2014 - where does the time go? Started the year well with an enjoyable session in a great studio - Black Wookie in Lancing, West Sussex. Made and posted videos for 2 of them on Youtube - To hear Chuck Berry sing and Guitar legend.
Then to Gatekeeper's studio in Bristol to record guitar part for my old friend Kevin McPhillips.
Wrote lyrics and recorded Trip advisor over the ether with Trip aka Paul Ryan.
Worked on The Armed Man for concerts with The Silver Birch Singers.
Saw Paul Cree perform well a couple of times, doing spoken word and his one man play A tale from the bedsit
Continued going to monthly meetings of the Coda Club and met old and new musician friends. Still enjoying playing with John Parker; with Eddie Hurdman on Horsham bandstand - a first, and with with veteran drummer Roy Holliday - a privilege. Looking forward to mandolin with The Rising Larks at Broadstairs.
December 2013: The end of another busy year. Edited a video of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer to include footage of the great musicians I recorded it with - Geoff Whitehorn, Simon Phillips, Peter Arnesen and Frank McDonald. An overdue tribute to them.
Had the pleasure of seeing the pay-off of son Paul's hard work in the past year, with his sell-out one-man show A tale from the bedsit at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm. It received some well-deserved good reviews. Congratulations - here's to the next one Paul.
Weekly working with singers at AgeUK has resulted in 5 significant concerts this year in Crawley at The Hawth, St John's church, the Civic Hall, the Bandstand (for the town-twinning celebrations with Dorsten, Germany) and St Paul's church. They also released a new double CD Pick of the pops, recorded and mastered by son and daughter, Will and Madeleine. Big thanks to them.October 2013: Highlight of the month was perhaps playing a folk club benefit for the Asswin Project - Bob Harrison's donkey sanctuary in Delhi. The gig was actually at Frating, Essex and a great night. Prior to that accompanied, on djembe as well as guitar, a group of Weald Choir singers at the Civic Hall in Crawley.
September 2013: Old friend Mick Platt, with whom I played for 23 years, decided to hang up his bass. Musical mates from the 1950's onwards gave him a good musical send-off at Faygate, Sussex.
Was happy to join another old friend, Jazz Summers when he launched his book Big life at Groucho's. I'm not in it - I can't think why. A funny speech by Richard Digance, nice evening and a good read afterwards.
Had a great night seeing the very talented Neil Innes again in Crawley. Catch him if you can.
August 2013: Playing mandolin with The Rising Larks at Broadstairs Festival led to buying back from old friend, Bob Harrison, the Guild M20 which I sold him in 1984. Nice to have it back.July 2013: Still enjoying outings with The Old Hat Band and there are still new musical experiences to be had. Two musical firsts for me: played a reception with Nigel Owens on flute in the Strangers’ Restaurant at the House of Commons. A week later, played a picnic for 3 classes of reception children at the school where my wife works.
Couldn't miss the chance of seeing Eddie and The Hot Rods, after all these years. They were playing locally at The Gate in Rusper and worked really hard.
June 2013: there was a good start to the month playing a skiffle session with Allan Bailey, Mick Platt and Colin Gates in The Soho Leg Ends at Charlwood Music Festival.
After some months of rehearsal, performed Zimbe with The Silver Birch Singers and other choirs to a sold out Hawth theatre in Crawley. A short set of their own repertoire in the first half was very well received too.
A full lunchtime concert with The Singers at St John’s church for Crawley Festival, saw us joined once again by Eddie Hurdman on fiddle for a most enjoyable hour.
Played with Eddie again at the end of the month to a full Organic Café at Sharpthorne and went straight from there to join Eddie’s brother on stage at Crawley Folk Festival.
April 2013: Sad to learn that The Brambles Respite Centre for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers is finally to close. Played there each month with various friends almost since it opened over 20 years ago. Looking for another venue to play with Eddie Hurdman, to replace it in our “putting something back” schedule.
March 2013: Pleasantly surprised to see in the statement from my publishers EMI Music, the sale of sheet music for His greatest hit - a disc which, despite its title, sold only 80 copies on release by Pye Records in 1978. Curious to know what prompted the request now, unless it's the wonderful Youtube video.
February 2013: Went to see a fine production of Woody sez in Croydon, about the life and songs of Woody Guthrie. Recommended.
