The search for a sound leads to questions about tradition and identity, and for me you could also add truth.
Jimmy Cannon, who is a true traveling showman came to me with the idea of performing old English Songs in the here and now. With a fair amount of verve, he set up a monthly night at Cecil Sharp House in Regents Park Road (a kind of spiritual home for me, in that I actually grew up yards away from that place surrounded by the fabian resonances of North West London intellectual life).
In some ways, I wanted family friend Frank Orford (a renowned psychotherapist with strong ties to the Tavistock), to drop into Cecil Sharp House, his local, and hear Sally in Our Alley, performed by us through the prism of Benjamin Britten, and for Frank to think about George Melly. Clearly, the phrase ‘roots culture’ has wide and far reaching implications.
I met Clare Foster and Shanti Paul Jayasinha on one of these nights in CSH, and played a strong set with them, brimming with atmosphere, where Clare was making ties to Victorian and Edwardian songwriters and her grandmother from London, with Paul’s extraordinary cello arrangements. I’ve since played some great gigs with this trio, where Clare rocks her post modern Edwardian style, vocally, sartorially, and seriously.
Welsh songstress Nia Lynn sang her own finely crafted songs which she performed with grace and precision at several of these nights. There’s honesty in the lyrics, beautiful modulations in the chords, sung with a great voice.
What’s important to bear in mind, is that all of these singers and musicians come from the fertile musical background of the London jazz scene. Come down because there’s gonna be a lot of people and a lot of music. This is English eccentricity at its zenith.
performing in Burton Bradstock:
in Clare Foster English Song Trio
To book go to: http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/book-tickets/?event=8778