Folk For Christabel
The First Night 29th November 1968 Leyton Senior High School for Boys
Keith Brincorn remembers..
Our first School Folk Evening
was directly inspired by a similar event at Ilford Girl's School in
December 1967, (the star turn being Hratch), and fuelled by
subsequent Wednesday nights at Bunjies throughout 1968. Hratch was
the obvious choice to headline our debut event.
The big day dawned with our leader Colin sick and absent from school, and one of the evening's guest artists, Al Hoyle, not confirmed. However, phonecalls to both missing persons at lunchtime confirmed their availability.
After school we got the hall ready, creating an informal ambience with mats borrowed from the gym to accommodate the anticipated audience. We needed seventy punters to cover our costs. Well over twice that number turned up.
A flavour of the music on offer:
Colin, Terry & Cliff's sets
included 'April come she will', 'All along the watchtower', 'A very
cellular song', 'Old Compton Street blues', and Colin's 'Song of a snowflake'.
Al Hoyle specialised in American country blues, including the epics 'Panama Limited' and 'Duncan-Brady'.
Bunjies regular Rod gave us the 'Last Thing on my mind'.
Hratch presented his own unique interpretations of such songs as 'Bedsitter Images', 'You were on my mind' and 'Drifter's Escape'.
The success of the evening resulted in a move away from the increasingly dodgy, skin-head attracting 'Beat' Dances as the School's prime social functions, to this infinitely more peaceful and intimate form of entertainment.
"More than 150 people turned up at Leyton High School for Boys on Friday when pupils held an evening of folk and blues music. The evening, the first of its kind at the school was organised by sixth-formers Colin Tucker, Terry Martin and Cliff Jones, who formed a trio and played. Alan Hoyle from Theydon Bois sang and played blues but guest performer was a singer called Hratch who sounded a lot like Bob Dylan"