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Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy

DigiTrad:
AROUND ME BRAVE BOYS
BRISK YOUNG WIDOW
NOSTRADAMUS
OAK, ASH, AND THORN
On Board a 98
THE BARLEY AND THE RYE
THE GOOD LUCK SHIP
THE OLD SONGS
WE HAVE FED OUR SEA FOR A THOUSAND YEARS


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Spleen Cringe 25 Nov 11 - 07:31 AM
theleveller 25 Nov 11 - 08:07 AM
Elmore 25 Nov 11 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,matt milton 25 Nov 11 - 08:51 AM
The Sandman 25 Nov 11 - 09:49 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM
The Sandman 25 Nov 11 - 02:48 PM
Rain Dog 25 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM
Howard Jones 26 Nov 11 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Folknacious 26 Nov 11 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Black Jake Ex of Norwich 06 May 12 - 06:49 AM
Leadfingers 06 May 12 - 07:20 AM
The Sandman 06 May 12 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 06 May 12 - 11:40 AM
Continuity Jones 06 May 12 - 12:32 PM
Dave Hanson 06 May 12 - 01:20 PM
MGM·Lion 06 May 12 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 06 May 12 - 01:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 May 12 - 02:05 PM
MGM·Lion 06 May 12 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 06 May 12 - 02:23 PM
MGM·Lion 06 May 12 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 06 May 12 - 02:54 PM
Felipa 11 Feb 21 - 05:02 PM
Anglo 11 Feb 21 - 09:17 PM
DaveRo 12 Feb 21 - 03:10 AM
Felipa 12 Feb 21 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,BlackAcornUK 12 Feb 21 - 03:16 PM
Felipa 12 Feb 21 - 03:44 PM
G-Force 12 Feb 21 - 03:55 PM
Hagman 12 Feb 21 - 08:36 PM
matthewdechant 13 Feb 21 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,guest steve smith 21 Mar 21 - 07:17 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Mar 21 - 08:42 PM
The Sandman 22 Mar 21 - 05:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Mar 21 - 07:33 AM
The Sandman 22 Mar 21 - 10:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Mar 21 - 12:11 PM
GUEST 22 Mar 21 - 08:38 PM
GMGough 22 Mar 21 - 08:43 PM
The Sandman 23 Mar 21 - 04:05 AM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 21 - 12:37 PM
Brian Peters 25 Mar 21 - 12:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Mar 21 - 04:35 PM
The Sandman 26 Mar 21 - 03:39 AM
Brian Peters 27 Mar 21 - 12:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 Mar 21 - 02:25 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 21 - 02:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 21 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Sean O'Shea 28 Mar 21 - 07:40 AM
Brian Peters 28 Mar 21 - 08:37 AM
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Subject: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 07:31 AM

There's a lovely article about Peter Bellamy ove on the Proper Blog as part of their 'In Depth' series. You can read it here.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: theleveller
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:07 AM

Good article, Spleen - Colin Irwin is an excellent writer. It gave me goosebumps to realise that as I read it I'm gazing out over the Leeds/Liverpool canal by the side of which Bellamy took his life. He had all the traits of an Outsider, as defined by Colin Wilson, and, as such, there's a dreadful sense of inevitability running through his life.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Elmore
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:45 AM

Thank you Spleen. The article seemed depressingly accurate and insightful.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 08:51 AM

"[Bellamy held] a steadfastly apolitical stance (his widow Jenny says that during her time with him he voted for the Green Party)"

I'm probably not the only person to smile at that one!

The Green Party has certainly always been political - in the sense of having agendas way beyond green issues - and its politics has always been on the left. I don't know if that was as true 20 years ago as it is today, but today it's a lot further to the left than Labour is.

If he was "steadfastly apolitical" then he wouldn't have voted at all!


