If music be the Food of Love…


There are so many puns and plays on words that can finish that sentence: the quote that launched a thousand quips.  (You can try this at home if you feel so inclined: look for two words that refer in a humorous way to either music, food, love or all of the above.)

I’m going to be boring and prosiac.  I was asked by Tom of TMD Music whether I might want to record a tune for an upcoming album that he’s producing with Seb of Pindrop promotions: songs from the time of Shakespeare.  I said yes, and he wondered whether I might want to do ‘Tom of Bedlam’, which I’ve actually been meaning to do a cover of for years (ever since my friend Alice played it to me and said: “there’s a line about making mince pies from children’s thighs – I think this is very ‘you’.”)  I recorded it entirely using a 10-string cittern that is only really in tune if you don’t play anything past the 5th fret.  I think in the end we called it a draw.

We had a bit of a saga getting the song ready.  Although we were both confident that it was bound to be out of copyright, I suggested we just double-check, because I had a feeling that the tune might have been written by someone in Steeleye Span.  Just as well we did, as it turns out it was actually written by Nic Jones and Dave Moran.  The silver lining was that this meant I got to have a fascinating chat with Nic Jones’s manager (and wife) Julia about the folk scene through the years.  If you haven’t seen this BBC documentary on Nic Jones’s life, it’s well worth a look when they show it again, which they periodically do with this sort of thing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bsrrb

Tom and Seb are also putting on some gigs to promote the album: in Oxford, London and Stratford.  I hope to be playing something at all of them.  The project also features Alisdair Roberts, Dead Rat Orchestra, Nick Castell, Thomas Truax, Rob St John, Flights of Helios, Brickwork Lizards, Luke Navin, Kirsty Law and more.  Tickets are available online:




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