Midnight Voices (https://www.peteatkin.com/cgi-bin/mv/YaBB.cgi)
Pete Atkin >> Members >> New members
(Message started by: S J Birkill on Today at 19:48)

Title: New members
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 19:48
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

Title: Re: New members
Post by a on 05.07.05 at 08:44
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.

Title: Re: New members
Post by andylow on 06.12.05 at 14:23
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 ;)

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.


* - 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 ;)

Title: Re: New members
Post by karen on 10.05.06 at 11:22
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


Title: Re: New members
Post by S J Birkill on 14.05.06 at 10:56
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.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Jan on 14.05.06 at 15:59
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?

Title: Re: New members
Post by Keith Busby on 14.05.06 at 21:13

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 ( :o ) 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,


Title: Re: New members
Post by Murray McGlew on 16.05.06 at 11:53

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.


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.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Dr_Sir_Rev_Steve on 17.05.06 at 13:12
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

Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 21.05.06 at 20:46

on 05/14/06 at 10:56:59, 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.


And one from ex Turkey, ex Kenya, ex New York and now Iowa  :D

Title: Re: New members
Post by Lizzi on 16.08.06 at 23:40
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

Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 22.09.06 at 00:06
Just thought I would bring this one back to the recent posts list   ;)

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  ;) ), 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"

Title: Re: New members (long-ish)
Post by Andrew_Curry on 01.10.06 at 22:32
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.




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.

Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 02.10.06 at 21:28
Longish is way better than nothing at all, and might even be preferable to shortish   ;D

Title: Re: New members
Post by MickH on 20.09.07 at 13:24
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.


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.

Title: Re: New members
Post by Gerry Smith on 20.09.07 at 14:29
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.


Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 21.09.07 at 02:23

on 09/20/07 at 13:24:24, MickH wrote :
I'm 50 years old.

Many of us are of that vintage.....

Welcome to the fold   ;D

Title: Re: New members
Post by Jan on 21.09.07 at 13:57
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 (http://www.peteatkin.com/cgi-bin/mv/YaBB.cgi?board=atkinfaq;action=display;num=1096795199)
There are also some developments at www.flyrecords.co.uk, you could contact them for more details.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Leonardo_Rainbow on 14.11.07 at 15:20
[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 ;D 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!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Lloyd67 on 25.11.07 at 23:54
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.



Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 26.11.07 at 13:15
Welcome to the forums.  And as a matter of interest, how did you find us?  Not that we are hiding.......  :)

Title: Re: New members
Post by Lloyd67 on 29.11.07 at 23:19
You're certainly not hiding!
Google Pete Atkin, then Pete Atkin Smash Flop Hits home page at peteatkin.com, then Forums.

Any gigs coming up, hopefully nearer to London but I will travel.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 07.12.07 at 14:50
That was how I found the Smash Flops website some four years ago, and I have been spreading the word ever since.

Will Pete come back to the Ravenswood again - or better still the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead with Clive.

In case I don't post again before Yuletide

Seasons Greetings to one and all and all the best for 2008


Title: Re: New members
Post by anniola on 02.04.08 at 18:50
Hiya all! New member, anniola, here. I was introduced to the music of Pete Atkin in the early 70s {by the man who broke my heart} and have only recently come back to the fold courtesy of t'net. Still love King At Nightfall best, but will deffo get Midnight Voices when it's back in stock.

Title: Re: New members
Post by S J Birkill on 02.04.08 at 20:01

on 04/02/08 at 18:50:28, anniola wrote :
will deffo get Midnight Voices when it's back in stock.

Hiya anniola!

Good to hear your voice on the Forum so soon after joining. Just a suggestion: rather than wait for amazoon, why don't you place an order direct with Pete at Hillside Music (http://www.peteatkin.com/hillshop.htm)? That way you'll get it sooner, and you could request a personally autographed copy! Or come along to Wavendon on Friday, pick up a copy and have a chat with the man after the show...


Title: Re: New members
Post by Richard_B on 05.01.09 at 00:15
Hi all

I was last around about 4 years ago, in the days of the old email list, and enjoyed the chat very much. Time and circumstances changed, and I drifted away, but now I have come back to see what's new :)

I was first introduced to Pete and Clive while at Uni in 1972-3 and bought/borrowed/blagged and even (oops) recorded all of the albums.  I also saw Pete in concert a couple of times.  The music was a huge part of my youth.  Much later, I got in touch with Pete through the BBC (I heard he was producer of the programme I was listening to, and thought - is it really?) and asked if he was planning on doing any more recording or touring.  His answer was, basically, not bloody likely, but he was kind enough to send me a cassette tape - this was before the days of CDs - of some stuff I knew and some that was new to me, and I thought that was an incredibly kind gesture.

My next contact was after a lazy trawl through Google, which threw up Smash Flops and the email list, which I joined, and which led me to see Pete and Clive in concert in Cardiff in (I think) 2004-ish.  I got all the albums on CD, and later on the newer material.  Finally, this Christmas, Santa brought me Midnight Voices Vol 1.  So my world is complete.

