Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Welcome

This blog is a part of the new Hobo - Coventry Music Archives focusing on the Coventry Folk Scene of the 1970's and beyond.

NOTE - This Post Stays on Top as an Introduction. Scroll down for the latest posts.

Hobo Coventry Music archives started out on Vox blogs in 2007, The site now closed is hosted on Typepad but provides an opportunity to reorganise the material on that site. Hobo was a Coventry Music and Arts Magazine c 1973 -75 run by Trev Teasdel and co-founded with John Bargent (Bo) and the Hobo Workshop at The Holyhead Youth Centre and later the Golden Cross was an important early music centre in the history of Two Tone and the Coventry music scene.

This is the Hub to all the Coventry music sites below http://covmusicscenehobo.blogspot.co.uk/
There is now -
An A to Z of Coventry Bands (on Google sites)
The rest of the material is on this suite of Blogspots -

Hobo Coventry Music Archives ( The main blog) (Hobo magazine archives, features, other alternative Coventry mags and more.

Coventry Arts Umbrella Club  The Umbrella was established 1955 and opened by the Goons. It produced an important Literary Journal which featured an essay by Phillip Larkin. Held lectures by writers like EM Foster. Held the first Coventry Folk club. Was home to Coventry musicians, including some who were later in Two Tone bands.

Coventry Gigs 1960 - present houses Peter Clemon's Rock of Ages columns for the Coventry Telegraph which charts gigs in Coventry (local bands and famous bands) from 1960 onwards. In addition I'm adding Disco DJ Venue Gig, Coventry Hits, Pete Waterman archives to this section and my 1971 diary of Coventry gigs as a resource.

Coventry Discos / Venues / Studios - Work in progress - includes music shops and more.

http://covmusicwhoswho.blogspot.com/ - A comprehensive Who's Who of Coventry Musicians - still a work in progress. More to be added when the A to Z of  Coventry bands and artists has been completed.Mean while if you should be on the list of the info is wrong or incomplete and if your friends are not on here and should be - let use know at hobozine@googlemail.com.

Coventry Folk Club Scene
This blog with house copies of Pete Willow's Folks Magazine from c 1978 and articles from it. My archive of material from the Coventry Folk Scene in the 1970s and other relevant articles, You Tube and links.

This site is only just in development so be patient!
Trev Teasdel

contact hobozine@googlemail.com

Visit TWO TONE CENTRAL MUSEUM http://www.2tonecentral.co.uk/

Whippersnapper

Whippersnapper


"Whippersnapper was an English folk band formed in 1984, consisting of Dave Swarbrick (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Chris Leslie (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Kevin Dempsey (guitar, vocals) and Martin Jenkins (mando-cello, flute, vocals).

Swarbrick left the group in 1989, and the band continued as a trio until 1993, with the only album recorded that line-up being Stories. During that time, Dempsey and Leslie released an album called Always With You as a duo. The band split when Jenkins left the group in 1993.

Following Swarbrick's recovery from illness, Whippersnapper toured again as a full four piece in both 2008 and 2009. Martin Jenkins (born 17 July 1946, London, England) died on 17 May 2011, in Sofia, Bulgaria, from a heart attack."

This folk outfit consisted of two members of Coventry progressive folk band Dando Shaft - Martin Jenkins and Kevin Demsey and from the 80's, I think, Dave Swarbrick - formerly of Fairport Convention, has lived in Coventry.


"Whippersnapper were a four-piece acoustic band formed by Dave Swarbrick, Chris Leslie,
Kevin Dempsey, and Martin Jenkins in Northamptonshire during 1983. Although none of the others could quite compare with Swarbrick's long experience or near-legendary status, each of the others brought something substantial to the table at the outset of the group's history -- Chris Leslie was a musical instrument maker as well as an experienced violinist (who had Swarbrick's playing as a model); guitarist, singer, and percussionist Kevin Dempsey had played in Dando Shaft, and had experience with Latin music as well as Celtic and English folk repertory; and multi-instrumentalist Martin Jenkins had played with Matthews Southern Comfort and was also an ex-member of Dando Shaft, as well as a Bert Jansch alumnus. As a result, the group's work was highly anticipated by folk enthusiasts, as a unique all-acoustic supergroup. The group made its debut in January of 1984 at the Burnt Post in Coventry and subsequently played the Cambridge Folk Festival, a performance that was captured on video as well.

