16 October 2017
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 16 October 2017
In a slight departure from my usual photo gallery posts, I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence as I post a few shots from the first time I saw Martin sing live exactly 30 years ago today. This lineup of The Watersons – Mike, Lal, Norma, Rachel and Martin – operated briefly and only sporadically towards the end of the 1980s. I’ve seen several variations of the ‘Waterson Family’ in subsequent years and I’m closing in on 80 Martin Carthy gigs of various lineups and ensembles in total (I’d like to say I wasn’t counting, but I’d be lying!) but this gig remains a special memory. I happened to have a camera with me that night and although these are not my best shots I’m happy that I still have a record of the gig. The Rockingham Arms advert appeared in the Sept-Nov 1987 issue of Sheffield-based folk listings magazine Stirrings.
10 October 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 10 October 2015
It’s rare that anyone can pinpoint a moment that changed their life but this month’s #MC50 YouTube video includes one such moment for me. The first time I heard The Watersons on Andy Kershaw’s Radio 1 show in August 1986 I knew little or nothing about folk music of any kind, much less about English traditional song, but hearing this in my box bedroom in Doncaster at the age of (just) 18 was a revelation. It’s by chance as much as anything that I’ve retained a recording of that session – I only re-discovered it a few years ago – but the quality has suffered over the years and for that reason I’ve mixed it into mono to avoid some conspicuous drop-outs (especially in the last two songs). The sound quality is still far from perfect but I hope it gives a clue as to what I heard that set me on a journey of discovery that continues to fascinate and surprise.
To compensate for the poor sound quality of the Kershaw session I’ve also included a slightly better quality (stereo) recording from a couple of years later. This is the broadcast portion of the Watersons’ set from the Copper Family’s “Coppersongs” launch concert at Cecil Sharp House in january 1988. It also includes a brief interview with Norma and Mike Waterson and may be one of the last broadcast recordings of the Mike, Lal, Norma and Martin lineup.
The complete “Coppersongs” broadcast also included performances by The Copper Family and Peter Bellamy and an interview with Derek Schofield. The complete broadcast can be heard here: