The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106992   Message #2215128
Posted By: Ross Campbell
14-Dec-07 - 06:39 AM
Thread Name: peter bellamy song accompaniment
Subject: RE: peter bellamy song accompaniment
I remember Peter tramping round folk clubs and festivasls with a sheaf of papers which eventually turned into The Transports. At Rhyl Folk Festival (a one-off, rained-on marquee-in-a-muddy-field festival, 1972 or 1973?) he performed a one-man workshop version of the show, explaining the story as he went.

As an anglo learner from the mid-seventies, I was keen to listen to any player and as I always admired Peter's singing with the Young Tradition and solo, I would try to figure out how he worked an accompaniment any chance I got. When I started off, I would play up and down the rows on the right (as you do) and vamp chords with the left hand. While this appeared to be Peter's way of playing, I could never duplicate the effects he produced. Great clutches of notes would include the required chord, but also passing notes to run against whatever the voice was doing. He would also use the breathing effect of pushing and pulling the bellows while holding the same exteded chord to drive the rhythm along (try a mouthful of notes on your nearest harmonica - suck and blow rapidly in succession to get the effect). I guess he learned how to work a concertina by trial and error - drop the bits that acvtually sound awful, keep the bits that work. The thing with Peter was that he knew enough about music to keep some of the wilder combinations that less adventurous souls would have avoided - which might explain why some people find listening to his recordings "difficult". All I can say is "Stick with it", there's a lot of good stuff there.

When The Transports first appeared, and for a while after that, festivals would present the show, sometimes with some of the artists from the recorded production, sometimes with local singers and musicians taking the parts. I haven't seen this done for a while. Could be time for a revival?