Sorry to witter on.  I'm glad to be back, and looking forward to some interesting conversation in here.  Hello to everyone.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Jan on 06.01.09 at 00:09
Hi Richard,
Welcome back!
Weren't you one of the MVs who met in a strange, foodless pub opposite the St David's Hall in Cardiff before the concert? I still feel guilty for suggesting such a weird place, but then it had been the public library in a previous existence.

Title: Re: New members
Post by Richard_B on 07.01.09 at 16:24
Yes, that was me - with wife Di.  She still wears the little guitar-shaped badge I got her at the event.

What a strange pub that was!  It reminded me a bit of an airport lounge - lots of space, few people, and an air of transience.  Please don't feel guilty about the location, though.  It was an experience.  What's a bit of hunger when a place is so - er - interesting?

It was a great evening, though; very enjoyable.  We must meet up again, at the next one (hint).

Title: Re: New members
Post by Richard_B on 07.01.09 at 16:25
Oh, and I had a beard and a lot more hair then!  Just thought I would say.

Title: Re: New members
Post by CherryEdwards on 12.01.09 at 10:26
Hello :)  I'm Cherry.  I was first introduced to 'The Beautiful Stranger' (;)) when I was only about 8.  My uncle had the original record, and he and my mum were reminiscing.  I had a very bad copy on cassette that my sister made for me, and was prompted to 'google' when I tried to find it this weekend and failed.  I looked last Summer to see if I could get a copy on cd and didn't have a lot of luck, so was amazed to find one yesterday on play.com.  I found this forum looking up the lyrics to 'Have you got a biro...' .  

I visit London most weekends these days so am disappointed to have missed the Walthamstow thing on Sunday, and plan to bring mum along to something folky some time this year.  She has just got back into doing folk music type things, and even has a myspace page!  She's more up-to-date than I am!http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=324885013

Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 13.01.09 at 23:04
Hi Cherry, and welcome.

Hang around and chat!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Paul Leighton on 16.01.09 at 14:03
Cherry, we are delighted to have you with us...and contrary to popular opinion not all of us are grizzled oldies who discovered Pete and his music last century! I plead guilty to having been introduced to his music when I first went to University in Nottingham! Oh, damn, it WAS last century!   OK, I was 18...not 8! (1970, Heaven help us).

Good to know that you enjoy the music and have found this site.  Hope you enjoy the banter here. You will have noticed that we are really fortunate in Demon (Edsel) records re-releasing all the original material, with some bonus tracks.  
Best wishes to you and your folky Mum!

Title: Re: New members
Post by greycat on 13.02.09 at 22:52
[quote author=S J Birkill link=board=members;num=1120416491;start=0#0 date=07/03/05 at 19:48:11]Well, it's fallen mighty calm around here, don't you think?

You're still finding us, trickling into the fold some 8 years after we started it all.

And I've just trickled in almost 5 years after you wrote this

So what brings you here?

Mmm... random googling I think! I bookmarked MV some time ago but didn't join, then mislaid the bookmark amongst 100s of others. Just came across ot again recently.

How did you first encounter Pete's music?

A gig at Durham University circa 1974. I hadn't gone deliberately to see Pete  (I'd never heard of him), I was in my A level year at a local school & it was part of a "Why you should go to Durham University" thing. It didn't convince me to do that, but did convince me to buy "The Road of Silk" with my next pay as a Saturday Girl in Woolworths...  Went to see him again at Bradford Uni in 1976; in full knowledge of what I was doing this time! Bought Secret Drinker...

What made you stay faithful through all the wilderness years?

Purely & simply, love of the music/lyrics. I got part of Secret Drinker & all of RoS put on CD in the early days of that technology - boy, can you hear the scratches! they're always on any MP3 player I carry...
I've got all of the re-releases on my Amazon wishlist, & brought it to the attention of my daughter & husband; got a birthday coming up soon  :P If they don't come through I'll just have to fork out myself.

What's your favourite Atkin song, and why?

Good grief I couldn't begin to choose!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Douglas Fergus on 07.03.09 at 12:05
My name is Douglas..............I'm a Pete Atkin fan

What brings me here?

I have been aware of MV for some time, but decided to sign up when I learnt  (by chance) of the recent re-issues.

How did I first encounter Pete's music?

Through an old friend - Ian Sorensen  (Hi Ian!)

What made me stay faithful through the wilderness years?

When my vinyl collection went the way of most vinyl, Pete's LPs were some of the very few I transferred to cassette tape.

What's my favourite Atkin song?

So many to choose from. I could pick anything from DTMA or the original Side One of AKAN.
I'll go for Carnations On The Roof.


The track that's been in my head since trying to obtain a cd copy.
The macabre humour, Pete's vocal delivery and a cracking tune - quasi motown backbeat and an inspired string arrangement over the chorus.

