I am proud to have had my music added to this beautiful tribute to the First World War fallen of Wolverton.
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:
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
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
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
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 Bradwell, 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
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