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Les Barker

DigiTrad:
BELLE'S BONNIE BOGIE
CUTTY WREN
EVERYTHING GLOWS
GLORIOUS ICE
HARD CHEESE OF OLD ENGLAND
I DON'T LIKE MY BOOMERANG
ROSEVILLE FAIR (Banjo Parody)
TRAINS OF WATERLOO


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forty two 17 Jul 01 - 01:44 PM
Jeri 17 Jul 01 - 01:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 01 - 02:09 PM
nutty 17 Jul 01 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Les/Manchester 17 Jul 01 - 03:02 PM
forty two 17 Jul 01 - 03:02 PM
Art Thieme 17 Jul 01 - 03:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jul 01 - 04:05 PM
Jock Morris 17 Jul 01 - 05:42 PM
Linda Kelly 17 Jul 01 - 06:17 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 06:32 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Jul 01 - 07:01 PM
Linda Kelly 17 Jul 01 - 07:07 PM
Jeri 17 Jul 01 - 07:09 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Jul 01 - 07:16 PM
GeorgeH 18 Jul 01 - 08:24 AM
Sourdough 18 Jul 01 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 18 Jul 01 - 08:35 AM
Snuffy 18 Jul 01 - 09:03 AM
Noreen 18 Jul 01 - 09:14 AM
Wolfgang 18 Jul 01 - 09:24 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 09:44 AM
GeorgeH 18 Jul 01 - 09:47 AM
Jeri 18 Jul 01 - 10:24 AM
Wolfgang 18 Jul 01 - 10:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 01 - 01:04 PM
Ed Pellow 18 Jul 01 - 02:47 PM
okthen 18 Jul 01 - 05:32 PM
Liz the Squeak 18 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM
Tattie Bogle 18 Jul 01 - 07:11 PM
Wolfgang 19 Jul 01 - 04:42 AM
GeorgeH 19 Jul 01 - 10:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Jul 01 - 10:48 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 Jul 01 - 02:02 PM
Sooz 19 Jul 01 - 02:16 PM
GeorgeH 19 Jul 01 - 02:19 PM
8_Pints 19 Jul 01 - 07:45 PM
8_Pints 19 Jul 01 - 07:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 01 - 08:12 PM
MMario 19 Jul 01 - 08:22 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Jul 01 - 08:33 PM
JudeL 20 Jul 01 - 11:55 AM
GeorgeH 20 Jul 01 - 01:22 PM
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Subject: Les Barker
From: forty two
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:44 PM

This is a carry on from the "On 'is 'orse, with 'is 'and up 'is 'awk" thread

Does any one know who Les Barker is? I used to go to college in the early 70s in London with a guy who always had a dog with him (hence Barker) and published a comic under the name of Les Barker. I think I still have a couple of publications about somewhere. We were both on the student union council together and I just cannot remember his proper name. I wasn't on the same course as him but I think he did Accountancy or something boring like that! Do accountants make good poets?


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:56 PM

Les Barker has a website here. There are pictures of him. (No not the dog - I think that's Mrs Ackroyd. There's a link to "photos".)


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 02:09 PM

That's Les Barker all right. Unless there's another bloke of the same name who's funny, a poet, had a dog and studied accountancy. Which isn't too likely. A doppelganger.

Mrs Ackroyd sadly is no longer in this vale of tears.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: nutty
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:00 PM

I've never been able to envisage Les as an accountant but then the act is so well honed that you "see" the character he wants you to see
But he's a lovely bloke and the serious poetry he writes is impressive.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GUEST,Les/Manchester
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:02 PM

Les Barker (no relation) easily the funniest poet. Massive range of styles and very sophisticated but most of all just very, very funny. We have seen him and bought his CDs for about 15(?) years. Saw at the Railway near Lymm, Cheshire a few months ago with the Mrs Acroyd Band. 2 amazing women singers (esily light opera standard) and a very talented keyboard player. I ached a lot and can recall 'Dachsunds (?) with erections can't climb stairs' and an amazing finale in which the whole of the room were holding long rolls of toilet paper, football scarf style, while Les and the band sang 'We're going to Ibiza' to the tune of the Dambusters march. Laugh, I nearly well, see him/them buy his records, instant joy.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: forty two
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:02 PM

Harlow, I looked thru his web site and true enough he was a past accountant!! This is my man. Just can't remember his proper name, cos Les Barker is his nom de plume


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:09 PM

I once told Les that I thought he was antisemantic.