Enjoyed seeing Dustin Hoffman’s film Quartet featuring (albeit too briefly) friends from the Coda Club: Ronnie Hughes and Jack Honeyborne
January 2013: A nice beginning to the new year. Visited Gatekeeper in Bristol and was delighted to see his studio and hear his work in progress.
November 2012: for the 2nd year, began the month performing a most pleasant afternoon tea concert with The Silver Birch Singers and special guest Eddie Hurdman, with a surprise spot by Ken Ridley, also on violin, at St Paul’s, Crawley.
Getting good early seasonal feedback on Youtube video of Rudolph
Went to hear friend Sheila's recorder ensemble in a well-attended lunchtime concert of renaissance music at St Matthew's, Redhill.
October 2012: lucky to be able to go to The Woolpack, at Banstead with Jim Ward. The star was octogenarian ex-Ted Heath trumpeter Ronnie Hughes, with Jack Honeybourne on piano and Rex Bennett on drums “playing like a 90 year-old”, as Jack said; Rex is 93. Ronnie had been unable to play for some months, after injuring his lip in a fall. It was great to see him back on form.
Was able to give the Epiphone its first outing on an enjoyable Old Hat gig at Schaffer House, Crawley.
Played djembe on a Saturday morning recording by The Weald Choir of Sanctus from "Missa Lubis", in a very cold St Mary’s, Crawley.
Keeping up the New Year resolution to hear more live music, went to a very good concert, by three Sussex ladies' choirs, of Karl Jenkins' Adiemus at The Hawth, Crawley. Went to hear Ron Trueman-Border with The Strangers at The King's Arms, Dorking and, next day, played an enjoyable Sunday lunchtime gig with Eddie Hurdman at The Organic Café, Sharpthorne.
September 2012: enjoyed the chance of playing for friends Rosina and Graham and Mike and Val at their end of Summer outdoor parties, in two brief interludes where the sun actually shone this year.
Posted Youtube video of The sensuous man
Sad to learn of the death of Old Harry Mousdell – folk singer, dancer and raconteur. As Dick Streeter said at the funeral, he’d been “Old” ever since I’d known him, but can only have been 40ish when first we met. A man determined to entertain always. We tried unsuccessfully to arrange for me to play for him in the hospice before he died; I’ll do it for him as soon as possible.
August 2012: a few glorious days at Broadstairs Festival playing mandolin with The Rising Larks, playing a session with their octogenerian accordionist, Gordon and hearing a good concert by the Oyster Band. Then to Whitby Folk Festival, where I sang briefly at Lynn Heraud’s enjoyable gig at The Dolphin, Robin Hood’s Bay and enjoyed a concert by Martyn Wyndham-Read and Iris Bishop.
July 2012: played a first at The Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank, with flautist Nigel Owens. Also had the pleasure of jamming with their talented guest saxophonist Ian Hubbard on Fly me to the moon.
Played end of day set at Croydon Folk and Blues Festival in pouring rain after what had been beautiful weather at Ruskin House, Croydon. Had a drier indoor gig with Eddie Hurdman at The Organic Café, Sharpthorne
A nice (first) sunny afternoon celebration jam with Bob Wilkinson and friends and a gig with Roy Holliday from The Coda Club, at Milton Keynes Stroke Club, closed a memorable month.
Posted Youtube video of Hay fever blues
June 2012: a splendid evening listening to The New Delta Big Band at The Lord Napier, Thornton Heath. They deserve a bigger audience – get there if you can. Also grabbed the chance to hear Ron Trueman-Border play a solo gig at The Organic Café, Sharpthorne.
A successful Crawley Festival concert at St John’s with The Silver Birch Singers drew some nice comments on their renditions of French songs.
Had the unexpected pleasure of playing the djembe with The Weald Choir for their performance of the Sanctus from "Missa Lubis" (the original version is on Youtube) at St Mary’s, Crawley. Played the guest spot in the concert with Eddie Hurdman on fiddle, who suitably wowed the classical audience.
May 2012: sorry to learn of the death of Jim Pitts of Brett Marvin and The Thunderbolts. I knew him for many years and had the pleasure of recording 3 songs with him – Burn up, Angel and The last protest song on the 2002 CD "Now then".
Enjoyed going to Horsham Cricket Club to see Freddie Woods’ Big Band monthly concert. A deservedly packed house (they come in coaches from the coast) for a great night.
A nice afternoon Old Hat Band gig for the third time for Pound Hill Community annual tea dance.
