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S J Birkill
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New members
« : 03.07.05 at 19:48 »
Quote

Well, it's fallen mighty calm around here, don't you think?
 
I don't know about y'all, but I'd like to hear more (or even something) about MV's newest members. You're still finding us, trickling into the fold some 8 years after we started it all. I see we now have David, and Steven/Justine, André, Epsilon, AnnieG and Ugly Custard, not to mention Xtyalis and BicPentameter. I don't think any of you were members of the old MV mailing list.
 
So what brings you here? How did you first encounter Pete's music? What made you stay faithful through all the wilderness years? There's 200-odd (and odd) folks here I'm sure would love to hear from you. What's your favourite Atkin song, and why? Where would you like MV to go? Don't be shy -- break the silence. Reply to this message -- let's have some keen dialogue again!
 
Steve Birkill, Administrator
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Re: New members
« Reply #1: 05.07.05 at 08:44 »
Quote

So what brings you here?  
At the first place was looking for the lyrics of "Winter Spring" and google sent me here.
 
How did you first encounter Pete's music?
In someone's car. Actually I hated it, but after he put "Be careful when they offer you the moon" and I loved this song.
 
What's your favourite Atkin song, and why?
Right now probably "Thought of You". The words do speak to me , and  I can't imagine any other melody which would suit it better.
 
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andylow
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Re: New members
« Reply #2: 06.12.05 at 14:23 »
Quote

Read 212 times and 1 (one!) reply - what's it like being that popular ?
We could be on the way to two replies - but then that will need me to think of something to say and press the post thingee.
 
Fave track? - who knows - Wrist watch of a drummer perhaps - well I have a Bulova Accutron '76 - close but no cigar (or fancy dials either, it's a minimalist one). You just can't get a propper sweep second hand these days.
 
After missing a gig in 76 or 77 perhaps in East London or Essex I finaly managed to get my act enough together to see the show at Farnham in November '05, even got my vinel covers signed !! What a sad git Wink
 
I have most of the first six on the CD in the car (MP3), quite often get quizzed about "who is that ..." The tracks share the space with Zappa, Al Yankovic (*) and Ivor Biggun etc. Not sure if you wanted to know that.
 
Andy
 
* - Just went to get a CD to check the spelling and found a still wrapped CD  - The Shrinks !!
This shoping lark is a mystery to me Wink
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karen
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Re: New members
« Reply #3: 10.05.06 at 11:22 »
Quote

Hi Steve
 
Re your request for information on new members and as my first posting - here goes.
 
I first saw Pete at Watford Tech College circa 1971. It was the first time I had cried with laughter and had tears of emotion within the space of a few songs - I never forgot.
 
To be honest, I wondered from time to time over the years what had happened to him. It was when, about 5 or 6 years ago, I heard a radio interview as I was driving - (I had to park the car to listen!) that I caught up with his life and discoverd that Clive had written the lyrics.
 
I have been to their concerts in Reading, High Wycombe and was at the QEH.  
 
As for me - 2 years ago I moved to the Jura mountains, close to Geneva and the Swiss border. Are there any other international MV's?  
 
Look forward to hearing from you soon
 
Karen
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S J Birkill
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Re: New members
« Reply #4: 14.05.06 at 10:56 »
Quote

Hi Karen
 
Good to hear how you caught up with Pete's music after all these years!
 
Yes, we do have (or have had) many members beyond the UK. Quite a few have made the pilgrimage to catch Pete in concert here, on more than one occasion -- I think they're all too shy to reply to the thread and let you know. But the following haven't concealed their locations in the past, so I don't think they'll mind a little list. Here are the ones that come to mind (in no particular order) :
 
Ian Chippett - Paris, France
Oliver Ash - Paris, France
Richard Moxham - Brussels, Belgium
Graham Owen - Sweden
Maurice Lovelock - Ontario, Canada
Neil Lovelock - Ontario, Canada
Jeff Moss - Canada
Noam Greenberg - Wellington, NZ
Avner Greenberg - Israel
Dave Jones - Rochester, NY, USA
Keith Busby - Wisconsin, USA
Murray McGlew - Australia
 
Among the 'lurkers' we appear to have still more from Belgium, Sweden, USA, Australia and New Zealand, plus the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland and Japan. Apologies if I've overlooked anyone well-known to the Forum, or listed an out-of-date location.  
 