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 09:49 AM

an interesting article.Idisagree with this statement
"His most prominent disciples include Damien Barber and Jon Boden, who have both not only drawn on his material, but taken substantial influence and inspiration from his eccentric vocal mannerisms. Barber, a fellow Norfolk lad exiled to Yorkshire, was even mentored to some degree by him and it was Bellamy who christened him The Demon Barber, a name he has subsequently used with great success for the band he now fronts.
Damien in my opinion bears no resemblance STYLE WISE TO Peter Bellamy,I hear more the influence of Dave Burland, the singer that reminds me most of Peter Bellamy is the Teesside singer Paul Dalton.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM

Damien in my opinion bears no resemblance STYLE WISE TO Peter Bellamy,I hear more the influence of Dave Burland

I hear more the influence of his father, Mike Barber.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 02:48 PM

i havent heard his father much, anyway he doesnt sound like Peter


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Rain Dog
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM

Colin Wilson? Never expected to see his name mentioned here.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Howard Jones
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 06:19 AM

Bearing in mind the furore on a couple of other threads, it occurs to me that the BBC could do worse than make a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award to PB. His achievements during his life were astounding, and with hindsight not only now appear even more astonishing but also are perhaps better appreciated. 20 years after his death his influence on a new generation is huge. You couldn't say that about many - not even, dare I say, Ewan McColl or Bert Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 09:28 AM

Maybe it's time, Howard, for there to be a respectable/ respected organisation set up some sort of folk "Hall Of Fame" with an annual induction of people dead and alive who deserve that accolade and recognition. Not just musicians either.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Black Jake Ex of Norwich
Date: 06 May 12 - 06:49 AM

I knew Pete Bellamy at Norwich Art School when he was about 18 and we were close friends, sharing a common interest in all kinds of folk-music and blues. We remained friends all his life, even though we were rarely in contact. He was even kind enough to sing at my wedding, stunning the guests with his songs (as well as his charm and his unconventional appearance!)

I thought Colin Irwin's article was really beautiful. It was touching, informative and a fitting tribute.

Bellamy was, I think, probably the most brilliant and innovative artist on the British folk-scene, and pitifully underrated. How the BBC (supposed guardian of culture) could have failed to put on 'The Transports' for the Australian Bi-Centenary, I shall never know. There should be some kind of massive award, statue or something, to mark the memory of this remarkable purveyor of (mostly) English folk-song, and Irwin's article is certainly a step in the right direction. Why can't BBC4 do something now?!

Bellamy put songs together with such consummate skill, the like of which I've never seen. Some of his own compositions were so good, with such a feeling for the genre, that they appear absolutely authentic. (The only give-away is the is the poetic skill with which they have been crafted -a level of perfection which few, if any, composers in the past could have matched.)

I shall miss Peter Bellamy for ever, as must anyone with an appreciation for the very best in English folk-song. Colin Irwin, who can write infinitely better than I can, has provided a memorial in words for which we should all be grateful.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 May 12 - 07:20 AM

Peter COULD be somewhat caustic if anyone upset him - I recall him starting his second half set at The Folk Chmber in H W with a ten minute Treatise on the origins of Cowboy Hollers , WITH Vocal illustrations (Informative , but NOT good entertainment ) because someone made an adverse comment to him during the interval .
And I agree that he IS deserving of all the awards that could be made - His input to the British Folk scene is incalculable


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 May 12 - 11:26 AM

colin wilson, is he one of the wilson family, that was born the wrong side of the blanket?


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 12 - 11:40 AM

Colin Irwin is a good writer BUT I have found myself to dissagree with many of his ideas and views.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 06 May 12 - 12:32 PM

I think he's a terrible writer, full of mistakes, innacurcies bad spelling awful grandma, hysterical errors, but I agree with every last semi colon and doting semi quaker.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 May 12 - 01:20 PM

Colin Irwin is not much of a writer, he is one of the people that perpetuated the myth that Ewan MacColl was born in Aucheterader, when the rest of the world knew he was born in Salford.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 May 12 - 01:31 PM

I have never that greatly rated Colin as a writer, tho he has struck me on the few occasion we have met [all many years ago now] as a nice enough guy; and he did always have this tendency to rush into print without checking his facts {Auchterarder!...}.

I have a sneaking regard for him, however, for all those times way-way-back-when, in the 70s-80s, that he would devote a whole MM column to denouncing little-me for something I had recently written about the traditional/contemp divide in Folk Review or The Guardian ~~ the sort of publicity you just couldn't get by paying for it...

Retrospective thanks again then, mate ~~ from a voice from the far-off past!

Best

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 06 May 12 - 01:45 PM

Regarding the 'critical piece' that Karl Dallas later regretted (it appeared in the then Folk Roots' March 1991 issue), Peter's problem with it was not that it was damning of his music (which it wasn't; Dallas was an admirer), but that it dwelt on his politics in a way that Peter believed would be detrimental to his career, by suggesting that his music had a right-wing agenda. Peter wasn't blameless in creating that impression, however, since he was quoted in the article as railing aginst the lefty tendencies of the folk scene in general, and offering up waspish pen-pictures of certain prominent performers who'd displeased him by abandonning traditional songs for political ones.