Where would I like MV to go?

Just keep on what you're doing.
Terrific stuff!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 07.03.09 at 14:46
Welcome aboard Douglas

No prizes for guessing which my favourite PA/CJ song is.  

Have you explored the new songs - I Have To Learn is close to perfection My Brother's Keeper compares favourably with the 1970s classics.  I am sure that the good people at Hillside Music would be most happy to furnish you with the CDs

Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 08.03.09 at 18:01
Welcome!!  :)

Title: Re: New members
Post by JT on 20.05.09 at 08:13
Hi I'm Jonathan, and probably the youngest member of the forum at 14 years of age. I found PA/CJ songs after listening to my dad play them time and again. I loved them once he stopped playing them and I could come back to them with a fresh ear.
Favourite song at the moment is probably Between Us There Is Nothing, the lyrics, the music, the whole package fits more smoothly than any song ever written. I always remember fast-forwarding through it to find Carnations on the Roof, because I knew that I liked that (I was 8) then I thought something along the lines of "hey, I like this song that I continually fast forward through" and I was hooked. Sadly I have never seen Pete live, but some day...
Got to dash-School!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Rob Spence on 20.05.09 at 20:58
Finally, I can say I'm down with da kidz...
Loved that line about liking the songs after dad stopped playing them...
Welcome, JT. You've got years of enjoyment ahead.

Title: Re: New members
Post by StuartH on 02.09.09 at 22:25
Eee, I remember when this was just a weekly email, and now it's all fields and HTML and stuff...

Recap - My fanship (neologisms'r'us) goes back to a half-hour Footlights TV show in, I think, 1968.  Grainy black&white of course, but I had the reel-to-reel 4-track handy and the mic was working that day.  Clocked the names Atkin, James and Covington, attempted to work out some of the songs.  Unfortunately my notes went missing long before I ever performed any, so my version of "For Instance" always had an inferior line or two interpolated.  

(What happened to the tape?  Sorry, I kept all my tapes until long after they must have become unplayable, but they went about 15 years ago, in a house move along with my A-level notes of even vintage.  Couldn't make sense of those either)  

I think I fell off the old board while trying to write a review of the Cambridge concert in 2002- or -3ish?  and I think I saw the file ("Bringing_it_all_back_home.doc") deleted while clearing out from my last job.  I can't remember any of what I was going to say except something about "... the sublime Dreamboat".  That one must be up there with BOTBS as my favourite: just read those lyrics.  Go on, do it - now don't they put nearly every lyric you've ever seen to shame?  Even most of the first-generation CJ lyrics?  All they need is a perfectly apposite tune, which, ahahaha, PA has supplied.  Magic!

I'm back aboard through a combination of circs, including under-employment and the consequent increase in "free" time spent at my local public library, where I discovered the fact of the recent reissues.  Nice to see a few names still here that I recognise, and to be recognised myself (instantly) by SJB.  Fame at last.

And can I now play Sessionman's Blues?  I do believe I'll have a go...

Title: Re: New members
Post by Lynn on 05.11.09 at 19:07
Hello everyone.  Having been a reader of various forums over the years but never feeling the desire to sign up to one, here I am.  Midnight Voices finally won me over.  Mind you it's taken me several weeks before venturing to make a comment.

But here goes.......

I think the first of Pete Atkin's albums I bought was Secret Drinker, although it could have been Driving Through Mythical America.  I then bought Live Libel and Master of the Revels.  It then took me several years to manage to get hold of A King at Nightfall and The Road of Silk.  I then waited, and waited some more, and then waited a bit longer but no more albums came to light.  Vinyl became harder to play (lack of record decks) so I had some tracks copied on to mini disc (remember them?) and onto cassette so I could at least still have the occasional listen.  CD soon dominated and so I was stuck - I did look every so often on various music sites to see if the albums were on CD but to no avail.  They were either out of stock and no more for the foreseeable future or people wanted to sell them for upwards of 40 quid!!!!

My husband did find Winter Spring for me and I was extremely pleased, however, I still wanted the old albums.  Then last June I got the best birthday present ever!!! My fabulous husband bought all of the albums - now rereleased on CD.  I think I told everyone who would stand still long enough to listen - mind you, most of then looked at me blankly or just nodded kindly.  I was obviously the only person who knew who Pete Atkin was.  But I didn't care.  The albums are now on my ipod and I'm loving everyone again.

Which track is my favourite?  Wow - that's a difficult one.  Secret Drinker...Beware of the Beautiful Stranger.....Master of the Revels.....Ballad of an Upstairs Window....Be Careful when they offer you the Moon...Girl on the Train.....Shadow and the Widower  ????  To be honest the list could go on (and on and on).  I'm not sure there is a track I dislike at all.  I think if I had to choose one for my Desert Island Disc it would have to be Beautiful Stranger or maybe Secret Drinker or..........  sorry can't decide, although it would definately be one of those two, I think, perhaps.....

