Song - accompaniment
on concertina and piano - session tunes on fiddle - author and lecturer -
producer of folk shows -
sometime member of The Ranters - founder member of The Keelers
Song and Music (sorry no dance)
Pete's book of Napoleonic songs, published
July 2015, is available here
Review of my Tigerfolk
gig, March 6th, this year, from "Tatters"
It was Lou Killen some years ago who button-holed me and
lauded the praises of Pete and how he would be ideal for the club, Lou, you
weren't wrong. A man of his roots is our Pete and this was exemplified with
his opener "John O' Greenfield". Throughout the evening he returned
to Lancashire and sometimes drifted a bit further east with renditions of
"Friezeland Ale", "Manchester Angel" (although it was
collected in Dorset!), "Young Banker", Keith Marsden's "Funeral
Song", Cicely Fox-Smiths' "Shanghai Brown" and a delightful
monologue of "Aggie the Elephant". That sojourn into Yorkshire was
explained by Pete going to University in Sheffield, so panic not you Lancastrians,
he was only on a missionary visit. The influences of the north-east where
he has lived for many's the year were also evident with a rendition of "Captain
Bover", and Johnny Handle's "Guard Your Man Well". An interesting
bit of information from the Elliotts of Birtley was forthcoming about why
MacColl and Seeger wrote, and Pete sang, "The Big Hewer". Keeping
on the mining theme we had, from Scotland, "The Collier Laddie"
and staying in Scotia, "Bogies' Bonny Belle" and Child Ballad no.1,
or if you prefer, "Riddles Wisely Expounded". The reference to the
Elliotts is relevant as Pete has written a much acclaimed book about the family
and his latest publication "The Green Linnet" all about Napoleonic
songs has again been well received. The aforementioned "John O Greenfield"
falls into the Napoleonic song category as do "Plains of Waterloo"
and Mike O'Connor's "Carrying Nelson Home". Throw in a couple of
Irish songs, an encore of "Gossip Joan" and you have a cracker of
a night. A wealth of information along with a consummate performance of singing
and concertina accompaniment made this a night worthy as any we have had at
the club. John Bentham
Ed Pickford has composed
a song "The Fields of Orgreave" about the 1984 battle between miners
and police at the coking plant near Doncaster. It was in the news recently,
when the Tory Government refused an enquiry into the event.
What a splendid songwriter
Ed is, and when he sent me it last week, I instantly wanted to sing it. With
his encouragement, I have recorded it at Barrie Temple's studio on November
22nd. Here it is, and I hope you like it.