Art


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 04:05 PM

You think it's an act, nutty? Well, maybe in the sense that there's more to him than he brings out on stage. But it's the real man on stage for all that.

He's the only peerformer I know who is physicallty painful to watch, because the laughing gets painful. Once he's set light to an audience he can just stand back and watch it burn away till it's exhausted. There's noone else who can do it that way - and there's some helluva funny people on the circuit.

If I could list the famous performers whom I've missed at festivals to get to see Les again, it'd be an impressive lineup.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Jock Morris
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 05:42 PM

I was lucky enough to see Les on Saturday at the Furness Tradition festival in Ulverston. A wonderful performance.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 06:17 PM

Who can forget the memorable 'Shipping Forecast'- priceless!


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 06:32 PM

Sorry, but 'forty two' wants to know Les Barker's real name.

Do your personal recollections help in finding the answer?

If they don't - you shouldn't post

Mind you, some of you are so in love with the sound of your own keyboards


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 07:01 PM

He has an Economics degree..... and a cute bum, but don't tell him I said that.... he's scared enough of me as it is....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 07:07 PM

I notice that you did not provide us with the information that forty two wanted either GUEST, er-your point was???


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 07:09 PM

McGrath, I did talk to him once. I wanted to say how much I was enjoying him at a festival. (Hollowfox, if you're reading this, that's not what I was doing!) He seemed every bit as humble as he was on stage.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 07:16 PM

He is one of of folks most genuine people. He also has a model railway in his house that is rapidly taking over by all accounts.

What his name is, if it isn't Les Barker, I don't know.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GeorgeH
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:24 AM

I've never heard any suggestion of his using any other name . . leastways not during the last 20 years or so. So if he wants to be Les Barker I reckon we should leave it a that . .

He's done some wonderful political satirical songs, too. (He once turned up at a June Tabor gig with a new one, taught it to her in the interval and she performed it in the second half . .)

He's a great guy, and seems rather shy off-stage.

G.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Sourdough
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:31 AM

Interesting thread.

I had never heard of Les Barker but the bits of information everyone put together make an enjoyable portrait.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:35 AM

I bought Tubular Dogs recently on the strength of mentions here, so I endorse all the above.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:03 AM

There are several of Les' songs already in the DT, Sourdough, and a few more in various threads.

Go searching on Les barker and give yourself a real treat. Highly recommended!

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Noreen
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:14 AM

I saw Les recently at Chorley Festival for the first time, and was even more impressed than I thought I'd be, having heard a lot about him here.

As McGrath did, I also missed much other great music to see Les three times over the weekend. Only wish I'd bought at least one of his books while I was there.

It's not easy when you're a zebra called Spot...


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:24 AM

I especially like his songs about fellow musicians:
Younger than Swarbrick
Watersons
January June (Tabor)
Eliza (Carthy)
and surely several more I don't know of yet.

And his self references: 'Get a dog and Barker yourself' or when he lets one of his characters in a song say: "Les Barker, you're a bastard"

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:44 AM

Wolfgang,

Any chance of posting some of the lyrics? I'd particularly like to hear 'Eliza'

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GeorgeH
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 09:47 AM

It's in January June, which June Tabor performs herself, that she sings the imortal line "Barker, you're a bastard" . . .

Mind, I have to say his "Wings of Butterflies" is quite the worst CD I own . . with the exception of a very few tracks sung fairly "straight folk" it's pretentious, poorly orchestrated "art" music. A shame, as many (most?) of the songs deserve much better.

Anyone want a copy? Played only twice. (At an interval of 18 months . . we thought "surely it can't be as bad as we remember". Sadly, it was.)

George


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 10:24 AM

George, I have the CD, and pretty much the same opinion. Most of it's 'artsy' music, which I don't care for because it isn't singable. I DO like the Coope, Boyes and Simpson song, the title cut by Pete Morton and the one Norma Waterson sings to the Tramps and Hawkers tune.

The operatic treatment is a real anomaly, and we all know about anomaly. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 10:38 AM

Les Barker parodies I have posted so far:

Wild Major
January June
My husband's got no porridge in him

AndyG has also posted a few, e.g. 'Trains of Waterloo', 'Tam Lin' (about Thatcher).

I'm a bit reluctant to post his songs for he sells songsbooks, but this thread could be seen as a good advertisment, so on the balance he may not loose money by our posting of a few of his songs.

So watch out for 'Eliza' here in the next days. As a preview which might give you an idea of the tune, here's a whole line:

'Why, why , why, Eliza...'

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 01:04 PM

That link has some of his poems in - including a couple of the serious ones he doesn't do on performances, since people wait for the deflating punch line and get confused when there isn't one.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Ed Pellow
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 02:47 PM

Thanks very much, Wolfgang

I'll look out for it


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: okthen
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:32 PM

Just noticed there's a link to the digitrad on Mr. Barker's website, it would be polite to recipricate(or is it reciprocate)

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM

His serious ones are superb as well, he did a gig in Canada where he did the serious ones for the first half and the silly ones in the second. Don't know why, it may just be Canada, but people prefered the first half.....

Read them some time. They are truly the reason he should have been Poet Laureate. I don't think he believes me when I tell him I read them all. But they are worth it. I was 4 hours late for work one day, reading them.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:11 PM

Sorry to keep going on about Sidmouth but i see yer man is there over the Saturday /Sunday this year (4th/5th August) Tattie B


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 04:42 AM

for Ed but also all others:

Eliza

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GeorgeH
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 10:25 AM

Yes, Wolfgang, that's the reason I don't post Les's poems here (but like you I make the odd exception . . ) It's not as if his books are expensive, and (as others have commented) they also include the odd serious one, which are often real gems . .

OK, who can say "Re-installing Widows" isn't a serious song!!

G.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 10:48 AM

Turned up at our club a few weeks back with Harvey Davidson and he did a wonderful spot as usual. I believe this is the real guy. It doesn't seem to be an act and I guess that he has used his stage name more than his given one now!

Saw him sat on the floor in the very busy Marine Hall at Fleetwood, about 10am on the Sunday of the Fylde festival, having a shave with an electric razor. Strange thing is that having seen Les perform and met him a few times I saw nothing strange at all in this behaivior.

Cheers

Dave the Gnome
I've lost my camoflague net....


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 02:02 PM

Buy him an orange squash and he's putty in your hands....

I wish!!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: Sooz
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 02:16 PM

Les should be poet laureate - but I do agree about the Wings of Butterflies CD.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GeorgeH
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 02:19 PM

Hey, I'm not doing too well at getting rid of Wings of B . .

And as it happens I like most "classical" music . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: 8_Pints
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 07:45 PM

I spoke with Les at the Chorley festival and asked if he was producing any more CD's. I particularly liked the track recorded by Martin Carthy on his "Rigs of the Time" CD entitled "Such a War has never been". [MCCD145] This covers the Gulf War and has some profound insights.

Anyway, he confirmed that he is working on a new CD of serious material, but didn't know yet what it would be called. I think he said expected release date would be in the Autumn (sorry "the Fall"!).

PS Noreen, I did buy some of his books - will lend them to you next time we meet.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: 8_Pints
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 07:50 PM

PPS - CD slieve notes say that the track is taken from the album "Skin And Bone".

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 08:12 PM

I think it says something uncomplimentary about this country that Les Barker is completely unknown outside the circle. A fair sized circle - but still, so far as the literary and media establishments are concerned, he doesn't exist.

Though, maybe selfishly, I think I prefer it that way. I'd not be surprised if Les doesn't too. All right, it'd be nice to be rich and famous, but would you really want to live there?...)


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 08:22 PM

actually - he's one of the few names I knew about from BEFORE Mudcat...


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 08:33 PM

(probably) needless to say, Les Barker's CDs are available at CAMSCO Music.


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: JudeL
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 11:55 AM

Don't know how to do blicky thing but I posted words to reinstalling windows on a thread entitled Bill Gates sense of humour at the beginning of July


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Subject: RE: Les Barker
From: GeorgeH
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 01:22 PM

Yes, MMario . . I used to work with a guy who was a total non-folkie but still new Les, so he certainly must have "other" outlets . .

G.


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