The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132312   Message #2993424
Posted By: raymond greenoaken
25-Sep-10 - 09:34 AM
Thread Name: Boring, Bleating Old Traddy (Peter Bellamy)
Subject: RE: Boring, Bleating Old Traddy
"He was at the Festival in 1991 and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He even organised a quiz with two teams of artists, he'd prepared all the questions including music excerpts etc. It was a great success. Roy Harris and Martin Carthy led the two teams. One of the questions was he played a tape with snatches of 19 different versions of Barbara Allan and the teams had to try and guess them all."

He tried this quiz out on me in earlier in the year. He even managed to fox me with stuff I had in my own record collection.

"(I believe Martin's team won)."

I'm more inclined to think both teams lost.

It's good to have another thread active that celebrates the man and his music, even one prompted by the anniversary of his death. I was much moved by Lisa's reminiscences, and Suibhne's view of his achievement rings like a bell to me. Today, of course, is the 19th anniversary of when I heard the news. A wee personal tale: On the US tour shortly before his death, Peter had picked up a fantasy novel to read on the road, but found it unreadable and abandoned it after a hundred pages or so. Back in the UK, he thrust the book into my hand and challenged me to read it through and give him an appraisal. You don't say no to a Bellamy challenge, and I dutifully ploughed through it (and loved it, actually). I finished the book about half an hour before Jenny came on the phone with the baleful tidings. A couple of years later, in what seemed like an astonishing coincidence. I met the book's author in a coffee shop in Whitby and told her this story. She was in tears. I guess it's the way I tell 'em...

I'm sure we all have our fund of Bellamy stories. Here's one more from me. The first time I had a go on his Anglo I found myself approximating his accompaniment for The Trees They Do Grow High, even though I'd never studied it or even thought about it. It was as though he'd programmed it into the concertina. But when I tried to play something from my own repertoire, my mind went completely blank. That was the same morning in my kitchen that he rocked out with Tumbling Dice on my girlfriend's guitar. I replay that in my head whenever I need to remind myself that Jagger and Richards were great folk writers.

And our own MtheGM once told a story that he may now have forgotten. If so, I'm happy to remind him. In the days when Michael had a regular column on the back page of Folk Review, he was playing host to PB in his kitchen. PB had a banana skin or food wrapper or some such in his hand and said: "Where do you put your rubbish – apart from the back of Folk Review?"

I'm sure that was true, even if it never happened.