Saturday, 5 December 2015

Getting with the Christmas Spirit - Steeleye Span The Boar's Head Carol

This begins as a really wonderful bit of un-accommpanied singing by a line-up of Steeleye Span (not the one depicted) containing three of the premier vocalists of the British folk scene - Maddy Prior, Martin Carthy (providing a rock solid bass - sounding rather like a human Crumhorn); and John Kirkpatrick as tenor - not quite of the god-like status of Prior and Carthy, but probably the best-ever anglo-concertina/ melodeon player. 

Plus the excellent Tim Hart and Rick Kemp to make an exceptionally rich sound (I'm guessing the drummer Nigel Pegrum didn't sing).

But Kirkpatrick had a considerable gift for harmonization - and my assumption is that it was he who made the exceptionally varied and evolving vocal arrangement.

Anyway, this is one of those pieces that when I hear it 'the centuries roll back'.

Interestingly, I believe I was at the first public perfomance of this piece by the new Steeleye line-up of 1977 - somewhere (I have forgotten where) in rural mid-Somerset.