I do regret making the decision not to go to a gig (many moons ago) - Pete was playing at a venue very local to me but I was a teenager and would have had to go alone, so said (rather stupidly in hindsight) - I won't bother, I'll wait til next time.  Well, I'm still waiting!  I am determined to get to a gig eventually - better late than never.

I've just thought, Winter Spring isn't on my ipod - must go and remedy that right now.

Well, thank you to anyone who got to the end of this rambling message but it's lovely to know that anyone who reads it will at least know who and what I'm talking about.

Wow - my first ever posting on a forum.

Best wishes to all

Title: Re: New members
Post by Rob Spence on 05.11.09 at 21:04
Welcome Lynn
Your account will have chimed with that of many people of this parish. It's very gratifying that you have chosen us to make your forum post. I hope you'll make many more. Glad to have you aboard!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Jan on 08.11.09 at 19:01
Welcome to Midnight Voices Lynn!
Your message struck a chord with me. By Nov 1974 I was a confirmed Atkin fan but had never been to a gig. I saw a poster for an Atkin gig at Manchester Polytechnic on Nov 5th. My then boyfriend (now husband!) refused to come with me and I didn't fancy travelling back to Sale on my own so I missed out, regretted it for years and didn't actually see Pete Atkin live until 26 years later in May 2000, he sang Laughing boy and his voice was exactly the same as all those years ago on the record. I was surprised when I saw the list of gigs from the 70's how close I'd been on a number of occasions. (I have made up for lost time however in my more recent gig attendance  :cool:  )
If you feel like purchasing more Atkin material I can thoroughly recommend the Lakeside Sessions, available from the Hillside Shop I believe.
Some of the songs predate Beware of the beautiful stranger and others were intended for the never released 7th album. Most of them are worth hearing!
Hope to see you at a future gig!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Jubal Barca on 01.02.10 at 21:12

Tad daunting being around people who were listening to Pete well before I was born, but Hi anyhow.

I'm a teenage oddball from Norfolk... I like writing and singing and stuff, and I love Pete's music to bits. I've even performed a couple of his pieces at school music festivals and so on, which is good fun as long as I can find a guitarist who knows the chords...

Title: Re: New members
Post by Paul Leighton on 02.02.10 at 10:51
Hi Jubal,

And a very warm welcome to the most friendly bunch of oddballs you are likely to encounter!  My wife thinks we are all a bit potty ...but has ended up almost as enthusiastic about Pete's music as I have been since ( ahem, cough...) 1971!

Enjoy Midnight Voices!
Best wishes

Title: Re: New members
Post by Pete Atkin on 06.02.10 at 09:22
Yes, big welcome, Jubal.  Clive and I are always specially pleased to know that anyone under the age of aaaggghhem is listening to our stuff, letting alone having a go at playing it.  I hope you'll find the answers you need to any chord questions on the website, but if there's anything with chords missing which you'd like to have, let us know and I'll get them to that nice Mr Birkill so's he can make them available.  And that also goes for any tips or tricks you might need to get your fingers around this or that.  I'm a lazy guitarist myself and  use a lot of cheats to get around large inadequacies in my technique and I'll gladly pass them on.

But mostly do let us know what you think.  And don't worry if you think some question or other must have been asked before.  Clive and I have learned a lot ourselves answers and contributions here.

All the best - Pete

Title: Re: New members
Post by Angie P on 17.02.10 at 16:27
Hi all,

I think I am probably the latest member, although it's taken me a while to work up the courage to join!  Bit new to this forum lark...

OK, so when did I first listen to PA/CJ's work?  In the 70s my brother owned BOTBS and MTDA and I think we must have played them pretty much constantly for about 5 years.  Whenever I think about my teenage years, these songs provide the soundtrack to my life at that time.  When I left home I left the albums and I didn't hear them for many, many years.  Until... this Christmas at the annual sibling get-together we started to talk of the songs and were amazed that we could still sing them all (and did!)  Having re-acquainted myself with the original two albums (the power of the lyrics has not diminished with the passing of the years) I am delighted to discover there are many songs I don't yet know... am working my way through them slowly.

To my shame and regret, I have never seen PA perform, but would love to do so, so does anyone know of plans for anything this year?  Also, you seem quite a far-flung bunch - anyone from Hertfordshire way?

I don't want to bore you too much on my first post so just want to say that I am delighted to welcome these songs back into my life and pleased to find I am not alone in my passion.

Take care,


Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 19.02.10 at 21:45
Welcome!!  Don't worry, we are a pretty friendly bunch, and are usually very willing to read lonng posts, so "talk" as much as you like!

And I am in Iowa, where they are promising the temperature will get above freezing by the end of the month :(

Title: Re: New members
Post by Leslie Moss on 22.02.10 at 17:55

on 02/17/10 at 16:27:15, Angie P wrote :
To my shame and regret, I have never seen PA perform, but would love to do so, so does anyone know of plans for anything this year?  Also, you seem quite a far-flung bunch - anyone from Hertfordshire way?