Steve
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Jan
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Re: New members
« Reply #5: 14.05.06 at 15:59 »
Quote

Hi Karen,
Welcome to MV. I hope you'll be able to come over to see Pete again soon.
There aren't too many women in Steve's list of overseas members!  
I know there were a few female members in Australia when MV operated as an email list but I can never understand why the large majority of Pete's current fans are male. I realise that email and computers users were predominantly male in the past but surely that isn't still the case.  
Would anyone like to suggest a reason?  
Jan
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Keith Busby
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Re: New members
« Reply #6: 14.05.06 at 21:13 »
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Jan,
 
Perhaps because more of us guys played guitar and tried to work out the Atkin-James songs? Would we be more likely to become MV's? My wife is an admirer of P&C, but gets her MV info from me rather than directly. I suspect other couples function similarly.
 
And welcome, Karen. I'm one of the shy ones ( Shocked ) Steve alludes to who has crossed the Atlantic to events and will do so again for ThoD in September. Bust a gut to get to Sheffield--you'll have a blast and meet some great people, promise
 
Greetings from imploding Bushworld,
 
Keith
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Re: New members
« Reply #7: 16.05.06 at 11:53 »
Quote

Jan,
 
Perhaps it's a Venus/Mars thing. My wife likes music, and is infinitely more musical than I am, but she would be much less likely to join a group like this, or even to buy any musical album.
 
If challenged she would probably say that, unlike blokes, women have heaps of work to do and can't afford the time to sit around at the PC half the day (so obviously I haven't challenged her), but I don't think that even that is the whole truth.
 
So really I've no idea. Apart from perhaps heavy metal, I can't think of many musical styles that would be particularly male oriented, and I'm probably wrong even there.
 
Karen,
 
A warm welcome from me too. I plan to get to a UK gig in the next few years to add to the list of overseas MVs who've made the pilgrimage. Hope Pete has no immediate retirement plans.
 
Murray.
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Re: New members
« Reply #8: 17.05.06 at 13:12 »
Quote

Hi All
 
I first stumbled across Pete Atkin’s music around two years ago when my esteemed legal representative and notorious rum cove brought round a well played vinyl copy of the Road of Silk and promised that my musical tastes would be changed by listening to one track.
 
The track in question was “The man who walked towards the music” and I was instantly converted.
 
Using all my secret service training and diplomatic powers I managed to obtain copies of all Pete’s albums, which are played and enjoyed frequently.
 
Whelks away
 
Dr Sir Rev Steve
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Re: New members
« Reply #9: 21.05.06 at 20:46 »
Quote

on 14.05.06 at 10:56, S J Birkill wrote:
Hi Karen
 
Good to hear how you caught up with Pete's music after all these years!
 
Yes, we do have (or have had) many members beyond the UK. Quite a few have made the pilgrimage to catch Pete in concert here, on more than one occasion -- I think they're all too shy to reply to the thread and let you know. But the following haven't concealed their locations in the past, so I don't think they'll mind a little list. Here are the ones that come to mind (in no particular order) :
 
Ian Chippett - Paris, France
Oliver Ash - Paris, France
Richard Moxham - Brussels, Belgium
Graham Owen - Sweden
Maurice Lovelock - Ontario, Canada
Neil Lovelock - Ontario, Canada
Jeff Moss - Canada
Noam Greenberg - Wellington, NZ
Avner Greenberg - Israel
Dave Jones - Rochester, NY, USA
Keith Busby - Wisconsin, USA
Murray McGlew - Australia
 
Among the 'lurkers' we appear to have still more from Belgium, Sweden, USA, Australia and New Zealand, plus the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland and Japan. Apologies if I've overlooked anyone well-known to the Forum, or listed an out-of-date location.  
 
Steve

 
And one from ex Turkey, ex Kenya, ex New York and now Iowa  Cheesy
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Lizzi
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Re: New members
« Reply #10: 16.08.06 at 23:40 »
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Dear Steve
 
I'm happy to share my reason for joining this forum.
 
