The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132312   Message #2996693
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
30-Sep-10 - 07:11 AM
Thread Name: Boring, Bleating Old Traddy (Peter Bellamy)
Subject: RE: Boring, Bleating Old Traddy (Peter Bellamy)
the contrast between the success he had and the success he deserved

For PB to have had the success he deserved the folk scene would have had to have been a very different thing to what it actualy was - and is. The Karl Dallas quote sums it up perfectly: ...a giant in a world where the pygmy is the standard.... Maybe in an alternative universe PB would have got the Fairport gig (he was offered the job, and did accept!) and by such means come to the attention of a wider more eclectic and appreciative audience - but the further irony her is that whilst Shirley Collins is lauded by the likes of Current 93 and darker scenes beyond the reactionary confines of the folk orthodoxy, somehow Bellamy's genius has singularly failed to attract such a cult status - thus far at any rate, despite the best efforts of we frustrated Bellamists who insist he is deserving of a world class status transcendent of genre.

I remember the first time I met Peter Bellamy - a Thursday night at the Bridge in Newcastle after a hard day tree felling with the BTCV circa 1983. I hadn't even heard of him back then, but I was nevertheless recommended to him as the sort of person who could offer him a bed for the night - so up he came to the bar, asking for me by name and looking thoroughly pissed off that such was his exalted status he was reduced to begging for a doss from a stranger who wasn't even at the gig (after a hard day tree felling all I wanted was to drink & roar with my fellows). In the event he found somewhere a little closer to Newcastle than I was living at the time but I often ponder how it would have been to have sat up smoking the night away with PB entirely unaware of his status. Anyhoo - a few days later I related the episode to Raymond who was living in the wilds of the South Tyne valley at the time, asking if he'd heard of someone called Peter Bellamy - and there was my induction, as I recall, right there and then as he took me through the entire Bellamy oeuvre long into the night.


Whilst rummaging around for masters for the forthcoming release of the double CD set John Barleycorn Rebirth on Coldspring, I found a rehearsal session of me singing A Tree Song (AKA Oak, Ash & Thorn) from March 2007 which I'd forgotten about entirely. Not bad - even if I say so myself: you can hear it as the first track on my Myspace Page. I fancy PB would have been singularly unimpressed!