Hi Angie, and welcome to Midnight Voices, or what one member once described as Planet Midvodian. We are a most diverse lot, linked by two things only - the lyrics and the music.

I don't know of any performances planned this year, but Pete usually shows up in the London area on a regular basis. I'm from Middlesex btw (Pinner) so not too far-flung I trust. When the occasion arises, I'd be delighted if you'd join me/us at or before the venue for a bite/drink.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Jonto on 25.02.10 at 14:02
Apologies Angie, I have taken over the position of latest recruit. Having said that I was a subscriber several years ago (when 'dial up' internet was the rage) but circumstances (family, job etc) precluded active participation.
Reading the posts I'm glad to see that time has 'not aged or wearied' the Midnight Voices clan.

I first saw PA at Kingston Poly in about 1974 or 5, where he was the support act for Caravan. PA was alone with his acoustic and got three encores. Well that's all he came ack for I guess he had had enough after performing a brilliant set and need to perch high on the bar stool  - who can blame him?

Pete was in a play I saw in London at a small theatre which I forget, in about the early eighties. Sorry, can't remember the name of the play someone might be able to enlighten us.

Anyway, glad to be back and maybe meet up at a PA concert sometime.



Title: Re: New members
Post by Leslie Moss on 25.02.10 at 17:20

on 02/25/10 at 14:02:47, Jonto wrote :
Pete was in a play I saw in London at a small theatre which I forget, in about the early eighties. Sorry, can't remember the name of the play someone might be able to enlighten us.

The play was called "A & R" (as in Artists and Repertoire) and was written by Pete himself - he also had a small role.  He also wrote some songs for the play, two of which have entered his own performing repertoire - "Over the High Side" and "Amy's Blues". Both of them are great songs and easily up to his normal standard - indeed they are both amongst my favourites of his, can can be found on the Lakeside Sessions album.

A & R was performed at the Donmar Warehouse in 1978 - to my knowledge the only run. I too remember seeing it there.

You can find more information, including details of some other songs, at



Title: Re: New members
Post by Angie P on 25.02.10 at 18:10
Welcome, Jonto.  Glad not to be the new kid on the block any longer!!

Thanks, Leslie, that sounds like a plan - keep me posted.

Hope it's warming up in Iowa, Bogus - it's still pretty damn cold and wet in Hertfordshire!


Title: Re: New members
Post by Jan on 26.02.10 at 01:48

on 02/25/10 at 17:20:24, Leslie Moss wrote :
A & R was performed at the Donmar Warehouse in 1978 - to my knowledge the only run.

If you have a look at
and go down to 1977 you'll find that it was commissioned by Chris Parr at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh and first performed there in 1977.
There's a copy of the script in the National Library in Scotland
and the script of the London version in Stratford with the RSC archives.


Title: Re: New members
Post by BogusTrumper on 26.02.10 at 13:35

on 02/25/10 at 18:10:34, Angie P wrote :
Welcome, Jonto.  Glad not to be the new kid on the block any longer!!

Thanks, Leslie, that sounds like a plan - keep me posted.

Hope it's warming up in Iowa, Bogus - it's still pretty damn cold and wet in Hertfordshire!


They are promising the highe will get above freezing by Tuesday.  I think we have been above freezing twice since Christmas!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Jonto on 27.02.10 at 12:39
Thanks Jan and Leslie re the A & R play. It's been bugging me for years. Was it really thirty two years ago?

Title: Re: New members
Post by alan43 on 24.08.16 at 23:26
I've just been born. password still wet. First saw PA at Ampthill fok club (held in Rugby Cluhouse) May ? 1973 when my wife won the raffle. Copy of A king at Nightfall. i still play it 43 years later. very grateful so much has been added to YT recently as its been frustrating for years typing CJ' s lyrics to impress friends without being able to add PA's equally genius level music and arrangements.

Do the two stars realise how lucky they have been not to have realised their dream of becoming huge pop stars? Huge pop stars run correspondingly huge  risks of dying of sexual exhaustion before 27 (stop smiling Clive) and if they survive that they run a huge risk of dying at 27 from ingestion of a foreign substance ,usually lead or drugs .(but it can be earth or water). That bus may have come along much earlier when Pete was 27 and he would have been unlikely to have survived ingesting it. Although he would have had the consolation of being ,as far as I know, the first pop star to have died of ingesting a bus.Had they both survived the age of 27 then they would have faced a second dangerous peak at age 38 by which time the risk of sexual exhaustion is still high but much more economically  achieved. This second pop star peak is not necessarily accompanied by ingestion of a foreign substance and can include natural causes.

