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Copper Family House Concert

Vic Smith 26 Feb 12 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 26 Feb 12 - 06:50 AM
Vic Smith 26 Feb 12 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Yvonne 26 Feb 12 - 06:59 AM
Desert Dancer 26 Feb 12 - 12:53 PM
maeve 26 Feb 12 - 01:52 PM
Vic Smith 26 Feb 12 - 02:55 PM
Brian Peters 26 Feb 12 - 03:08 PM
Elmore 26 Feb 12 - 03:16 PM
maeve 26 Feb 12 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 27 Feb 12 - 10:52 AM
Vic Smith 01 Mar 12 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 01 Mar 12 - 06:34 AM
Will Fly 01 Mar 12 - 06:37 AM
Vic Smith 01 Mar 12 - 07:32 AM
Will Fly 01 Mar 12 - 08:37 AM
Vic Smith 01 Mar 12 - 08:50 AM
Vic Smith 01 Mar 12 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 01 Mar 12 - 10:34 AM
GUEST 01 Mar 12 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,nygelgoose 03 Mar 12 - 07:18 AM
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Subject: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 05:04 AM

House concert at Jon & Jill's last night. Once again, I was honoured to be the compere where the main featured singers were The Copper Family and Jeff Davis. The Coppers were in in quite superb voice and however many times I hear them, I can never fail to be thrilled and moved by it. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was in the Coppers' closing set where a young boy called Flynn, son of Mark, grandson of Jill and great-grandson of Bob joined the other eight (Jill, John, Jon, Mark, Andy, Ben, Lucy and Tom) and sang some of the best known songs from the family repertoire. This was the fifth generation of that family that I had heard singing these songs over the last forty odd years. I was sitting next to Shirley Collins in the front row and the sight and sound of Flynn reduced her to tears of joy.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 06:50 AM

Copper the even younger.... (with apologies to Black Adder)....
Derek


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 06:58 AM

There was even an unborn Copper there..... Laura sang (beautifully) and she and Ben are expecting a baby next month.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST,Yvonne
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 06:59 AM

What a wonderful evening that must have been.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 12:53 PM

Wonderful.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: maeve
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 01:52 PM

Jeff Davis- one of the talented musicians who can hold his own when appearing with the wonderful Copper Family. Did they play together, or were they in separate portions of the programme? It sounds like a very special evening.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 02:55 PM

It was certainly very special. No, not together. Jeff did 2 x 15 minutes sets and the Coppers did 2 x 30 minute sets. The evening was started off with tunes and then songs from Dan Quinn, Tina and myself as an ad hoc trio and I was able to include one item each from eight prominent Sussex singers who were amongst the 60 or so people who had been invited. A special mention amongst those eight should go to the traditional singer Bob Lewis for his very fine treatment of The Ox-Ploughing Song.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 03:08 PM

Maeve, you may not be aware that Jeff is a very old friend of the Coppers, having been very close to Bob, and remaining close to the middle and younger generations. He relates proudly that, in his first TV appearance at a young age, one of the songs he sang was from the Coppers; he has 'Six Jolly Miners' - learned from a personal recording of songs with concertina accompaniment that Bob sent him - in his repertoire to this day.

Both of us treasure the memory of a 'personal house concert' we gave for Bob at Jon and Jill's house, at a point where Bob's health wasn't allowing him to get out much. I'd like to have been in Peacehaven last night as well.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 03:16 PM

Sounds like it was a great night. I was fortunate to have seen the Coppers in a house concert here in the States in 2002. I'll never forget it.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: maeve
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 03:16 PM

Thanks, Vic and Brian. I knew he had some songs from the Coppers, but not that there was such a close connection. That's wonderful.

I'd love to have been there.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 27 Feb 12 - 10:52 AM

It was a good night! MC Vic, as always, did a great job. He's been such a stalwart of the Sussex folk scene since I first went to his club as a sixth former (and now I'm 62)...and the bugger doesn't appear to get any older.