Whether or not he was quoted correctly (and I suspect he was, having heard the same kind of thing from him in person several times), he certainly regarded the article as a shot in the foot and a missed opportunity, not least because a glowing live review had appeared in the previous issue - written by me, as it happens - and he had reason to believe that fashion might just be swinging his way again. I remember wondering, as I wrote that review, how come the towering performer I'd just seen had been reduced to selling bootleg cassettes at his own gigs, instead of being the toast of the folk world. A great pity that the feature article didn't relaunch his career in the way it might have done, but instead caused ill feeling all round.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 May 12 - 02:05 PM

fascinating stuff brian! In fact an interesting thread. thanks everybody.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 May 12 - 02:12 PM

Brian ~~ In what way 'bootleg'? They were his own cassettes to sell, not illegally smuggled by devious underground means. I agree with you that the necessity for such a recourse was a pity, as he couldn't find a proper label to issue proper recordings commercially. But I still don't quite get the force of 'bootleg'.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 06 May 12 - 02:23 PM

Michael - they were his own home-made recordings of his deleted LPs. Didn't mean to suggest desperate illegality.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 May 12 - 02:36 PM

Ah, thanks, Brian. See now. Thought you meant those late cassettes which he hired studios to self-produce & self-record, like Fair Annie, & Mr Kipling Made Exceedingly Good Songs.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 06 May 12 - 02:54 PM

I think the LPs he'd copied were from labels that had gone bust. I seem to remember a self-deprecating remark at that gig, along the lines that record companies that had made the commercial blunder of releasing Peter Bellamy albums were doomed to bankruptcy.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Felipa
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 05:02 PM

the link to the article doesn't work now.

Is this the same Colin Irwin? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgagdZfCuO0
(in Nothern Ireland, "which foot does he dig with?" is a way of asking what religion someone is )


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Anglo
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 09:17 PM

No. Colin Irwin is an English music journalist with a strong interest in folk song. He's been around for a long time. Spelled differently from your man there, too.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: DaveRo
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 03:10 AM

There's an archive of the Colin Irwin piece here


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 03:02 PM

Colin Irwin wrote that he was moving to Ireland for part of the year. That was many years ago, so I thought he had settled here and was writing songs and telling stories. I hadn't noticed that the performer spells his surname "Urwin".


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,BlackAcornUK
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 03:16 PM

Is the Karl Dallas piece available anywhere?


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Felipa
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 03:44 PM

Tnanks DaceRo for the article. I found it of great interest and thought it sympathetic to Bellamy.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: G-Force
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 03:55 PM

Yes, good article. But a 'black accordian'???


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Hagman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 08:36 PM

I too would like to read the Karl Dallas piece from the March 1991 Folk Roots (my copies only go back to 1996...)

Meantime, there's a nice KD piece on PB from The Living Tradition in 1999
here


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: matthewdechant
Date: 13 Feb 21 - 04:54 PM

Great article. Peter Bellamy is to this day my favorite folk singer ever. He almost singlehandedly got me, an American teenager, into British folk music; something about how raw and "untamed" his voice sounds really resonated with me then and still resonates with me today. And his songwriting too, absolutely masterful. The Shrewsbury Folk Festival performance of the Transports is one of my favorite folk recordings ever.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,guest steve smith
Date: 21 Mar 21 - 07:17 PM

Thanks so much for that link - fascinating article.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Mar 21 - 08:42 PM

From the mid 1960's we have been riven by factionalism - almost to the point of extinction

I never really know how to react. I suppose its good that people have strong opinions. Many MOR visitors to folk clubs found Peter Bellamy's approach to folk song difficult to appreciate. My in laws certainly did.

On the other hand, I loved the ambitious nature of his approach. The stuff with Kipling and The Transports.