When I was studying in France (1981-3) I lived with a guy who played a Pete Atkin tape all the time. He moved to the US and we lost touch, but the songs never left me and I've been trying to get a copy of the album he played ever since!  
 
I didn't know the title of the album or even the names of the tracks and I wasn't completely sure of the artist's name, but I could remember the lyrics. I just typed a few lines (actually "Frangipani was her flower") into Google and found that the album was "Beware of the beautiful stranger" but it's not available on vinyl or CD.
 
But I also found this website and if anyone can sell or lend me a CD of this album, I'd be really grateful.
 
Yours Lizzi
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BogusTrumper
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Re: New members
« Reply #11: 22.09.06 at 00:06 »
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Just thought I would bring this one back to the recent posts list   Wink
 
And if you are interested, I am a scientist in industry, developing new food and ag products.  In the USA, but I used to be British.  
 
The ones who daily looked more like their father
The ones who forced a smile at product launches

 
And used to Google "Pete Atkin" every year for the longest time, then one day, some 8 or 9 years ago......  
 
Married to an artist (who knows a thing or two about contracts  Wink ), who has seen Pete and likes him, but never quite rose the level of idiotic admiration that posseses yours truly.
 
I have a significant amount of vinyl and CDs from the man himself.
 
And I have never been incarcerated for a significant amount of time.............
 
Not made a single *oD, but I have heard Pete sing "Little Sammy Speedball" live, and I am still waiting for Clive to write the follow up that Pete promised us, "The Queen's English"
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Re: New members (long-ish)
« Reply #12: 01.10.06 at 22:32 »
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As an MV novice, it seems one has to write something to remove that 'zero posts' tag from one's name. People might think one didn't want to engage with the list. It also seems customary, as far as I can work out from reading the posts, to engage in a little 'newbie' introspection about 'Pete Atkin: The Wilderness Years', broadly between 1975 (the end of the RCA deal) and 1995/6/7 or so (the invention of the web, approximately, and the emergence of Midnight Voices).
 
Which of course begs a further queswtion: where have I been since the invention of Midnight Voices?
 
No excuses: I first heard Pete Atkin back in 1975, when a flatmate (we were on a gap year in Birkenhead) played me a copy of Mythical America which I seem sure he had bought discounted in WH Smith. Their write-off, our gain. Despite our penury (voluntary sector in 1975 wasn't flush) we collected together the other records between us (except for Live Libel, a judgment that seemed right at the time and right since). I can probably quote more Atkin/James lines than any other artist except the beatles and Dylan (and *everyone* can do the Beatles and Dylan).
 
But even though I'm a reasonable prolific web user, Midnight Voices passed me by. (I didn't google Pete Atkin from time to time to see what happened, even when I read a piece by Clive James saying that he and Pete were doing some intermittent gigs). I wouldn't be here now had my son not been having problems choosing between two books in a bookshop (I'd promised to buy one for him), and to while away his indecision I leaved idly through Clive's latest Selected in the poetry section. Don't know why, since generally I've never rated his poetry; with a small number of outstanding exceptions, simply not as good as his lyrics. So imagine my surprise to find lyrics to songs I wasn't familiar with, and a reference to the website.  
 
Sadly, he also promised that I'd find CDs of the 1970s recordings there as well, which was why I first went to look at the site, since my records (LPs) are well-scratched. But my disappointment was quickly tempered when I found The Lakeside Sessions (I had seen Pete play Canoe at a solo gig in 1976 or 77 at a packed college folk club in Cambridge, when Apollo 13 was, if not news, at least current affairs) and then also Winter Spring.  
 
The wilderness years; I made a well-played compilation tape - 90 minutes of the best of Mythical America, Road of Silk, King at Nightfall, Secret Drinker, BOBS having disappeared in a shuffle some years ago and not been replaced, even if some of the songs still lurk in my brain: the compilation CD whose name escapes me found in a second hand store, with its different (and I still think eccentric) selection; the Julie Covington, another bargain bin happenstance. But largely a private pleasure.
 