Smashing biennial gig at Elsie’s with Les Onions with John Parker and Vernon Dudley Bohay Nowell.
To Restaurant-Club Blériot, Calais with the Silver Birch Singers where their new repertoire of French songs went down a storm. A delightful day, with a nice meal, followed by dancing and songs from the French Chorale. Looking forward to a return match.
Finally got the parts I need to restore a 1940’s Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe and took it to Gordon Wells of Knight Guitars, who did a superb job. It’s a beauty.
April 2012: Old Hat Band rolls on; monthly Brambles session. Pleased to play a return gig for The Oddfellows at Harrow, plus two more for them at Clapham and Enfield.
Posted another Youtube video of Twist and shout because one of the dancers (who shall be nameless) complained that I looked bare skinny in the first one.
March 2012: after playing a sad closing gig last November, I was delighted to return to the re-opened Brambles and the monthly sessions with Eddie and Simon Hurdman and Mick Platt.
Posted a Youtube video of Twist and shout
February 2012: began working with the Silver Birch Singers on French songs like La vie en rose and La mer at AgeUK, Crawley. You wouldn’t think they’d never done French in their lives.
Went to a packed benefit at the 100 Club for Coda Club member John Barnes, following his stroke. Lots of top names from Art Themen to Digby Fairweather playing. It seems only yesterday that John was playing a benefit there for Alzheimers.
January 2012: following requests for legitimate online downloads several of my tracks are now available online at bandcamp.com (check the right hand column). Have a listen and hopefully buy 'em - please.
A friend circulated a link asking “when was the last gig you went to where you weren’t playing?” I took it to heart and started the New Year with an excellent session by The Lamb and Flag Band at London’s Spice of Life Jazz Club in Charing Cross Road.
Our monthly meeting of the musicians’ Coda Club at The Phoenix Artists Club in Charing Cross Road saw us beginning to make arrangements to celebrate 25 years of the club. I’m the new boy there – literally. I’ve only been a member for 6 years and was never more than semi-pro. The others are all ex-Ted Heath, Geraldo, West End shows, Palais etc. It’s great to meet with them each month and hear their stories.
Posted a Youtube video for The original flamenco
After an enjoyable couple of New Year gigs, came the sad news that the oldest Silver Birch Singer, Alison, had died at the age of 93. An enthusiastic member to the last, her coffin was carried in to her recording with the Singers of Que sera, sera. We exited to another track from the CD Walking my baby back home.
Later that day, had the pleasure of attending the 70th birthday of bass player Mick Platt, with whom I've worked for many years. The party ended with an enjoyable session with Mick, Eddie Hurdman (fiddle),Frank Scully (percussion) and Allan Bailey (guitar). Smashing.
December 2011:Highlights of the last quarter of 2011 included some pleasurable Christmas gigs with The Old Hat Band and 3 performances with the Silver Birch Singers. A good way to end the year.
November 2011: Managed to attend an excellent Ron Trueman-Border gig with The Feuding Lloyds at The Jolly Farmer, Purley. We arranged to meet up and subsequently arranged a recording session of Starlight which Ron may include on a forthcoming CD.
Played a most enjoyable set with Reelstrings when the Brambles sadly closed at the end of November. We'd be playing there for 20 years.
October 2011: Really enjoyed meeting up and playing again with Louis O'Neill and Jan at The Black Dog, Crawley. They were over for one of their all too rare visits from the Caribbean.
September 2011: Release of Herding cats - CD of poems by Les Barker set to music, to raise funds for The British Computer Association of the Blind. I have two tracks on this and appear alongside Jeremy Irons, Jume Tabor, Linda Bellingham, John Tams, Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Michael Palin, Ann Widdecombe, Alex Lester, Bernard Cribbins, James Bolam, Toyah Willcox and many others. Please buy it in vast quantities.
August 2011: Just back from yet another successful Broadstairs Folk Week with the Phatt B’stards. The audience seems to keep growing, with loads of new faces. Enjoyed a couple of sessions with Gordon from Harwich Morris of tunes he used to play in holiday camps. Managed to catch some great concerts by Vin Garbutt, Home Service, Refried Ginger Jug Band, and the uplifting 4 Square
June 2011: We did it. The Silver Birch Singers sold out their concert at The Hawth, Crawley, with splendid support from Age UK, Crawley’s Silver Songs. Mike Davis performed superbly on trumpet and afterwards the audience were delighted to buy copies of their CD “Family favourites”. There is a video montage of pics by Vicky Hallam to one of their songs that night on YouTube. What next?
