Today I was hunted by sleep. At every turn there it was. I tried to ignore it but it was relentless and if it hadn’t been for the French, the blog and a sesh with Tony in Sydney today I would have let it seduce me. Other things happened to keep me going, it was a really beautiful day today, a perfect summer dream, a blue sky, a warm sun, a soft breeze, cool in the shade, gorgeous. After Tony’s early sesh I settled into some casual Sunday football which delivered all kinds of unexpected results, crucial at the end of a season. But I was waiting for someone I’d never met to drop by. I’d bought Focus’ Hamburger Concerto on eBay and Jeff who was selling it happened to be in Penzance. So he told me he’d bring it to the archive. Nice man, he gave me back the postage! He dropped in, we chatted, and he had a bit of a look around the archive and the studio, but when he had gone we had to get out there to bask (that’s bask not busk).
On our usual route to the sea and the recycling, we pass through Morrab Gardens. There were Magda and Daisy sitting in a sun trap trying to steal Olivia away to join them, but the sea beckoned. Daisy has a vintage clothes shop in town and Magda used to work at the arty cinema in Newlyn, the next village. We carried on and at the promenade car park, we ran into Kate and Jack. Kate sings like Patti Smith and Jack plays the trumpet. They have these amazing live-in-vans and they were down there kitting out one of them. Kitting out is the perfect term because Kate has cats that she takes with her on her musical odysseys.
Thanks for the info on the beast I saw in Morrab Gardens, apparently a Mari Lwyd. Olivia did some research and some readers have sent some info. Interesting, but not sure why the creepy looking creature was hanging around on that day. Having said that I do love a skull. My collection of skulls are ornamental of course but I wonder if mine could be painted and added to the shelf? Not right now of course but this is my official statement about my death – I do not want to be burned, I want to be buried and I want a gravestone. Thank you, I’m glad I got that information out there. In a perfect world, my whole skeleton would be in a glass case at the entrance to the In Deep Music Archive, possibly holding a Rickenbacker. Maybe there could be a slot for a coin that would play my greatest hits?
It was Steve Knott from Atlantaeum Flood’s 60th birthday yesterday. Happy birthday weekend Steve. We are not sure when there will be a second album but hopefully, in the future, we will get to it. Those dreamy instrumentals are something else. If you haven’t heard the first album (One Day) go here for the experience. It’s available on CD and vinyl.
I usually have more sessions on a Sunday but Rajan and Doug were otherwise engaged which allowed me to lie here like a vegetable and try to keep my eyes open. It meant that my French lesson was going to be tricky but I’m way ahead of the others in the league so I’m going to top it again and get promoted from the ruby league to the emerald league. The higher you go the more serious it gets.
I’ve got a couple of missed calls from All About Eve Andy and tomorrow I’ll call him back. I can see my bed and that has to take priority today. Olivia, like me, is a famous sleeper, she can sleep for days. I was famous for sleeping through thunderstorms, people banging on the door, people banging on the window, farmers driving tractors through the bedroom, alien invasions, Black Sabbath albums on full volume, chemical explosions, nuclear blasts, gunshots, screaming children, screaming monsters, mobsters, beasts, beats, photographs of weddings, catapulted old dead fish and caterwauling cats.
Music today brought the sad news of the death of Judy Dyble, the original singer of Fairport Convention, Trader Horne and solo artist. Although I never met Judy we were in touch via the net and I have an autographed copy signed to me of her autobiography An Accidental Musician. At one point she sent me songs she was working on with Tim Bowness and asked my opinion and now and then she commented on my posts. Really sad to hear she has died (she was 71). I’ll be playing records tonight associated with her. So sad – Judy, I know you were much loved by everyone that knew you.
I don’t have an original copy of the first Fairport Convention album or even a copy with the original cover (1968), but I do have a Polydor reissue that was part of a series released with dodgy artwork. It’s incredible how a record company would take the original idea and make it less visually appealing than the original and think that this would be the best way to attract sales – well, it was the eighties. I suppose that we should be glad that they thought of releasing it at all.
It’s a lovely album with Dyble and Ian McDonald singing. It’s more influenced by American music and Psychedelia than traditional English Folk. It’s a bit The Byrds, a bit Bob Dylan, a bit The Band. There’s a lovely version of Joni Mitchell’s I Don’t Know Where I Stand sung by Dyble and at this point, nobody in England knew who Joni Mitchell was. Not wanting to lose the opportunity of the discovery, Side 2 opens with another Mitchell classic sung by Dyble, Chelsea Morning, which Mitchell didn’t release till 1969 on her second album Clouds. This is a wonderful album that includes Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol on guitar, Ashley Hutchings on bass and Martin Lamble on drums. Highly recommended. One lovely anecdote about Judy is that when she wasn’t actually singing on stage, she would sit and knit.
When Judy left Fairport she briefly joined up with pre-King Crimson Robert Fripp with Michael and Peter Giles on drums and bass. She didn’t make it to any official releases back in the day, but later the home demos were released on The Brondesbury Tapes album (2001) where she can be heard singing on 5 tracks. Anecdotes R Uz today – The Giles Brothers had advertised for a singing keyboard player and of course Fripp does neither, I guess they picked him to join their band on audacity. Although The Brondesbury Tapes is essentially home demos, you’d never know. It’s properly recorded and sounds like an album would from 1968. It’s catchy, folky, melodic and is another essential if not hard to find release for Fripp completists.
A lot seemed to happen to Judy in that year. She guested on The Incredible String Band’s album The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter (1968). At this point they were a very hip band, Bob Dylan even name-checked them. Judy is only on one track, she sings on The Minotaur’s Song although I can’t see a credit on my US copy. There’s a lot of Incredible String Band albums that you need to own, start here for the Psych Folk weirdness, the words, the arrangement, the odd instrumentation and then follow with The 5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion (1967).
In 1971 Judy formed Trader Horne with ex Them keyboardist Jackie McAuley. He also played guitar and they both sang. They released Morning Way in 1970. I have a re-released copy of it on the thickest cardboard ever made for a record sleeve. I remember when I bought it I was thinking how heavy it was and wondering about getting it back to England from America without having a weight problem. Inside the music is lovely melodic pastoral songs with occasional strings. Some tracks are acoustic with piano and guitar, others have drums. Judy plays autoharp and piano. McAuley wrote most of the songs and plays all kinds of instruments. Judy wrote the title track and co-wrote Velvet To Atone with Martin Quittenton whose name has shown up here before as ex Steamhammer man and the co-writer of Maggie May and You Wear It Well for Rod whassiname.
In recent years Judy has been prolific in her projects whilst suffering an ongoing illness. RIP Judy, you are missed. Condolences to family and friends.
Song Of The Day is Time Will Show The Wiser by Fairport Convention, written by Emitt Rhodes for his band The Merry-Go-Round in 1967: