Thursday, 30 September 2010
A crowd of just over two hundred gathered to hear two veterans of the modern folk revival play a two hour set with a good mix of ballads and tunes.
Over the years their combined output has been prodigious and it was encouraging to see the fruit of a life spent in the pursuit of music. They've been playing these songs so long, their stories have stories of their own.
Hearing Swarbrick pronounce "Unst" with barely any teeth and his etymological exposition of the word "joke" was worth the ticket price alone. He even gave instruction on foot-tapping in compound time!
With the aid of water and a boiled sweet, Carthy still produces the warm, rhythmic vocal tone and complex fingerstyle accompaniments that have made him a top drawer folk singer for nearly fifty years.
While this may not be the "Last Chance to See" tour, I'm glad I saw them when I did.
Friday, 10 September 2010
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
There's not much I can say about Sid that you'd believe unless you knew him.
He moved to the other side of the rainbow this week.
I will miss him - I really only knew him as one of the people who kept The Rainbow 2000 organisation going.
He had the oldest working mobile phone I've ever seen! For a man who spent half his year in a field, he had more private numbers for and was on first-name terms with more Police Chiefs, Councillors, High Court Judges and Lawyers than you would think possible.
I had breakfast with him at about five in the morning at one of his camps. He told me how he helped keep the camps going, juggling the legal status of his religious festivals, the finances and getting hundreds of professional practitioners of every field to offer their time and talents to others for - love.
People called him "the king of the hippies" - I'm not really sure where that comes from, but I remember the transformation that came over Sid when he changed out of his standard boiler suit and wellies into his evening wear. There was one evening in particular where I saw Sid dressed in some kind of simple African robe with a small staff and round hat. I have honestly never seen a man hold himself in a more kingly fashion.
I'm sure he had scores of faults like we all do, but he had something special - a lofty vision - which he spent his life trying to realise.
I think the best way we can honour his passing would be to examine our own ideals and try to move a little more towards them.
God bless you, Sid - thank you for your life.
Journey well. xxx