Richard Bolton and I had a great mini-tour in the spring, starting in Hadleigh, Suffolk, then a house concert in Herne Hill, London, a parlour concert in Ardley, Oxfordshire and a Friday 'Late Shift' show at the National Portrait Gallery. It was a lot of fun - we even got fan mail (blush, blush):
'I'm still buzzing from last night's music... I just love listening to you and Richard together and I feel so lucky to have had you playing in our house last night. Thank you.' (Hilary)
Pete & Richard at the National Portrait Gallery, 15 April
(photo, Sue Lee)
Richard and I are currently putting together our Autumn 2016 tour, with dates confirmed at Walthamstow Folk Cub on 11 September and Dartford Folk Club on 20 September.
The London Fiddle School is proud to announce that legendary folk musician Tom Paley has agreed to become our honorary President. Born in New York City in 1928, Tom played with Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and the New Lost City Ramblers before moving to Europe in the 1960s, and has been an inspiration to countless younger musicians. I met him in the late 1970s, and he's taught me many Swedish, as well as Old Time fiddle tunes, including a walking tune, Gärdebylåten, played here in a recent session at the Shakespeare's Head, Islington.
Tom Paley, Gail Williams (banjo), Frank Weston (guitar)
and Pete etc at the Shakespeare's Head
Tom Paley and Pete, Whitby 2008
(photo, David Oliver)
London Fiddle School are out and about this summer. A dozen stalwarts of my Wednesday night class, jointly with Hackney's Wing-It Singers, led by Sally Davies, and others, played a benefit concert in St Mary's church, Stoke Newington on 22 May, which raised over £3,000 for Save the Children. Our next performance is at Islington Folk Club on 16 June, a 'three way split' with Ajay Srivastav and Mark Lisicki. We hope you can make it. For details, see Gigs
Edward, Evan, Richard, Nicola, Paul, Richard, Rosie, Ben, Sue,
Hannah and Gill from Pete's Fiddles in Performance class take a break during rehearsals at St Mary's (photo, PC)
Rattle on the Stovepipe performed at the delightful Westgate Chapel in Lewes not so long ago (is playing in churches becoming a theme here?), after a run of folk club gigs including The Pack O' Cards, Combe Martin, Devon at Easter. With a lot of new material since WildGoose released Old Virginia in 2014, Dave, Dan and I hope to start recording a new album in July. We'll be appearing at the Poetry Café, Betterton Street, on 22 July, Whitby Folk Week from 20-26 August, at The Stag, Hastings on Bank Holiday Monday (29 August) and at Wallingford Bunkfest 2-4 September - for details, see Gigs.
Pete, Dave Arthur and Dan Stewart
at Westgate Chapel, Lewes, 24 April (photo, Vic Smith)
I was sorry to learn of the death of fiddler Dave Swarbrick on 3 June at the age of 75. His playing on Fairport Convention's 1969 album Liege and Lief was a huge inspiration to me as a youngster, though I only got to know him personally in more recent years. Convalescing from his double lung transplant in 2004, he apparently worked his way through my book The Complete Irish Fiddle Player! Swarb will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.