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Obit: Chas Sibbald (March 2010)

Jack Blandiver 02 May 10 - 12:29 PM
raymond greenoaken 05 May 10 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,Helen Sibbald 25 Jun 10 - 05:37 PM
Diva 27 Jun 10 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,S O'P (Astray) 30 Jun 10 - 12:54 PM
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Subject: Obit: Chas Sibbald
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 May 10 - 12:29 PM

Sad to report that word recently reached me of the passing of Charles Alexander Sibbald - known as Chas around the singarounds & folk clubs of North East England, and as Charlie to everyone else - who died of heart attack in March this year after a protacted period of ill health. Guitarist, instrument builder / inventor, ballad singer and storyteller extraordinaire, Chas was unique stylist of traditional song with a distictive approach influenced as much by the esoterica of the Incredible String Band (whom he remembered from their Mimi and Mouse days) as he was by popular song of most persuasions. In this respect he was just as likely to be heard singing The Death o' Parcy Reid as Bat Out of Hell, and gave equal consideration, conviction and authority to both.

A man of singular depths and talents, Chas was a visionary and poet who journeyed in the out limits of his craft whilst somehow managing to keep one foot firmly planted on Terra Firma. His singing of Brian MacNiel's Lads o' the Fair remains particularly memorable, likewise the further drops of tenderness he could wring from Robin Williamson's Fare Thee Well Sweet Mally, but in my heart I will forever hear him ranting the definitive version of Stan Roger's Barret's Privateers. I've still got two instruments he made for me which I never got round to paying him for: a three-stringed gamba fiddle (used over the years as a hit gardon and acoustic bass, luridly decorated with his distinctive Green Man masks) and a 4-double course flat-backed koboz / kobza based on fletless lutes from Eastern Europe. Fine instruments both, but only the tip of the iceberg of the dozens of citterns, dulcimers, hummels, blarges, bouzoukis, bouzouki-dulcimers he made over the years.

His like, for sure, we will never see again & I count it an honour to have known him and been numbered amongst his many friends.

S O'P / Sedayne / Sean Breadin (still inactive but I'll keep on eye on this for a couple of days anyway...)

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Subject: RE: Obit: Chas Sibbald (March 2010)
From: raymond greenoaken
Date: 05 May 10 - 05:39 AM

I'd like to express my own sadness at this unhappy news. Like S O'P, I'd known Chas for quarter of a century or more and remember him with great fondness. I too have a couple of Chasophones, as we called them: a bouzouki and a cittern. They're somewhat rude and raw in construction (I believe he sourced the wood from old TV sets) but they sound fabulous and play like a dream.

Chas' privately-produced cassette Atween The Broon & Benty Grund (with hand-written calligraphic insert) is another much-loved possession, consisting of enormously lengthy Border Ballads that you'll never otherwise hear sung. He was one of a kind.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Chas Sibbald (March 2010)
From: GUEST,Helen Sibbald
Date: 25 Jun 10 - 05:37 PM

Thank you for your insight into the part of my Dad's life that was completely alien to his family

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Subject: RE: Obit: Chas Sibbald (March 2010)
From: Diva
Date: 27 Jun 10 - 06:40 AM

So very sad to see this..Chas was a one off. His border ballads were mighty and I well remember seeing him doing Bat out of hell in a packed singaround at Newcastleton with the room givin it laldie with him.......magic.

My condolences to his family

Kathy Hobkirk

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Subject: RE: Obit: Chas Sibbald (March 2010)
From: GUEST,S O'P (Astray)
Date: 30 Jun 10 - 12:54 PM

Hi Helen - I opened this thread as a tribute to an old folk-mate I knew for nigh on 30 years. Like many of the folk world I never met his family, though I often met Roly - who played the perfect Barney Rubble to your father's Fred Flintstone. I understand this must be a difficult time for you, but if it's any consolation let me say that he often spoke of his daughters, and always with pride and affection.

In deepest sympathy.


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