May 2011: Finished mixing The Silver Birch Singers CD with Jim Ward at Country Branch studio. Very pleased with it and I hope the Singers are too.
April 2011: After much searching, found just the trumpeter to record and play with The Silver Birch Singers. He is Mike Davis, whose extensive experience, with all the main Big Bands, belies his tender years. He liked all the tunes we'd recorded and did a really fine job overdubbing trumpet and flugelhorn at Country Branch studio. I'm looking forward to working with him again in June at The Hawth.
March 2011: Jim Ward from Country Branch studio came and recorded the Silver Birch Singers for the new CD. Slightly diminished in numbers (hospital appointments are an occupational hazard), all were in fine voice.
February 2011: Weekly sessions with The Silver Birch Singers continue, while we fine tune material for a new CD and concert on 20 June 2011 at The Hawth, as part of Crawley Festival. Numbers will mainly be old jazz standards, such as were heard on the Light Programme and at dances in the '50s. The CD's working title is "Family favourites".
Went to see the uplifting production of Warhorse at The New London Theatre - don't miss the chance to see it.
January 2011: A great start to the New Year. Gordon Wells of Knight Guitars did a wonderful job of restoring an old guitar, which I'd bought with a much damaged lower rib. It's now a work of art and I can't recall when playing a guitar last gave me so much pleasure.
Via a request to the Coda Club, I had the privilege of acting as usher at a memorial service for Jack Parnell at St Martin-in-the-Fields. I'd hoped to link up again with old school chum, Jack's son Ric, but he was in USA. It was a marvellous service with much big band playing by Jack's old colleagues, two of his sons and a grand-daughter; all very wittily MC'd by the inestimable Barry Cryer.
December 2010: Despite problems with heavy snow, the Silver Birch Singers managed to gather and sing at Age UK in Crawley. Ongoing weather disruption lightened by annual Maypoles to Mistletoe at The Hawth, Crawley and gig at women's day centre in Marylebone with Nigel Owens and Gary Douglas. Relaxed Christmas gig at The Brambles, Horley. Told them, if it's still there in 2011, I'll be back. Another year almost over.November 2010: Began with a weekend tour of East Kent with Geoff Higginbottom. Highlights included being joined on stage at The Barnaby Rudge by Ron Trueman-Border and Nigel Fiest. Later, played the Jasmine Gallery, Shepherds Bush with Les Onions. A very civilised gig.
October 2010: 40th wedding anniversary celebrations continue with voyage to New York on Queen Mary 2. Highlights of New York included visits to Rudy's and Sam Ash (formerly Manny's) on Music Row (48th Street). We also visited Rudy's vintage guitars in Soho, while walking from South Ferry to dining at Le Figaro on Bleeker Street. Checked out the Bitter End, Blue Note and Cafe Wah and next day took subway to 125th Street and walked its length to The Apollo, where we were privileged to sit in the auditorium to listen to a presentation on the history by Billy Mitchell. Later, he invited us to stand on that stage and see the view of the stalls and balconies which everyone from Ella Fitzgerald in 1934, a show-stopping Buddy Holly over 20 years later, James Brown and the Jackson Brothers looked at. Amazing.
September 2010: Family celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary followed a week later by a 40th birthday party for friend Janne. Good to be part of the older contingent and to meet up with old friends. Enjoyed a Les Onions lunch with John Parker and musician chums. Had minor oral surgery, which left me like the old ESSO man for a while. Result benign, good recovery, now I just lisp with a funny-shaped tongue and don't play harmonica any better.
August 2010: short visit to Tallinn and Rakvere, Estonia as a HAB with my wife's choir. Said "hello" to Madis Nestor, DJing on Freedom Square, and to M.Renart at IS Music Team, one of three fine music shops in Tallinn. They still seem very committed to MySpace there, which has prompted me to do something to update my pre-1990 MySpace page - mainly "Wounded John Scott Cree" items, including videos and'live' mp3s and my post-1990 MySpace page, including pics and videos. Enjoyed another Broadstairs Festival with The Phatt B'stards. This year's programme included a solo gig in a packed Barnaby Rudge - should have had some CDs to sell.
