ADERYN PRIN CEILIDH BAND - BARN DANCE BAND - BAND TWMPATH DAWNS - Members
Pete has sung and played guitar for more decades than he will let on. He’s a founder member of Aderyn Prin. Guitar George in the Dire Straits song “Sultans of Swing” was reputedly based on him although it is possible Mark Knopfler may not acknowledge this for legal reasons (the song was going to be called the Caliphs of Ceilidh originally but one of the roadie’s mums suggested the current - inferior - title. She eventually settled her royalty claim out of court, but the case did irreparable damage to Dire Straits, who (in contrast to Aderyn Prin, who have gone from strength to strength) disbanded shortly after in 1995. Pete plays an early 90’s Takamine six string guitar in preference to a Martin, and says given the right incentives he would be prepared to collaborate on and endorse a signature line of top quality instruments. So what are you waiting for, Takamine?
Another founder member and keeper of the band Sorting Hat, Jerome is no saint and neither does he have a pet lion. But he has played bass, ooh, for years, first a four string, then more recently a five string, taking the (depending on which way you look at it) 20% increase in difficulty or four extra notes effortlessly in his stride. He plays bazouki, too – you might have heard his work on the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch – but he likes to keep that quiet, also autoharp, which he keeps even quieter. Which is just fine by the rest of us.
Fiddle Without a Cause
1976 and the country was in the throes of the punk rock revolution, but Nial, eschewing a career in safety pins, zips and bondage trousers decided to take the long view and joined legendary Tyneside barn dance combo the Borderers. And you have to agree, the long view has paid off, as three decades later he is still playing in ceilidh bands, yet where are the Sex Pistols now? Nial’s fiddle dates from 1830, which is half past six for those with a hands-on approach to watches, but unbelievably his mandolin is from twenty past seven, very nearly an hour later, and is by Gibson - who are not bad at mandolins even if they are American. Finally, he’d like to point out as he only joined the band within the last decade, he cannot therefore be called a founder member and is thus absolved from all responsibility for anything.
Not generally known about founder member Annie is that when former French premier General De Gaulle was approached to contribute accordion on the 60’s Bonzo Dog Band classic “The Intro and the Outro” he had unfortunately injured his keyboard hand in a bizarre snail eating accident. Playing was out of the question – doctors had advised complete rest and a snail-free diet - and so he begged child prodigy Annie to do the session for him. Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy at the time, but now almost half a century later the time is right to reveal that it is Annie’s flying fingers you can hear frisking over the keys on this well loved track, not the General’s. The only one of the band who is classically trained, her performance of her own accordion transcription (from the 1952 piano score) of John Cage’s 4’ 33” is a real show stopper - but not if we can stop her first. She has two accordions, and a banjo too, but despite many requests has yet to drop them down a mine shaft to see which one is first to hit the bottom.