What did I see then, and still value now? The literacy, and breadth, of the songs; being talked to in English; the knowingness; the narratives; the bitter with the sweet; some of the stunning technical ability in the rhyme structures (the triple rhymes in Faded Mansion on the Hill are still a thing of wonder to me today); the depth. I was always less fond of the 'humorous' songs, although 'Wristchwatch for a Drummer', which could easily come into that category, escapes by being such a wonderful tribute to jazz and its players. But all of the things which Clive now seems to excoriate himself for (and which he feels destroyed the commercial potential of the work) are the things which have let it resonate so strongly down the years, at least for me.  
 
Of course, the first thing I did when finding the site was to buy Winter Spring and The Lakeside Sessions. It's early days, and I've listened to Winter Spring more than the Lakeside Sessions. So far, it intrigues; it feels like a record which is a conversation with that earlier, rich, body of work. But that is a post for another day.
 
Andrew
 
Writing this I realise that I first heard Pete Atkin just over 30 years ago, during a gap year in Birkenhead. A flatmate came back with a copy of Mythical America, reduced to clear, if I recall, by WH Smith. Their loss, our gain, for we were overwhelmed by the sheer literacy of the songs, the bittersweet care of the construction, the breadth they drew on, the fact they didn't patronise the listener, their toughness. Poetry is news which stays news. We worked backwards ('Ten quid from the bank...') and forwards through the LPs as we found them. The shadow and the widower, and the ruined tower, sent me, once I had cracked the code, to wrestle with Gerard de Nerval. Although this is a distinction which was lost with the advent of the CD, the Mythical America LP is blessed with a 'perfect side' on side 2, ther sequence of songs from Thief in the Night to Lady of a Day. At university competition from the Dead, the Doors, the Dan, meant that Atkin and James were a private pleasure, made public only by intermittent and incongruous references in NME (I recall in particular an interview, with the late Ian MacDonald. in which Clive was particularly sharp on the lyrical shortcomings of Van Morrison on 'Snow In San Anselmo'). I was lucky enough to see Pete playing solo on the Cambridge folk circuit, and recall him playing the then newly minted 'Canoe' in a crowded college bar at a time when the drama of the Apollo mission was still reasonably fresh. Only Live Libel was a disappointment; too temporary, too knowing, too clever.  
 
I found this site only through a reference in Clive's latest selected poems, which I browsed while my son tried to decide which book to buy, but reflect that I know the Atkin/James canon better than pretty much anyone other than the Beatles and Dylan. Winter Spring, a late and pleasant discovery, on a couple of listenings, sounds like a musical and lyrical conversation with that canon; a conversation that echoes down my past as well.
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BogusTrumper
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Re: New members
« Reply #13: 02.10.06 at 21:28 »
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Longish is way better than nothing at all, and might even be preferable to shortish   Grin
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MickH
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Re: New members
« Reply #14: 20.09.07 at 13:24 »
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Blimey, it's nearly 12 months since anyone posted here, so, ever the one to fill a void with noise I'll use this lull to introduce myself...
 
I'm 50 years old and live in Leicester, UK.  
 
I first heard PA back in the early 1970's, probably on Radio 1's Sounds of the Seventies "Weekdays - 10pm 'til midnight, music fans" and was struck by Pete's original voice and delivery. I think Noel Edmunds used to play Pete's stuff on his Saturday morning show, back when he was a half decent DeeJay. I never bought any of Pete's LPs, much to my sorrow, and slowly lost touch with his music as he faded from view. It was only years afterwards that I discovered that that Australian bloke who used to do the film review show on ITV actually wrote the words.  
 
Amazing!
 
Then, out of the blue, watching Ted Rogers' Game Show 3-2-1 on a particularly slow weekend in the late 70's or early 80's, serendipity strikes... a character shambles into shot dressed in a cream-crackered suit of armour and sings:
 
"My Lady Anne your champion's depressed/I'm not in shape to carry on the quest"
 
"I know that voice" says I, "but surely not!" But as the song went on I came to realise that it was indeed Pete Atkin! as confirmed by Uncle Ted at the end of the number (Q. Why do we refer to "songs" as "numbers"?). I didn't know what to think... What on earth was this once great artiste doing singing for his supper on a tuppenny ha'penny Game Show? "Cor, what a sell-out, sharing a stage with a remote controlled dust-bin. Pah!" I thought. Small-minded of me I now know, ah... the arrogance of youth. However, that performance still remains the high-point of the whole of 3-2-1 and I occasionally watch the reruns on "Challenge TV" in the hope of catching it again.
 