July 2010: Two welcome gigs for old chums. First to The Auckland Arms, Menai Bridge for an all day bash with The Ginger Jug Band, The Ugly Mugs Jug Band, Scapegoats and others. A most enjoyable first visit to that part of the world and a chance to hear some good music. Second to The Stroke Club, Milton Keynes - a return favour for drummer extraordinaire Roy Holliday. Id almost forgotten the surreal experience of travelling for half a day to do an hour on stage and it's good to keep grounded in this way.
June 2010: Don't know where the time goes, with a growing number of things to check and update on the web. Spent most of the Winter editing videos for mates: The Fabulous Mid Life Crisis Blues Band and Bachelor Jack.
Playing up to 4 times each week with John Parker in The Old Hat Band, as well as traditional monthly outings with Eddie Hurdman and Reelstrings. Work towards a concert on 25 June in Crawley Festival with The Silver Birch Singers at Age Concern, included recording and producing their CD "Sing something simple". Interrupted weekly rehearsals for an enjoyable March gig with The Phatt B'stards at The Kam Klub at Wezembeek near Brussels. Continuing to lead monthly music therapy sessions with Silver Songs, also at Age Concern. Looking forward to playing Crawley Festival with Eddie Hurdman on 24 June and Broadstairs Folk Week with The Phatt B'stards in August.
January 2010: Happy New Year all. Over the holiday, I've updated the truncated versions of 2 songs on Youtube, by posting the unedited track Now is the hour/Young red eyes is back
December 2009: Rudolph ... picking up seasonal plays again on Youtube. It's a pleasure to see this and I don't take it for granted. I hope you enjoy it, if it's new to you. For this unusually cold time of year, I've posted some warm Summer Phatts memories on Youtube:
A busy few months included some firsts for me. I'm approaching the end of my first term directing the Age Concern choir in Crawley - a most enjoyable and rewarding experience, working with members of The Weald Choir. We've already been booked to give a lunchtime concert at St John's Church for Crawley Festival on 25 June 2010. Also with The Weald Choir, I've begun to lead monthly music therapy sessions at Silver Songs in Crawley, sponsored by Sing for your life.
In November, I had the great good fortune to sit in at the Louis Armstrong, Dover with Bill Barnacle. It was his first gig since his serious illness earlier this year. Back on great form, it was a treat to see him again. I was also pleased to meet up there with old chums Jack Castle and Mick Morris from Mirkwood.
Still enjoying gigs with The Old Hat Band and Reelstrings and I was invited to play solo at a Tandoori restaurant in Merstham. Thought about doing "The sari with the fringe on top" but didn't want to give diners indigestion. At the sublime end of the scale, with son Joe on pipes, whistles, mandolin and banjo, and Eddie Hurdman on fiddle and guitar, we played a more serious concert at Emmanuel Church, Sidlow.
September 2009: Completed production and final mixes for my publisher, Kid Menthal Music, of six mainly Latin-American flavoured songs which I co-wrote with John Parker:
Daddy was a working man
The world and his wife
She sometimes wears her hair up
She offered me coffee
Walking down the High Street
Youtube activities involved creating and posting a video for my old Pye track Incident at Hammersmith Palais. Also edited and posted live 1978 videos of Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green, Cross eyed Jimmy, and Green and yeller (Henry my son). Scraping the barrel perhaps, but the audience that night were really good, Finally edited and posted The Phatts' version of No woman no cry which includes the "long lost third verse" discovered by Geoff.
Ended the month with two most enjoyable appearances in Gozo at Uncle Ted's Tavern. Hoping to return next year.
August 2009: Another enjoyable Broadstairs Festival with great weather, eight Phatt B'stards gigs plus a morning in the sun playing mandolin with Harwich Morris. In additon, harmonica star Nigel Fiest kindly added some great playing to two blues tracks which I recorded for a future Guide Cats for the Blind project. Perhaps the highlight of the week was an acoustic Phatts set in a new venue for us - The Old Curiosity Tea Shop. A nice afternoon crowd and we felt encouraged to experiment with songs that we each really liked but we hadn't tried together before. The whole was filmed by John Edwards, who sat in on mandolin, and I'm hoping to post some songs on Youtube shortly.
July 2009: To Hindon, Wiltshire again with Les Onions to play for the annual boules tournament in the sun on the green outside The Lamb. A quintessentially English experience, apart from the French music we played all afternoon to accompany the French game.
One Broadstairs morning, a double CD released to coincide with this year's Broadstairs Folk Week, includes a special version of The Pie song by The Phatts - see the video on YouTube. The CD is available through the Broadstairs Folk Week website.