I think as the appeal of folk music drifted out of the public domain, the fighting over the entrails got bloodier and more savage.
According to that Lewin Davies film, twas ever thus. I think maybe we're too closeto comprehend fully all the forces at work.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 05:08 AM

From the mid 1960's we have been riven by factionalism - almost to the point of extinction.
correct.
there was a meeting in 1969? with
AL Lloyd Ewan MacColl Alex Campbell Bob Davenport to discuss the uk folk revival.. it ended acrimoniously.
i have seen organisers try to dictate to performers what they should sing from remarks like, no politics here, to asking a singer songwriter to only sing traditional material.
Peter Bellamy was not helped by Southern Rag describing him as elmer p bleaty.
Was Southern Rag ,an example of factional folk journalism, did they too have an agenda?
I also heard a professional performer make disparaging remarks about peter bellamy and alistair anderson, on stage when he was doing a gig. none of that is positive.
negativitity about other performers is not helpful to the uk folk revival in general
if i could provide an analogy. the UK folk revival has been rather like half a dozen people trying to grab the rudder of a ship and steer it in completely different directions. result the boat goes round in circles and comes back to where it started from
However if you just get on and play music and sing you can have a lot of fun


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 07:33 AM

Well I think a lot of people felt they had corners to fight.

Ordinary folks who liked Five penny Piece or Peter Paul and Mary and thought they liked folk music were completely confused when they came to a club with a traddy policy, and many of them left never to return.

The The traddie clubs were fiercely protective of the advances they felt they had made.

The contemporary pro acts - many of them before long were having to eek a living gigging the continent. they cast envious eyes over to what contemporary acts like James Taylor and gordon Lightfoot were achieving over in the states.   Plus, hey saw that material going down well in many UK clubs.

Dallas and Irwin wielded enormous power. Their estimations of Carthy as the new English Bob Dylan, and Peter Bellamy as a genius meant that when the US started asking for our acts; it was from the sages of Melody Maker they turned to for recommendations.

As many English people couldn't comprehend these artistes, they could only guess what the Americans would make of it. So whether brilliant uncritical reviews, instead of simple factual reporting, did anyone any favours   - i think the jury is still out. Certainly it put an unrealistic burden on some fragile shoulders.

It was a rough time. When I was teenager in the 1960's , there were two or three folk clubs in most towns. By the end of 1970's things were pretty much as they are now.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 10:33 AM

carthy as the new bob dylan , complete bollocks, the person i remeber being compared to bob dylan was donovan. and then there were one or wto awful folk comedians .. bob williamson , i saw him humiliate a child on stage at chippenham folk festival and get booed off, rightly s, calling a child up on stage and then taking the piss out of them is not funny and not entertaining.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 12:11 PM

Carthy remembered it, when i reminded him.

Bob Williamson. I never saw live - though I met him at one point. he was part of that Bolton lot - Bernard Wrigley, Brownsville Banned.

Wrigley was on topic, Williamson was on the Sweet Folk and Country label with Downes and Beer. there were more than one or two awful folk comedians., I really liked some of them ( they were all better than sitting at home watching Rolf Harris and the Younger Generation!)- but such was the diversity of the folk scene - they could find them selves with really unsuitable audiences. If they could do music ( like Gary and Vera, or Brimstone) they could get by -it wasn't what they did but if the comedy was the only string they had to their bow - things could get unpleasant.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 08:38 PM

> I too would like to read the Karl Dallas piece from the March 1991 Folk Roots (my copies only go back to 1996...)

Have just dropped loads of copies Folk Roots on the floor and disturbed the whole census recorded household.
But I did find a copy of Folk Roots No. 94 (April 1991). The article by Karl Dallas is contained therein.
Now I have to figure out how to get you a copy/facsimile or whatever.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GMGough
Date: 22 Mar 21 - 08:43 PM

message at 22 Mar 21 - 08:38 PM was me.
Didn't realise Win 10 update had stolen my cookie.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Mar 21 - 04:05 AM

derek brimstone was a good folk c0median and john foreman was funny too


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 21 - 12:37 PM

'Dallas and Irwin wielded enormous power'

Hi Al,

I've read a lot of Karl (Fred) Dallas's old articles recently. I think he was highly influential, especially during the 1960s, but he didn't half oscillate, especially regarding MacColl, who he was very scathing about at times. Martin Carthy, too, felt the force of his ire in the early 1970s, for the capital crime of vocal mannerism.