I congratulate them both on having the presence of mind  and prescience to avoid the massive stardom their lyrics and music deserved . It was a decision I also made altho I for one was willing to risk the sexual exhaustion. As I grew up within 16 miles of Cambrige there was a fat chance of that as most local girls were throwing themselves at the smart arsed undergrads in Cambridge (as our heroes know only too well) , and those that were left were snapped up by overpaid USAAF guys dripping dollars from nearby Lakenheath , Feltwell,Mildenhall etc. I would venture to suggest that in no other part of Britain was so much effort expended by natives in pursuit of sex with so little reward. We would have given our eye teeth to have been scared by a beautiful stranger.No wonder we fenlanders developed incest and inbreeding into practically artforms.

Anyway enuff of complaining altho as a pensioner I'm entitled to a lot more I intend to build up slowly.

Title: Re: New members
Post by S J Birkill on 26.08.16 at 04:20
Hello Alan

Thank you for the bold introduction! I wish more people would do this, and remind us of MV's heyday in the late '90s, when MV was a 900-member e-mail list, and notes were compared and friendships formed. Alas, most of the recent newcomers to the fold have accepted their log-in and posting privileges and gone very, very quiet, perhaps never to speak again, or (in most cases) at all. We need some momentum here to encourage the non-regulars to check back more frequently, read the new posts and offer their two-penn'orth. As you've no doubt said yourself, every little helps!


PS: Anyone else out there reading this: what do you think of our new phone-optimised per-song player? When complete, this will enable you, or anyone, to share a link to play any of the songs -- perfect for illustrating blog or social network posts, it will feature in the electronic edition of Ian Shircore's forthcoming book, Loose Canon. Still a work in progress (so far I've included only the BotBS and some DTMA tracks), it can be previewed via the Discography (http://www.peteatkin.com/disworks.htm#stranger) (look for the new 'Play' buttons), or dive in at http://www.peteatkin.com/play/a1.htm.


Title: Re: New members
Post by konig on 23.04.19 at 18:47
Hello -

I am new to the board and thank you for letting me in.  I am mostly a collector and musician, but I collect folk music from the Uk.  And even though I have read several times that Pete Akins, Julie Covington first albums "The Party's Moving On" and "While The Music Lasts" are heavily moderated and copyrighted, I do respect that; but I am not a distributor or enterprise or any label and do not at all share my recordings, I would still like a digital copy of those two albums as a direct recording off the vinyl itself, tape, cdr or mp3.  The other reason I ask is that those excellent lp's are nearly unobtainable and the cost is way above what I could ever pay directly.  So if anyone would be so kind as to PM me or send me a note with the files, It would greatly appreciated!  Thank you!


Title: Re: New members
Post by Ian Dawson on 05.05.19 at 23:27
Since I'm a statistic on the home page (newest member, since 23.18 yesterday - not quite a midnight voice: should have thought about better timing my membership application), I thought it polite to say hello.

Until 2019, I had managed to spend 55 years on this planet without hearing anything by Pete Atkin.  Imagine.  Born in 1963, perhaps I would have had to have been quite precocious in my musical taste, or be blessed with parents with some, to light on Pete's records in the early 70s.  I was a bit young to be a proper punk, too, but what they now call post-punk formed the foundation of my youthful record collection, though my tastes broadened over the years.

Recently I have been reading Clive's later writings and while looking into something on the BBC Radio IPlayer (can't be doing with BBC Sounds), I came across the documentary about Pete & Clive in which Stephen Fry said, If you aren't familiar with Pete & Clive's songs, frankly you'd better get on with it.  How right he is.  I was hugely taken during that programme with the cleverness of the lyrics (I'm another English Lit graduate, from a different, older, university...), the range of musical styles, and the fit of lyrics and music.  Purchases on Discogs followed and more recent recordings came from Hillside.  I've spent many fulfilling hours getting to know the songs, album by album, rather as I would have had I bought them at the right time.

2 thoughts, doubtless already covered in the thousands of messages preceding my belated arrival here, but I thought I would share these before shutting up.

Listening on vinyl removes the temptation to skip to the next track if a song doesn't grab you immediately.  I've been conscious of this temptation a few times in listening to Pete's early albums, but is it worth getting out of the chair, lifting the needle, mis-cueing (sp?) the next track two or three times? No: just let the album play, all the tracks, in the right order, as the artist intended.  And so subtle pieces get their proper chance and often become favourites.
I find I have a different earworm every time I listen to Pete's songs, which I think is an indication that this body of work has range and depth in equal measure.  It's not at all a case of a small number of catchy tunes, a few killers and loads of filler.  Any of these songs can lodge in the mind for a while.

Good to 'meet' you all.


Title: Re: New members
Post by Carole on 06.05.19 at 00:17
Welcome, Ian  - good to have you on board! That was a great message. Please don't shut up, we need more like that on the Forum!


Title: Re: New members
Post by fueryhk on 15.09.19 at 12:38
More of an old member returning to the fold than a new member, but glad to be back and delighed to see familiar names like Colin Boag and Ian Chippett from the board's original incarnation as a first generation chat board in late 97/early 98.

