The Lal Waterson Project
Well, despite the wonderful response to the CD and the live gigs, it’s a hard – and large – act to sell. Whilst it is listed here in the archive section it is hoped that we will perform again.?
We came together because I wanted to showcase the wonderful work of Lal Waterson. The band was just fabulous. In addition to myself there were, from Chumbawamba, Jude Abbott on brass and vocals, Harry Hamer on cahon and tablas, and Neil Ferguson on bass and guitar, as well as Jim Boyes on guitar and vocal, Fi Fraser on sax, clarinet and vocal, and Mary Macmaster on electro and acoustic harp and vocal.?
It resulted in one CD - Lal - which was described as ‘’A’ for art’. Not everyone liked it, because it wasn’t Lal of course, and there truly was no-one like her, but I feel happy knowing that we brought new people to Lal's music who subsequently went on to track down Lal’s recordings. What more could you want?
This was a British/Breton collaboration that Dave Groom funded initially and which lasted a year and a half. Sadly not long enough to make an album. It included myself, Mary Macmaster as mentioned above, and then the Bretons: Yan Fanche Peroche on accordion, Helen Brunet on guitar and Brigitte Kloereg singing with me in Breton and French.
Not wanting to let a good thing go unheard, I borrowed Helen for my CD Female Smuggler – and some of the music, too – which has resulted in some great duets between myself and Jude on trumpet when we play them in the Freya Abbott Ferguson trio.
FreyjaThis was a mad, crazy idea to have a euro band. A nightmare to administrate and organise but wow, did we have fun! The first incarnation had Anne-Lise Foy on hurdy-gurdy, Belen De Benito on guitar, Gabbi Mayer on fiddle, Nicola Marsh on percussion, Eva Vavrinecz on double bass, and me.
The second incarnation swapped the percussionist for Jo May (see Token Women) and Maria Jonsson on fiddle. The result was two CDs – Freyja and One Bathroom.
At the time Anne-Lise was only 21 and rather dramatic-looking. This resulted in an offer of marriage in our first sound check at South Hill Park in Bracknell, and in Brittany she had 6 sound engineers all trying to plug in her hurdy-gurdy while we all stood by and watched … how we laughed! Very happy times and many happy memories.