If the Bellamy / KD article does surface, remember that PB disowned it, and wrote a long letter to Dallas, including an annotated photocopy of the pages from fRoots, telling him exactly what was wrong with it. I think the problem was in what KD chose to keep in and what to leave out, in the cause of a controversial narrative, rather than that he'd made up any quotes.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Brian Peters
Date: 25 Mar 21 - 12:41 PM

'Colin Irwin is not much of a writer, he is one of the people that perpetuated the myth that Ewan MacColl was born in Aucheterader, when the rest of the world knew he was born in Salford.'

The 'Auchterader' claim is made in the sleeve notes of at least one MacColl LP from the 1950s.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Mar 21 - 04:35 PM

Hi there Brian

Hope you are managing all right through these strange and difficult times.Keep us posted about any new preoccupations, plans for albums, etc.

I'm not sure it does any good raking through the entrails of this tragedy. Its a bit like the thousands of accounts of the rise and fall of Oscar Wilde.

No doubt everyone could have been nicer to Peter Bellamy, but all of us who put our head above the parapet take criticism, and we have to decide - this moron isn't going to decide what I'm going to do with my life. And to be honest Peter had more praise and critical acclaim than most of us.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Mar 21 - 03:39 AM

it had nothing to do with people being nice,i have sent you a pm


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Brian Peters
Date: 27 Mar 21 - 12:12 PM

I'm good, thanks Al, missing sharing music but starting to rearrange postponed gigs for later in the year, with fingers crossed. What I miss most are the singing and tune sessions, actually.

I don't think we need to do too much entrail-raking, either, although given Peter's posthumous influence it's good to discuss the positive side of his work. But, on your specific point, I'd say PB had plenty of acclaim during the YT years, and then again after his death. In between there was a long period when his solo work was a minority taste and, as Heather Wood said in an interview linked recently on Mudcat, he had his own self-belief undermined. But I'll leave that there.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 Mar 21 - 02:25 PM

', he had his own self-belief undermined. But I'll leave that there.'

Yes I'd agree. I was never a professional folksinger. I worked the pubs, working men's clubs. OAP's clubs...and got such money as   i could out of being a one hit wonder, guitar lessons. A jobbing muso ...should we say.

But I liked the company of folkies. I can remember in particular the dismay amongst some folkies when Peter got some work stateside (presumably from the nice stuff Karl was writing about him). There was a feeling thatthe US wouldn't want any more English singers.

like I say my in laws went to see him and couldn't understand his gig at all. They were just ordinary working class folks who had got into folk clubsthrough me. i think they left in the interval - I can imagine a few experiences like thiswould affect you confidence. I know when I got paid off in WMC's, it dented my pride and confidence.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 21 - 02:55 PM

One Contributor to this thread has stated
He almost single handedly got me, an American teenager, into British folk music
I am pleased to hear this.
some people on the uk folk scene at that time preferred trad music that was cosier, safe, not challenging, less flamboyant
I knew two trad irish musicians who walked out of one of his gigs, mind you, they knew feck all about singing ,but just were interested in how many reels they knew and how many diddles they could get in to a tune


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 21 - 07:34 AM

When it comes to an old man's need to diddle, as King Lear said, "Reason not the need...."


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Sean O'Shea
Date: 28 Mar 21 - 07:40 AM

I believe that Peter was influenced by American sacred music in a way that positively broadened the listening habits of many in British folk clubs in the seventies.Many discovered a whole new repertoire that was relevant to our folk tradition and some of us wondered, for the first time at its rawness and vigour-Sacred Harp singing for which we must give great credit to Peter for broadening its exposure in UK.I remember when he came back from USA,totally blasted by the Americana as sung by Lisa Null and Bill Shute and he was just fizzing with it.They are greatly worth a listen.


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Subject: RE: Colin Irwin on Peter Bellamy
From: Brian Peters
Date: 28 Mar 21 - 08:37 AM

Absolutely, Sean. PB's 'Both Sides Then' is a great record including several American sacred songs, and features Lisa Null and Bill Shute, who make 'A-Roving on a Winter's Night' the thing of beauty that it is. I agree about their recordings, too: 'American Primitive' is another terrific album.

The Watersons deserve credit as well as Peter for putting Sacred Harp on the map in the UK, with 'Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy'. I decided I needed to know more about it, so I bought myself an American record of Sacred Harp sung by a choir, and played it proudly to Peter the next time he stayed with us. His scorn knew no bounds - it was way too polite and polished. The next time I met him, he pressed into my hand a mix tape labelled in his own hand 'REAL Sacred Harp', containing some of the wildest, most glorious singing I've ever heard.


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