Since I was last here, I've left Vietnam, been back to Hong Kong, had a disastrous stint in Dubai and went back to HK again. After getting laid off after I broke my ankle, I set up a reasonably sucessful freelance writing consultancy and eventually moved to Roscommon in Ireland just over six years ago.

If anyone is really that interested in my wanderings, they might be interested in the book I self-published, Good Morning, Mr. Sh*ttybottom, and have just revised and republished on Amazon Kindle.


Did send gratis copies to Pete and Clive in the hope they might have had a wonky table leg or two under which said tome might find a useful home. Books went out to Pete c/o Hillside a couple of weeks back but not sure if they got there.

While the book sold hardly any copies - no indication of quality as every fan of PA/CJ knows - did end up getting banned in 16 countries across the Middle East.

Still trying to spread the word in rural ireland!

John F

Title: Re: New members
Post by Stephen Butcher on 09.09.20 at 22:36
As the latest new member, the admin and fellow SJB Steve tells me that the form is to post a description of myself, so here goes:

I was a contemporary of Pete's at Cambridge. Although we moved in the same theatrical circles, I didn't know him that well as I was mainly involved in the more dramatic side. I was only an associate member of the Footlights, so I could go to the smokers. For the uninitiated "smokers", or "smoking concerts" were members only occasions when new material and/or performers were tried out. I would occasionally also lunch in the clubroom, where I might find myself sharing the long table with the Footlights' big beasts, like Clive James and Germaine Greer.

My one venture into revue was to direct the Cambridge one for the Edinburgh Festival in 1966 ("Best Laid Mice") when the Footlights, unusually and for some forgotten reason, didn't go.  Richard Cork, now an esteemed art critic, memorably performed Pete's "Ballad of an Upstairs Window".  David Hare, now even more esteemed, would probably prefer not to remember performing a boater and cane routine. The MD was Daryl Runswick, who I was to hire some 10 years later to compose terrific settings of poems by François Villon for a drama I was directing for Granada Television ("The Testament of François Villon" by Peter Wildeblood).

Pete's stature as a composer built towards the end of my time at Cambridge to a triumph in the 1967 Footlights' May Week revue, "Supernatural Gas", which I reviewed for the student newspaper, Varsity. I commented "...there is an unusually high number of serious songs", most, if not all of them, composed by Pete. This was justified because "the cast includes two such accomplished singers as Diana Lubbock and Julie Covington". Julie's name will be familiar - whatever happened to Di? I ended: "It is undoubtedly the best (revue) of the last three years, and the only one I found myself wishing would not end." For that judgement Pete must take much of the credit.

Over 50 years ago! How is that possible?!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Stephen Butcher on 10.09.20 at 12:35

on 05/05/19 at 23:27:30, Ian Dawson wrote :
I find I have a different earworm every time I listen to Pete's songs,

Tell me about it, Ian! "Ballad of an Upstairs Window" is the worst. I should know, I've been living with it since 1966!

Title: Re: New members
Post by Pete Atkin on 19.09.20 at 17:53
Hello, Stephen - welcome!   I wish I could say that I have vivid and lasting memories of you from our Footlights time, but I do remember your name.   You're right - many or even most Footlights people also indulged in 'straight' theatre, but I regret to say I didn't, for no good reason other than diffidence and cowardice.

You are exceptionally generous in what you say about my participation in 'Supernatural Gas' (I do still have a copy of your review in my scrapbook - gulp!), but big fun though it was for me, there was quite a large cast, all of whom were much funnier than me.   I'm afraid I can't tell you what happened to Diana Lubbock, except that she didn't go on into the biz.

One small correction:   'Ballad of an Upstairs Window' was performed in that Edinburgh show by Ray Elmitt, not Richard Cork.   My guess is that Richard would be astonished and perhaps embarrassed by the suggestion!  I do remember him being around, though.   He married Vena Jackson, who was one of Julie's many talented contemporaries at Homerton (including also Maggie (Scott) Henderson, and the actress Jan Harvey).   Vena (as Vena Cork) has written two or three rather good crime novels, in one of which she invented a (fictional) Cambridge college on the site of the church that's at the junction of Northampton Street, Bridge Street, Chesterton Lane, and Castle Hill - a brilliant idea.   Now there's a string of connections for you.

Here's to us meeting somewhere some time before too long.

Title: Re: New members
Post by Stephen Butcher on 30.09.20 at 18:40

on 09/19/20 at 17:53:39, Pete Atkin wrote :
One small correction:   'Ballad of an Upstairs Window' was performed in that Edinburgh show by Ray Elmitt, not Richard Cork.   My guess is that Richard would be astonished and perhaps embarrassed by the suggestion!

