Thursday, 22 March 2012

Seagulls, lambs & old women.

I’ve recently received a large missive from Job, detailing the early days of Sentinel, which I'm currently editing into a blog entry to hopefully follow later. In the meantime, here are a few recordings from a couple of the label’s popular “Sounds Like West Cornwall” and “Sounds Like North Cornwall” collections (the West Cornwall volume SENS 1001 was Sentinel’s inaugural release in 1970, while the North Cornwall album SENS 1011 followed in 1972). Both these albums are splendidly edited encapsulations of Cornish life, not only including music & spoken word, but also incorporating sound effects & field recordings from key locations such as Newlyn Fish Market, Land’s End and the Padstow May Day celebrations (see entry elsewhere). The perfect holiday souvenir!

“The Seagulls Scream” is a fantastically evocative solo guitar & vocal piece from Christine Quayle, aged 17 at the time of recording. Christine was a regular at the Mermaid Folk Club (she was known as “The Mermaid Of Zennor”), and also sang with Clive Palmer’s Temple Creatures. Later still she was a member of RCA-signed folk rockers Daylight. Their full story can be found here:

“Searching For Lambs” is performed by husband-and-wife duo Christopher & Janet Ridley, also known as Warm Gold. They also issued at least two EPs on Hurler Records (where’s their blog?!), both called “A Taste Of Cornwall”. “Searching For Lambs” is pretty twee, I grant you, but still embodies that strange, sinister air that’s unique to the folk music of this era. Rather jarringly, “Searching For Lambs” is followed by the sound of Launceston Pig Market (that’s a field recording, not the name of a prog rock band). To spare your ears, I've removed these effects from this edit.

Finally, if you’ll forgive the indulgence, here’s “The Old Woman” sung by my uncle, Douglas Williams, “one of Cornwall’s finest tenors”, according to the sleeve notes. The recording begins with the sound of the listener entering the church where the performance is taking place...

Thanks once again to Richard Prest at Kernowbeat.

The Seagulls Scream

Searching For Lambs

The Old Woman