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On our travels and adventures we meet and re-meet inspirational groups of people who are deeply involved in their localities, putting on and promoting events and also the wider groups connected to them such as those whom attend these events. We encounter the DIY aesthetic at its best and count these people as our friends and colleagues.
One such place we play regularly is Leigh-on-sea. We feel honoured to be taken in by such a great music and performance scene over the last three years and some of our favourite shows have been in the Methodist Chapel, crammed into café spaces or in the Clarendon Scout Hut as part of the folk festival.
On our visits to Leigh we met people who, as well as writing original music, perform what we all might agree are traditional songs. I know there is a wide discussion on what traditional means and too, what song means, let alone songs…
One Leigh voice that we kept hearing and talking about was Diana Collier. After a few conversations we persuaded Diana to choose a collection of songs, record them unaccompanied and let us play around with the files in our studio. We also asked her to choose some singers who might be interested in some group singing with a view to recording and album and maybe a few live shows somewhere down the line.
Anyway, these things have a habit of progressing and travelling forward. We chose a weekend when everyone was free, booked a village hall in south Devon and made up beds on sofas. In one and a half days we had fourteen songs recorded and a pretty strong idea of where the music would take them (or vice versa).