Hi Pete -

Great to hear from you and apologies for the delay in replying. I thought I had set up email notifications but maybe not! I am not surprised your memory of me is limited as I was a mere associate member of Footlights. I stand by my recollection of your songs being the absolute high spots of "Supernatural Gas", although I admit it was full of other delights - a vintage year! However I also stand by by recollection of Richard Cork's rendition of "Ballad of an Upstairs Window". I suspect we are both right. Ray Elmitt was probably at the festival the year after I was there. I shall attempt to upload scans of the programme of "Best Laid Mice". (Not the greatest title but the best we could come up with. "Knox Twice and Ask For Rosie" was the second choice, I ask you!).

I am intrigued by Vena Cork's books which I had not heard of - I must look them out. I didn't know Jan Harvey at Cambridge but she became a terrific actress who I worked with several times both on television and in the theatre (a rather weird fringe offering called "Pieties") early in my career but unfortunately I have lost touch with her in recent years.

Thank you for the opportunity of reminiscing about Cambridge. Great days!

All the best,

https://www.peteatkin.com/userpics/487239(SteveB21)Best Laid Mice 01.jpg
https://www.peteatkin.com/userpics/487371(SteveB21)Best Laid Mice 02.jpg
https://www.peteatkin.com/userpics/487322(SteveB21)Best Laid Mice 03.jpg  

Title: Re: New members
Post by Stephen Butcher on 01.10.20 at 18:16
P.S. to my previous post, Pete.

I subsequently came across the press reviews for "Best Laid Mice", pretty mixed. The most scathing was by Peter Cochrane in Varsity, which, considering he was front of house manager for the show, is somewhat galling! The nicest was by Deryck Harvey but I recall he was always a bit of a soft touch. In an otherwise not terribly favourable one in The Stage I was pleased to read their approval of "Richard Cork, a slim young man who can put over a humorous song without overplaying the punch lines" - I think we know to which humorous song that refers!

I also discovered a few very badly typed scripts of some of the sketches including the lyrics of "Ballad of an Upstairs Window", complete with a directorial note "Chair DRC", doubtless the only bit of direction required.

I followed up your info on Vena Cork and have ordered the first of the Thorn trilogy from Ebay. Not sure if that is the one with the Cambridge setting, but I thought I should read them in order. A quick investigate on Google Maps would seem to indicate that the church to which you refer is St. Giles', opposite Kettle's Yard.

I really should get out more, but thanks to coronavirus......

Title: Re: New members
Post by S J Birkill on 01.10.20 at 21:14
Hi Stephen

The other church at that junction is the desanctified St Peter's, right next to Kettle's Yard where I met up with Pete a year ago this week, prior to our last meeting with Clive. What a day that was! We had a look inside the tiny, one-room church (the smallest in Cambridge) which was at that time hosting Susan Stockwell's 'Trade Winds (http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/28734)' installation.

Title: Re: New members
Post by Stephen Butcher on 09.10.20 at 16:44

on 10/01/20 at 21:14:27, S J Birkill wrote :
The other church at that junction is the desanctified St Peter's, right next to Kettle's Yard where I met up with Pete a year ago this week, prior to our last meeting with Clive.

Hi Steve -

Thanks for the additional information. That final meeting with Clive must have been a truly unforgettable occasion.

You are right, of course. I stopped looking on Google Maps when I found the church right on the junction so didn't spot nearby St. Peter's as an alternative candidate. It is actually an area I am not familiar with, which brings home how limited the horizons of "my" Cambridge was in my student days. I probably only set foot over Magdalene Bridge a couple of times in my three years and never visited Kettle's Yard, although, as I recall, it was being opened up during that time. I finally got there with my wife a couple of years ago. I never ventured as far south as the Fitzwilliam, either. That pleasure still awaits, if I'm spared!

Vena Cork's first novel, "Thorn", has just arrived. It seems to be out of print, but I sourced a second-hand copy in good condition. A quick flick through would suggest it is not the one set in Cambridge, but I am looking forward to reading it none-the-less.

All the best,

Title: Re: New members
Post by Terry_Caster on 05.06.22 at 08:28
Having finally taken the extra step of signing up as a member of MV, rather than occasional delver, here's a few introductory words...

I was introduced to A King At Nightfall thanks to my older brother's copy being one of a limited number of LPs in the house in the mid 1970s. (Others I recall were Led Zep II and a rather good Track compilation with Hendrix and The Who involved.)

Some years later, when I finally had a few quid of my own I ventured into the sadly long gone Bath Place Records in Taunton, and was able to pick up four of the albums for myself. I had to wait until I found a rather expensive second hand copy, to get the first album which I found in a second hand shop in Birmingham...

There was a romanticism and literacy to the lyrics which appealed to me, along with the arrangements which allowed some of those marvellous session musicians to show their skills. It was all a bit different from the Budgie, Baker Gurvitz Army, Colliseum and Adverts stuff I also picked up there - it being the late 1970s.

Forty plus years on, I've managed to acquire most of the music on CD and it is great to appreciate it with more understanding of context and the background info on the main website. So, thanks to the website maestro for keeping things maintained, and to Pete for improving the quality of my life with his music down the years!

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