Recovery time! Last weekend was exhausting, yet thrilling. Two sell-out gigs, the first at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, then at the world’s most famous venue, the Royal Albert Hall. Bellowhead were celebrating the band’s 10th anniversary, with a set of old favourites, new tracks from our forthcoming album on Island (label to the stars, including Fairport Convention, N’Dubz, and Derek and Clive), Morris-dancing girls, pyros (one of which nearly ignited Benji’ s backside), and a star turn from our new Songbook.
The weekend had been preceded by a very moving memorial concert for Sarah Morgan, featuring a wealth of folk talent, as well as Belshazzar’s Feast, who were redeemed by a joint performance of ‘Home Lad, Home’ with the Andover Museum Loft Singers. The previous night saw the last of a week’s run of As You Like It at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, with original music by Luke Pajak and me – and our stage debut, with lines and everything. This on the back of the best Faustus tour yet.
The respite has, however, been short-lived. This week John Spiers, Cat Kelly and I are working in Windmill Primary School, Headington – Back To The Quarry celebrates the life and work of William Kimber, whose meeting with Cecil Sharp was an instigating factor in the first Folk Revival. We’ve been teaching the children the steps and tune for Headington dance ‘Beansetting’, and very good they are too.
The finishing touches are being made to The Last Post book, to accompany SuperAct’s project of the same name. This is another community venture, in which the music popular during the First World War will be taught and performed in venues around the country. At the start of May, after a spot on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’, Belshazzar’s Feast venture forth on our 20th Anniversary Tour with numerous copies of our new live album, ‘The Whiting’s on the Wall’. I’ve also got to learn the music for a new album by Tom and Barbara Brown, the Made in the Great War show, and Bellowhead’ s feature on the Paul O’Grady Show next week.
For more information, have a look at the links throughout the website. I can’t be bothered to put up the links here as it’s now lunchtime. Bye, Paul.