June 2009: Hurrah. Finally completed the "Winter video project" to match live footage from 70's concerts with 70's studio tracks. The final track is The bitter lemming saga. A song I wrote with Richard Digance, it was always a live favourite. This fun version featured the late, wonderful Ron Aspery on tenor sax.
Another enjoyable monthly session with friends at the Rising Sun, Charlwood, playing everything from folk to jazz.
Following a splendid night of boogie woogie and other New Orleans rhythms with John Parker at The Brambles, I joined the audience for a life affirming tribute to Alan Elsdon at the 100 Club. Led by John Barnes, loads of his chums turned out to play and raise money for the Alzheimers Society.
May 2009: With the help of www.brownsauce.org I finally secured permissions to use images for a Youtube video of A saucy French love song. Really enjoyed selecting items to accompany this 1978 spoof of Je t'aime ... . I hope it amuses.
April 2009: A memorable bi-ennial gig at Elsie's with Les Onions. Personnel this time included the inestimable Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell from the Bonzos.
March 2009: I've signed a ten-year publishing contract with Kid Menthal Music.
A most enjoyable reunion with The Phatt B'stards was recorded and videoed. You can see some of the results of this splendid event at Phatts video links on the Phatts' pages elsewhere on this site.
Enforced Winter confinement has enabled me to edit and post a further 8 videos on YouTube including: Jaded, Bar wars, Young red eyes is back, Now is the hour, The pith of history. Now I've got the hang of it a bit better, I've also re-edited Rudolph ...and The chicken song. Unfortunately, the quality of my 1970's concert footage is no longer what it should be but I'm particularly pleased to have been able to include images of Mick Fox playing harmonica in Bar wars and of my Dad and his 1945 RAF band in Now is the hour. I've also posted two funny raps which Kase One did to The Oxford Fiddle Group and to Dave Swarbrick amd Martin Carthy, and which I've put to some video footage of my Dad's. I hope you enjoy them enough to post some comments.
December 2008: Check my "new" seasonal video Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer on YouTube
In a desperate stab at catching up with backlogs, I've also managed to edit and upload on YouTube 15 archive videos from 1970's concerts at Sallis Benny Theatre, Brighton
October 2008: after months of prompting from musical sons and chums, there is now a new MySpace page of mainly archived Wounded items, including 6 FREE 'live' MP3 downloads
Following a busy musical first half to 2008, I ended August playing at a cracking tribute gig to the late Mick Fox at The Louis Armstrong, Dover. I knew Mick from 1971, when he sat in regularly on harmonica with the Bill Barnacle Quartet. In 1978, I was able to persuade Mick to play on my sessions for Pye Records. For this tribute, I was delighted to link up again with Bill and Steve Barnacle, together with Tosh Marshall, Barry Burns, John Kennard and Andy Doble. Mick will be much missed.
Enjoyed the annual August reunion with the Phatts at Broadstairs Festival. The gigs just seem to get more enjoyable. I was saddened to learn that drummer Les Mighall, a Broadstairs stalwart, had died. Les had been was David Bowie's drummer in the 1960's and I had some memorable afternoon plays with his band latterly.
In July, I recorded three blues tracks, with Les Barker words, for Clive Lever for his 4th Guide cats for the blind CD, for launch early in 2009. This gave me the welcome opportunity to record again at the Wash House Studio with Steve Hedges.Monthly meetings of the Coda Club are always a treat
In June, I finished lyrics for 6 John Parker tunes and recorded them with him. Also learned the sad news that Mick Fox had died (see above).
The gig calendar with The Old Hat Band, as well as with Reelstrings, included a May concert at The Hawth, Crawley. Also in May, I played at Ruskin House, Croydon. The concert was to launch a CD The Ruskin House album for Jail Guitar Doors of Ron Trueman-Border songs sung by chums, as part of Ron's work for Billy Bragg's charity. The chums included George Wilson from The Phatt B'stards and it was good to meet up again. For the CD, I'd recorded 3 of Ron's songs in April, after returning from Poland with my wife's choir, where I enjoyed their concerts in Krakow and Tarnow.
Spent most of March in Victoria, Canada and sampled some of its thriving music scene, including an enjoyable sing with The Push at their Blues Jam at Bart's Bar. On return, played a lively concert at the London Welsh Centre, with old mate John Edwards, and we're doing it again in October.