Their music was a deceptively complex brand of progressive folk, driven by the presence of four full-fledged virtuoso players. Whippersnapper spent most of their first year honing their sound and repertory, which started out fully formed, drawing on the songbags of all four members. As a result, their debut album, when it came time to do it -- recorded for their own Whippersnapper label -- came together very quickly. The Promises long-player was recorded in December of 1984 and in stores just about eight weeks later, and well received by fans and critics. A second LP, Tsubo, didn't appear until 1987, and it was similar in form and structure to the first. A third studio album was intended, but in the interim the quartet issued These Foolish Strings, a compilation of four years' worth of live recordings. The fourth album, Fortune, was released in early 1990, and also marked the end of Swarbrick's involvement with the group. The group continued as a trio of Leslie, Dempsey, and Jenkins, and Leslie and Dempsey recorded the LP Always with You, released in 1996. Dempsey eventually teamed up with Swarbrick anew, while Leslie joined one of the latter-day lineups of Fairport Convention."


View a recent Pete Clemons article on Dave Swarbrick for the Coventry Telegraph here Hobo - Coventry 
Gigs http://coventrygigs.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/dave-swarbrick-fiddler-from-fairport.html








Saturday, February 3, 2018

Geoff Smedley - Coventry folk singer

Geoff Smedley 

"Geoff Smedley, whose clear, gentle voice and warm humourous personality has brought pleasure to uncounted numbers of people. I hope this LP will help him achieve some acclaim, Geoff is not - does not pretend to be - a superstar - but he IS worth listening to." Rosemary Hardman from the back cover of his LP Love is Mine 1972


I don't know a lot about Geoff Smedley but he was a member of The Idiot Grunt Band (Coventry) in 1967. Becoming The New Modern Idiot Grunt Band (Dando Shaft, Rob Armstrong, Rod Felton) and breaking in 1972 (Armstrong forming "The Music Box").
Geoff was a contemporary of Rod Felton and Rob Armstrong on the Coventry Folk Scene in 1965, and when the Coventry Mummers visited Germany to perform, Rod Rob and Geoff went over too, playing solo or together as The Gentle Idea and it seems Geoff played sometimes with The New Modern Idiot Grunt Band.

In 1972 Geoff Smedley made a limit edition (200 pressings) folk album Love is Mine on the Westwood label.



Tracklist

A1 Baby you've been on my Mind
A2 Susan's Song
A3 Andrew
A4 The Water is Wide
A5 Have Faith in Me
B1 Alberta
B2 Willie Moore
B3 Bushes and Briars
B4 Lady for Today
B5 Hedgehog's Song


Rosemary Hardman plays guitar on "Lady for Today"







Friday, November 17, 2017

Dirty Stops - Coventry in the 1970's

This new book by Ruth Cherrington captures the 70's music and entertainments scene in Coventry and includes a page on the Coventry Folk Scene and quite a lot of material from these Hobo - Coventry music archives sites - of which this one. Indeed Hobo magazine is featured in it too.

Well worth a read - all the favourite venues are covered.

Available from Amazon UK here 

Also, read a review by Pete Clemons HERE


The book is available at HMV in Coventry and Waterstones.

Ruth Cherrington,the author with her new book at the Coventry Music Museum.

Available from Amazon UK here 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ben Arnold - A Pioneer of Coventry Folk Scene in the 1960's

Ben Arnold was one of the early pioneers 
of the Coventry Folk Scene in the 1960's




The following cuttings were sent to me by Larry Arnold, son of Ben Arnold and are largely from around 1967. Pete Willow's article on Coventry folk clubs in the 1960's, provides good background.Read more here 

A further article relating to Ben Arnold's short lived Folk magazine c 1967 Folks Crying Out Loud 







Photos of Ben Arnold in the 60's
Ben Arnold 1967












Monday, February 20, 2017

Paddy Prescott - Organiser of the Lanchester Polytech Folk Club, Coventry

Paddy Prescott and his brother at the Lanch Poly in Coventry 1970's

The following memories of  Paddy Prescott come from William Arnold, son of Ben Arnold, of which more is written on this blog as a Coventry folk club organiser and pioneer in the 1960's. William shared accommodation with Paddy at one stage.

