are stars in the sky. I ought to be sad, but I truly am not. Continue reading

The Valley of the Shadow

Arras, April 9th 1917

Today marks the centenary of the opening of the British and Canadian offensive at Arras, on the Western Front.

Hawtin Mundy of New BrHawtin Mundyadwell, Buckinghamshire, fought and was captured in the battle. His powerful memories were recorded late in life, inspiring community drama and song that ties modern Milton Keynes and its inhabitants to its past.

Here is a part of Hawtin’s moving testimony:

Hawtin’s description of the battlefield at Arras was carefully turned into song by Paul Clark for the play Days of Pride, and has never failed to move audiences each of the many times it has been sung since. Continue reading

Slipjazz

Fresh old music from the depths of StudioBlend:

I named this tune years ago. If only  I’d known then what would happen when you search on ‘Slipjazz’ I might have had second thoughts. Ah well… Continue reading

Shining, Sheltermore & Samuel Palmer

Two years ago I set myself the task of finishing off a number of tracks which had been hanging around for some time. Here are the resulting two albums. Sheltermore is pretty folky (after the folk-rock of the first track), while Shining is much more layered, instrumental and personal.

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