February highlights included a visit to Dover with a sit in at The Louis Armstrong with Bill Barnacle's Band - he's blowing better than ever. January began more sublimely, going to a recital at St James's Piccadilly of a new Cecilia McDowall work and I enjoyed another at Nuthurst in July. Other concerts included the excellent Dave Swarbrick and Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts celebrating 40 years together. Unfortunately, a temporary inability to walk meant I missed legendary bluesman Dave Honeyboy Edwards, still gigging at 93 years of age, but I gave my tickets to 2 of our offspring and received full reports from them on their historic encounter. I ought to mention another superb event "Afrika, Afrika" at the Millenium Dome. The music, which blended a variety of African styles, provided a superb accompaniment to a most sepctacular show.
2007: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer again received featured seasonal radio plays and mention in several web discussion threads about favourite Christmas songs and ringtones. Thanks to you and to those who email throughout the year asking where Rudolph can be downloaded. A Google search retrieves several sites which have posted MP3s of Rudolph, including a Chinese site offering a karaoke version of it, plus other tracks.
"New" PODCAST uploaded - a recording of my appearance on 'Richard Digance & Friends', Capital Radio, 6 January 1980. It's been a long story. In 2000, I posted an online request for a clean recording of a most enjoyable appearance on Richard's show, which was broadcast from the foyer of Capital Radio - you can hear the traffic. Subsequently, I tried with little success to clean up a hissy off-air home recording. Seven years later, in 2007, from out of the blue, Pete Long has kindly sent me a copy, which is now posted at Podcasts. Tracks include I'm going to bring a watermelon to my girl tonight; I'm lumbered with you; Ancient French love song; Flamenco; My wife has gone and left me; Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and I hope you enjoy them. Many thanks to Pete, Richard, and John Hirst at Capital.
Summer Music Festivals shock - Phatt B'stards (Phatts) played not ONE but TWO. We now have Broadstairs and Harwich under our very large belts. Both were splendid with lots of highlights but the abiding memory is of the Hertford Holly ladies Morris, in full costume, boogying on down, in impromptu formation, to the Phatts. Geoff reckoned that Cecil Sharp would be turning in his grave but I thought he was still knocking out the Hi-Fi music centres. We Phatts spent time girding loins in preparation. With each Phatt living in such distant geographical locations (Southampton, near Barcelona; Horley and Stockport - Nil), you've probably wondered where we rehearse, or even why? Well, my wife keeps telling me to come away from the window. Most recently, we've been rehearsing down the phone. It's tricky. We have to keep putting the phone down, otherwise the chord gets tangled in the guitar; then we can't hear what the others are doing. Someone recently told the Phatts that their live gigs really demonstrate that rehearsal pays dividends (I theenk).
As well as a trip to the Coda Club to enjoy the musical reminiscences of legendary senior musicians, a happy July included the 4th birthday of the Spice of Life Jazz Club, in London's Charing Cross Road. Here I was delighted to be asked to sit in with Allan Bailey's Soho Leg-Ends to do the old Jess Fuller number "San Francisco Bay Blues". Singing with a skiffle group brought things full circle for me and I had the double pleasure of playing for the first time in a club which has brought me many life-affirming sessions as a listener. It was great to sit in with old chum Allan, whose band included 6-5 Special survivor Derek Mason on washboard, plus John Hill on guitar and John Ferguson sitting in admirably on bass. Floods kept away several musicans that day, and unfortunately, old mate Mick Platt, with whom I've played and recorded for many years, and who normally sings this number, missed it through illness. Get well soon Mick.
May offered a variety of gigs etc. Began with a visit to Rochester Sweeps Festival. Caught up with old mates Nigel Fiest and Open Harp Surgery, Harwich Morris Men and finished with an enjoyable sit-in with the always wonderful Ron Trueman-Border.
Followed this at short notice by putting together a band for a friend at the Russell Hotel, London. It was a reception for the Campbell Colloquium - an international (mainly US) conference of social researchers. Band was son Joe - pipes, whistles, mandolin, bodhran, Eddie Hurdman - fiddle, Mick Platt - bass, aka Reelstrings from the monthly Brambles sessions, to play music from the British Isles. Compiled a CD quickly (Reelstrings with John Scott Cree - Flams FCD 009) from various things we've done. Jim Ward kindly and quickly turned round the art work and manufacturing and it's gone down very well.