"Paddy is and was a fascinating character and a genuine person. I was introduced by Paddy to Irish music sessions at the Four Provinces Club which tended to be rather republican and a bit off putting for non Irish. Chapelfields, with its many pubs, was the setting for various Sunday dinner time sessions. Remember this was when pubs religiously shut early on Sundays. A long running one was at the Nursery Tavern, Lord Street where Dave Bennett was a stalwart, amazing every one with the volume of his repertoire and his amazing skill and dexterity producing rhythm, bass, treble and harmony lines in perfect time with only 10 digits. A genuine virtuoso, he was never tempted to go even semi-professional, even though his skills equalled and exceeded many name musicians. Think Chet Atkins and Les Paul his material was mostly western Swing and Ragtime music. Rod Felton would sometimes appear and I am always grateful to him for the support he gave me when I needed it after too much to drink!


In the 80's Paddy lived in Alma Street and worked as bar cellar man in the Foresters Arms pub, just over the road, which was run by Sid a character in his own right and a folk enthusiast. It was in the back room here that Paddy held court on Wednesdays for his nondenominational folk sessions. A group of friends and associates, yet not exclusive. Occasionally people just popped in and we'd always make them feel welcome. Lenny was a regular ,he had converted to Roman Catholicism and would occasionally lament the passing of his wild youth and poor taste, maintaining that the only real music worth bothering with was Blue Grass and Appalachian Mountain music and Rod Felton was also commonly in attendance and the hard core of Coventry folkies and they'd often continued until early morning at Paddy's miniscule bedsit. Most of the other residents had probably attended as well. Alma street had houses only on one side and they had all been gradually bought up by Paddy's landlord, not being a thoroughfare, occasionally he would hold street parties for his tenants, complete with music and dancing in the street!

Never one to take himself too seriously Paddy used half jokingly describe himself as an anarcho-syndicalist with Trotskyite leanings. he could of been described as a skinhead,outlaw biker / irish folksinger with attitudes! I first met him in 1978 when we shared a 2 up 2 down in St George's Road, Coventry, with his two cats, Trotsky and Durutti! 

As well as being External Affairs Officer at the Lanch Poly Tech, he was acting Entertainments Officer as the incumbent was not up to the job of hiring bands etc. In this role his greatest regret was turning down Dire Straits at £1000 as it was too expensive, just before they released Sultans of Swing. Strongly individual, he was not concerned that people laughed behind his back when at his parties he'd play the Trojan Story double LP and show off his skinhead and stomp dancing! This was not cool then but not too much later when the Specials and Selecter became Three Minute Heroes and every student it seemed had to know one, they stopped laughing. 

Lachester Poly Union building Coventry


Whether or not Paddy originated the Lanch Folk Club or not, he certainly gave it vigour and manage to attract large audiences both student and locals (unfortunately though I never paid to get in, and I can't remember who i saw there or even what night it was held!).

It was held in the infamous downstairs bar of the Poly, where plastic glasses sat on desk type tables and the walls displayed murals from the 60's of scenes from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (these were painted over just before Lord of the Rings became cool again with the release of the filmic version). The admission was a modest fee and allowed for well known folk groups / artists every other week and each week local folk impresarios and floor singers with Paddy doing the comparing and launching into one of his unaccompanied songs to get things going.

The accent was always on entertainment and many a student who had attended out of curiosity was converted to the cause despite his student providence and Paddy had managed to become integrated into the differing folk scenes that were going on in Coventry, particularly those that had carried on from the 60's, when coventry was a strong centre of Britain's new folkscene. Despite being the son of Ben Arnold, who was one of the movers and shakers of the 60's folk scene, it was Paddy that introduced me to the late 70's Coventry folk scene where i would meet people such as Rod Felton, Lenny, Gib Tod and others who considered me Ben's Son. 

Paddys enthusiasm for folk music stemmed from his enthusiasm for Irish culture, being irish by birth and happily adopted by a family of Norwich Catholics (he served as an altar boy in Norwich Cathedral) and wishing to establish an identity he mixed with the Irish diaspora acquiring, by osmosis, a non regional English / Irish accent that became stronger the drunker he became! Singing unaccompanied, sometimes adopting a Norfolk accent for songs like 3 score and ten, a good example of folk songs with strong choruses that the audience could sing along to (and its 3 score and 10 boys and men were lost from Grimsby town from Yarmouth down to Scarborough many hundreds more were drowned. Of fishing smacks and trawlers etc etc)


Unconcerned about trivialities like what is or isn't folk; for Paddy, folk music was a social and community activity and only really bothered about hushing the audience when it might discourage newcomers to performing. Apart from the Lanch Folk Club, Paddy was well known and liked in the many Coventry folk sessions. He was a stalwart at the Dyers Arms backroom sessions and introduced me to them (incidentally Pauline Black's description is pretty much as I remember it. I can't remember ever seeing her there, which is not surprising, as I haven't the faintest idea of what she looks like!

Paddy eventually moved to Bolton to be with his girlfriend Belinda Moore, who used to be Julian Bell's girlfriend of Hot Snax (Snacks) and left the Coventry Folk Scene a little bit duller. That's about it for Paddy.



William Arnold 2016




Monday, June 27, 2016

ROD FELTON - THE SONGS - DOUBLE ALBUM!

ROD FELTON

THE MUSIC!

Coventry Legend, Singer Songwriter, Folk Rock Maverick and One Half of the New Modern Idiot Grunt Band.

You can read MORE about Rod Felton hereon this site - http://coventryfolkclubs.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/rod-felton.html


AND a link to Rod Felton's New Modern Idiot Grunt Band

Rumour has that Rod Felton made an album for Pye Records in the 70's.There are tapes but nothing has surfaced so far. We believe it was through  Barry Murray and Harry Simmonds – managers and producers of Mungo Jerry, Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack etc.

However, a number of people have uploaded live tracks on Soundcloud or Youtube or sent copies to me for this site. So I've created this hub page for those 20 odd tracks.They remain on the original sites but are linked here to make a kind of double album.If anyone else has any tracks they have uploaded of Rod's or want to send them to us for this page,please do so. You can send them here hobozine@googlemail.com

Thanks to those who have uploaded or supplied material linked or added to this page and they are Marko Krnjulap, Dave Cooper (of Dando Shaft), Russell Smith of Bam Bam Music Productions, John Silver of The Falcon Hotel, Bromyard. Norman Wheatley of Gentlefolk Radio and Pete Clemons and Jan Felton.

New as of February 19th 2017 - a 12 track CD now on Vimeo kindly supplied by Jan Felton via Pete Clemons. 12 Tracks - Curly* - No Doubt about it (Live) - I Want to be free (ska)- I Want to get there my way - Here with Me - Interplanetary Trucker (Live) - Your Love's Good for me* - Lady baby gypsy queen* - Love is (Taken by Surprise) (double tracked vocals) - Liberty Bell* - My Old Man* - Really don't believe she's true* (with fiddles).






Rod Felton - Home Recordings and Live Songs from Coventry Music Scene on Vimeo.



More tracks below

Track One - Curly by Rod Felton 



(Regarded as one of Rod's finest songs.)



Track Two  and Three - And I Love You / My LadyRod Felton (Thanks to Marko)






Track Four and Five - Desert Rock / Starlight by Rod Felton

(Thanks to Marko)






Track 6 - Lady, Baby, Gypsy, Queen by Rod Felton
Linked From Bam Bam Productions Sound Cloud
Here
https://soundcloud.com/bam-bam-music-productions




The next 6 tracks are on this embedded p0layer form Bam Bam Music Productions on Soundcloud and include the following tracks -
https://soundcloud.com/bam-bam-music-productions

1 Your Love's Good For Me
2 My Old Dad
3 Liberty Bell
4  Lady Baby Gypsy Queen
5  I Wanna be Free
6  Her Gentle Squeeze





Another 6 Tracks uploaded to Sound Cloud by Dave Cooper of  Dando Shaft
https://soundcloud.com/dave-cooper-32

Tracks on the player include
1  Ugly
2  The Mermaid
3  Really Don't Believe She's True
4  Folkin' Superstar
5  It Takes Some Time
6  Tarzan




Rod Felton Live in the noughties