I stumbled on Smash Flops while Googling during a moment of nostalgic reverie and was thrilled to discover that some Pete's back-catalogue is still available. I quickly rushed in an order for BOTBS/DTMA and am happily renewing my acquaintance. Sadly, I'm still unfamiliar with most of Pete's stuff and now fear that I will never get round to much of it.  
 
Who has the Master Tapes?
 
Favourite song at the moment? ... Girl On The Train ... today anyway.
 
I'll keep in touch.
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Gerry Smith
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Re: New members
« Reply #15: 20.09.07 at 14:29 »
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Hi Mick, and welcome aboard.  Look, never mind the old stuff, Pete is about to release a brand new CD of material from the 70's albums but completely re-worked.  It'll be well worth having, judging by the two sample tracks available to listen to on the PA (Smash Flops) website. And when you order, why not get hold of 'Winter Spring' while you're about it, a CD of brand new material released about four years ago.
 
Gerry
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BogusTrumper
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Re: New members
« Reply #16: 21.09.07 at 02:23 »
Quote

on 20.09.07 at 13:24, MickH wrote:

I'm 50 years old.

 
Many of us are of that vintage.....
 
Welcome to the fold   Grin
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Jan
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Re: New members
« Reply #17: 21.09.07 at 13:57 »
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Welcome to MV MickH.  
You were wise to buy BOTBS/DTMA from the Hillside shop. Someone has just paid £36 for a copy on Ebay! Copies of the remaining re-issue CDs do come up for sale quite regularly but the prices are rising, expect to pay around £50. As Gerry says it would be a good idea to concentrate on the new stuff and don't miss the Lakeside Sessions a collection of songs which didn't get included on the original commercial recordings, some of those songs are very special.
If you want to read the history of the original recordings there is an  FAQ  
There are also some developments at www.flyrecords.co.uk, you could contact them for more details.
 
Jan
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Re: New members
« Reply #18: 14.11.07 at 15:20 »
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[i][/i]Well just having come back to the boards after a long absence thought I'd put in my two'pennorth I met Pete and possibly maybe Clive many years ago at the Footlights in Swiss Cottage London, I rediscovered them about a year or so ago never having forgotten what I heard from them back then especially...the Honky Tonk Train always stuck in my memory even among the rapidly diminishing brain cells I still my have in my possession  Currently I reside in Los Botines, Laredo Texas  and my abode is an RV (winnebago type thingy) though you would never think you're on the USA side of the border here Grin oh I crash landed on this blob of rock spinning in the infinitesimal void of outer space 42 blimms past a splot ago roughly equivalent to 56 of your earth years!
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Re: New members
« Reply #19: 25.11.07 at 23:54 »
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Hello. Delighted to be here. Lloyd67 is my handle but i'm Andy Lord from Watford.
 
I first heard Petes music on the John Peel show in 1974 when I was 15. John, who I followed through his punk years and who I still miss, played Tenderfoot from Secret Drinker and I was pretty well hooked. What a song that is!! Its still my favourite.
 
However I think The Road of Silk is my favourite album, with Pay Day Evening and an Array of Passionate Lovers pretty close to Tenderfoots genius.
 
I really would like to see Pete.. if you're there Pete i'm honoured... perform live. I'm going to come to Bristol if I have to from Watford but wonder if there are any tours or gigs around Herts/Bucks/London in the offing?
 
I almost got to see a gig quite by accident and bizarrely. My friend had a stag weekend in I think 1997. It was a moderate affair with a lot of moderation as he's a sensible chap but it was a good occasion nonetheless. We went for a walk along the Devon coast and came in a bit to a village whose name I cannot remember. On the village hall was posters advertising the village fair... and Pete was perfoming!! They had a poster of the album cover to secret drinker on the door.. but it was next week. Gutted. I would have abandoned my chums for that afternoon I can tell you.
 
Best,
 
Andy.
 
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