Played Elsie's, Cowden Pound with John Parker's French cafe-type band, Les Onions. It's nearly 30 years since I was in unique pub (The Queen's Head) in its unique location right on the borders of Kent, Sussex and Surrey. It was run for many years by Elsie on her own selling one beer, no lager and "no foreign muck". Everyone sings. We did 4 or 5 of my songs too as well as the Piaf etc. It was a most enjoyable night.
The varied schedule continued with John Parker's Old Hat Band at a beer festival at the Surrey Oaks, Newdigate. Next day, an open air gig with Reelstrings (transferred hastily indoors, with the rain, to the aircraft hangar which most school halls are. We'd like to thank Victoria Station for the loan of the PA system). Ending the month with the regular Brambles sessions. Geoff also rang with a Phatts gig for October in Rochester. Folk and Roll. Did I tell you that Geoff once had a Number 1 in Australia? It's a long way to go with your legs crossed.
Have enjoyed teaming up again with John Parker while his regular partner, Bob Wilkinson, was Tom & Dick. It's an ill wind ... get well soon Bob. It's been an eye-opener to play day centres for retired folk and find that their idea of oldies is 50's rock'n'roll.
The Damned's official website gives a nice plug to my Podcast with Tommy Vance and asks what Christmas compilation is complete without JSC's Rudolph...? Thanks Stoofer. Well, Rudolph does appear, in a strangely out-of-place kind of way, on Various - A Golden Hour of Comedy. Described by NME as "Guffawful" when it was released, it features Max Miller, Tommy Cooper, Morecambe and Wise, Spike Milligan, George Formby, Benny Hill, Roy Hudd, Max Wall, Mike Reid, Frankie Howerd and June Whitfield and other stars - I'm the only one I've never heard of.
Professor Andrew Watson at North Eastern University, Boston gives Rudolph and the Podcast the academic seal of approval and describes Rudolph as one of his favourite Christmas covers - a "contribution to Christmas cheer of the non-cloying kind."
Thanks to Gruts and Nite Owl (on the day shift) for writing that 'Rudolph ...' was "a classic in anybody's book!"
Through the kind auspices of BFBS Radio and Sanctuary, I've now been able to post this PODCAST of an archive interview I did with legendary DJ Tommy Vance in 1978. It lasts about 16 minutes (16Mb) and includes plays of Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, His greatest hit, and The original Flamenco. I hope you enjoy it.
Had a most enjoyable jam with Richard Digance at a friend's wedding in September. It was a good to feel that the years just rolled away and we could still bounce off each other.
Don Campau mailed to say he's playing His greatest hit on his No pigeonholes radio show out of Cupertino, California
Spent much of the Summer getting to grips with DVD editing software. Result is an exciting DVD of The Phatt B'stards - We ate all the pies. Featuring The pie song and 5 other most requested songs, highlights of the infamous early morning 2002 interview, plus insights by learned academics on the history and significance of the Phatts phenomenon.
"It's a madhouse, it's an outhouse, it's a sh...ame these blokes aren't locked up".
The DVD was launched to critical acclaim at the 2006 Broadstairs Festival. Fredo and Finn were delighted that Juan's parole came through so that we could be 3 Phatts again this year. We did 8 most enjoyable gigs in 5 days.
Good to see a higher Web profile for some venues which contributed so much to live music over the years. The Glasgow Apollo tribute site RSS feed (On this day) shows 10 February as the date in 1979 when I had the privilege of playing there. Thanks to them for showing this and for posting some of my memories of that night. Thanks too to the famous Half Moon, Putney website, for posting my name on the Walls of Fame. I spent a happy six months or so as resident there in 1980. Martin-Kingsbury - Terry & Tony's site recalls happy days at The Blacksmith's, Epping and includes the official Noel Murphy website
Thanks to Claude Gagne for news of visitors to John's page from France, Poland, Japan, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Malaysia, USA, Finland, as well as the home turf of the United Kingdom. Thanks to all of you for visiting.
Radio stations in USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Italy and Croatia are playing the CD "A superfluous man". On Peoplesound.com there are free MP3 downloads from "A superfluous man" and you can read reviews and put up your own.
You can now find eZines using extracts from "A superfluous man - the eBook" plus more of John's pieces if you put "John Scott Cree" in the Search box of your search engine.
For pre-2006 notes of JSC's musical activities, click on Biographical note
Back to Homepage