We've known Jeff Davis. since the early 90s when he and his then singing partner Jeff Warner hosted us throughout our very first US tour. The image of his carrying armfuls of beer to the otherwise dry Theatre for The Performing Arts in New York remains forever etched on our collective memories - corn in Egypt indeed! He's making a habit of being a 'surprise guest' too (as he was on Saturday) - we shipped him over for Bob's 80th birthday in '95. The two of them established a wonderful relationship over the years in those wistful pre-email days, mainly by letter, but occasionally in a more staged setting - no more so than when he and his great chum Paul Brady made up Bob's backing band at a small festival in Suffolk...still one of Jeff's most treasured moments. I can only endorse what everyone says of Mr Davis. His is a rare talent amongst performers, for to him the background and history of the song are the most important element. The combination of a fine voice and mastery of instruments never, ever, takes away from the majesty of the songs and what they must have meant to the ordinary folk who sung them. In this I can only assume that his influence must have been Frank Warner who made friends of everyone he 'collected'.

He's a jolly nice fellow too.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 05:18 AM

Another thing from this concert that I felt was very significant....

At the beginning of the evening all the concert's guests were milling around getting their drinks and chatting in the large downstairs room and Dan, Tina and I went upstairs to the equally large upstairs room where the rows of the hired steel-framed upholstered chairs were facing the performing area in front of the fireplace. The three of us were going to be playing tunes as everyone came upstairs and took their seats.

Three very different chairs were in front of the fireplace. Clearly very old, rough, home-made looking wooden upright chairs, they were heavy and a fair bit larger than the modern dining chair. We took one each and they were actually much more comfortable than they looked. If they had a fault, it was that the wooden seats were a bit slippery as they had clearly been polished and smoothed by very many bums over a long, long time.

Later on, I introduced the Coppers (What a cheek! In their own house!) and the three chairs were move forward to make space for five Young Coppers (and later one much younger Copper) to stand and sing whilst John, Jill and Jon sat down.

Talking to Jill at the end of the concert, I asked her about the three chairs. "Oh!" she said, "I thought that everyone knew about those. They were made by Jim, my grandfather, and were in the cottage in Rottingdean where he lived all his life. After he died, Bob brought them to Peacehaven and when he died they came to us."

It's not just the songs that get passed down in the Copper Family....


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 06:34 AM

"These chairs were constructed by Jim Copper the singer..."

Derek


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 06:37 AM

Did any of the floorboards squeak during the evening...?


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 07:32 AM

Will Fly wrote:-
"....floorboards...."


No. People only stand on that spot once a year and anyway the house is less than ten years old.
I don't know how long the very old floorboards that you are thinking of have been there but much, much longer - possibly even before 1819 if you look at the sixth post at http://www.froots.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5465.

Thinking back before 1819, Will.... do you remember the days when that young Corsican used to come and do floor spots in that room singing songs telling us how he was going to change Europe? I think it was his lines -
His men in thousands then did rise,
To conquer Moscow by surprise,
He led his troops across the Alps
Oppress'd by frost and snow,

- that first caused the floorboards to squeak.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 08:37 AM

Ah yes - "The Grand Conversation"...

...The plain was in confusion
With blood amid dying woes,
The bunch of roses did advance,
And boldly entered into France,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 08:50 AM

Nice voice he had too. Not many of us left that can remember those days....


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: Vic Smith
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 08:54 AM

Meanwhile back at that concert and the furniture, Tina posts in another place:-
There was also a little bench in front of the chairs and Jill said that it had been made by Jim and then repaired by Bob. It was being used as a drinks stand on the night.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 10:34 AM

We're lucky to have Jim's furniture...he also made a lot for the Central Club. All constructed with Elm and Oak appropriated from redundant farm wagons and the like. The chairs to which Vic refers are certainly copper-bottomed! He had hands like hams and yet he was capable of making the most delicate of models of farm implements...ploughs, rollers, harrows... even miniature hand tools... any chain work being made from copper wire, every link individually fashioned and soldered. A very practical man he made his own crystal sets in the early days of radio. He even made a proto-baby buggy which he named the 'Wib Rover' (after Jill who as a baby was known as the wibbly wobbly baby). This was a construction involving a walking stick, two small wheels and a seat. It enabled Bob and Joan to continue the walking hobby with their offspring over the Downs, with the benefit of being able to fold up the device in order to travel hither and yon by bus.

And as for 'The Grand Conversation'... Gordon Hall's is the definitive version for me, when he sung it, it was as if he was there. What a privilege to have known him. A man well worthy of one of your presentations Vic.

Sorry, getting too discursive again.


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 12 - 12:53 PM

Come and see them in east dulwich, we're really looking forward to it. :D

http://www.thegooseisout.com/events.html#copperfamily


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Subject: RE: Copper Family House Concert
From: GUEST,nygelgoose
Date: 03 Mar 12 - 07:18 AM

next friday 9th


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