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Peter Bellamy

Folk English Rudyard Kipling Singing Young Tradition

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#1 Will Fox

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:01 AM

Hello all,

 

I'm new to both this forum and to concertina playing. I recently bought my first Anglo, a 30 key C/G Lachenal and I'm loving it!

 

My musical background is as a singer and I'm very involved with the folk scene down here in South Devon. I run an unaccompanied singing session in Totnes and I'm also the squire of one of the local Morris sides. 

 

I thought I would share this video of Peter Bellamy as I have been a fan of his for many years. He had, in my opinion, one of the finest and most unique voices in the English folk world and I originally fell in love with his unaccompanied singing in the Young Tradition. His later solo work, much of which is accompanied on Anglo Concertina, is as good if not better. One of Bellamy's great gifts to the world of music are his recordings of Rudyard Kipling poems, which Bellamy composed and arranged music for. The following is an old recording of Bellamy singing 'The Death of Bill Brown' and 'Goodbye Old Paint'. Unfortunately the quality of the recording is very poor.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=JIDkhEIUveQ

 

Followed by Bellamy's cover of Al Stewart's 'Nostradamus' (studio recording, so much better sound than the one above). 

https://www.youtube....h?v=4LfyGoWcZ_s

 

Enjoy!



#2 StuartEstell

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:24 AM

His version of Nostradamus knocks the original into a cocked hat as far as I'm concerned.

But there's no beating his "On Board a '98" for me. That would go with me to the old desert island...

#3 Don Taylor

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:31 AM

How does he achieve his accompaniment style?



#4 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:01 AM

How does he achieve his accompaniment style?

Hi Don, can't listen to the tracks right now, but this has been already discussed here, it's like playing a harmonica (harp) with just two chords, one being the tonic (f.i. Cmaj), the other a ii-6 (Dmin6), the minor parallel to the subdominant (Fmaj), mainly working as dominant 7th (Gmaj7, just lacking the fundamental), rarer as subdominant (F and A as parts of the F triad). You take the inversions as they occur related to the top note one is playing - simple but pretty effective as to me.

Funny about that is that this is your only option with the harp whereas you could achieve more with the anglo due to its two rows and, more important, the buttons which exclude certain notes from sounding... With the anglo you just would press three or so adjacent buttons, and combined with the bisonoric air supply (and varying the range of these buttons), that's it... :)

Apart from this technique (which maybe had not been this straight but in fact more sophisticated, but I think I described the basic approach) PB had stops for continuous drone notes...

Best - Wolf

#5 StuartEstell

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:01 AM

He had his anglos modified to have additional drone buttons, which he could fix down by means of rotating metal clips. He was also a guitarist with quite a distinctive style and I think his anglo-playing has a lot in common with a kind of rhythm guitar approach - i.e. "strummed".

#6 StuartEstell

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:06 AM

And yes, Wolf, he often did the "adjacent three buttons" thing but some of his accompaniments have some quite surprising stuff in them! :)

#7 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:07 AM

He was also a guitarist with quite a distinctive style and I think his anglo-playing has a lot in common with a kind of rhythm guitar approach - i.e. "strummed".


Funny but I think this is just another view on what I described as harp approach, might be taken together... :)

#8 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 11:11 AM

And yes, Wolf, he often did the "adjacent three buttons" thing but some of his accompaniments have some quite surprising stuff in them! :)


I wanted to go for more of his stuff anyway, so I take this as a hint not to lose track... :)

#9 Will Fox

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:08 PM


Hi Don, can't listen to the tracks right now, but this has been already discussed here, it's like playing a harmonica (harp) with just two chords, one being the tonic (f.i. Cmaj), the other a ii-6 (Dmin6), the minor parallel to the subdominant (Fmaj), mainly working as dominant 7th (Gmaj7, just lacking the fundamental), rarer as subdominant (F and A as parts of the F triad). You take the inversions as they occur related to the top note one is playing - simple but pretty effective as to me.

 

Wow, I don't know what any of that means... I wish I did though 'cos I'd be very happy to accompany my singing like Bellamy did. 

 

This isn't Bellamy, but it is his arrangement of Mandalay, lovely version:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=FKOXJ9VwWtU



#10 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 01:02 PM

Will, it's more an explanation what he'd been doing - as to how you might in fact try to press just three adjacent butttons and keep them pressed with both push and pull, then shift one button upwards and do the same - just as a starting point, never tried it myself because I play the EC...

Best wishes - Wolf

#11 OLDNICKILBY

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:07 AM

I went to a Party 10 days ago and there on a shelf was Peter's Bb F Concertina. There were 2 Aluminium Clips to create drones to keep two buttons depressed. It was quite a treat to play my one Anglo tune, I could almost hear Peter



#12 malcolm clapp

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 12:47 AM

Magic!!!

 

I hope the current owner is playing it. ("On the shelf" has such negative connotations...)



#13 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:06 AM

I've been listening to Bellamy since about 1996, when I would skip Econ lectures in college to go hang out in the music listening library in the basement of the building next door. You'd look up the album in the catalog, and the clerk behind the window would fish the album out of the archives and put it on a turntable for you, which would feed into earphones on your side of the window, and I listened to Barracks Room Ballads dozens of times.

 

 

In any case, so far as Anglo players just doing simple push-pull mash-chords, I ran across this clip of a young guy with a Persian name, covering the 1990s rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, with what seems to be to be a surprisingly Bellamy-esque method: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=V4mr-oIewvw

 

I've seen a smattering of clips like this on YouTube, of self-taught people who just acquired a 20b Anglo and figured out how to push and pull chords on it. It's a really appealingly primitivist style.



#14 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 08:21 AM

I've been listening to Bellamy since about 1996, when I would skip Econ lectures in college to go hang out in the music listening library in the basement of the building next door. You'd look up the album in the catalog, and the clerk behind the window would fish the album out of the archives and put it on a turntable for you, which would feed into earphones on your side of the window, and I listened to Barracks Room Ballads dozens of times.


How I would have liked to be a student at an institution with such alternative options... :)

Will watch the YT video when I'll have left the office, but anyway I agree on the appeal of such "primitivist style" in general and Peter Bellamy in particular!

#15 adrian brown

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 09:06 AM

I went to a Party 10 days ago and there on a shelf was Peter's Bb F Concertina. There were 2 Aluminium Clips to create drones to keep two buttons depressed. It was quite a treat to play my one Anglo tune, I could almost hear Peter

 

So which buttons/notes were they made to depress? (their relationship to Bb would be enough) I'd love to know...

 

Adrian



#16 brandon

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 07:13 AM

Wow, I don't know what any of that means... I wish I did though 'cos I'd be very happy to accompany my singing like Bellamy did. 

 

 

Please don't let the not understanding part keep you from doing it. You can just start with the 3 adjacent buttons advice and let your ears tell you what works - the ears are very smart that way... :)



#17 OLDNICKILBY

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 05:59 AM

Adrian, I will ask the owner when I see them next.



#18 adrian brown

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 06:30 AM

Adrian, I will ask the owner when I see them next.

 

Thanks a lot, that would be very kind.

 

Adrian







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Folk, English, Rudyard Kipling, Singing, Young Tradition

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