Judy Dyble Memorial Weekend - Band Profiles

Band Profiles for the Judy Dyble Memorial Weekend

Saturday 9th July
5pm to 10pm
[Gates open at 3pm on Saturday]

Sunday 10th July
1pm to 7pm.

The Band of Perfect Strangers
Sunday 10th July

Originally formed for a one-off album launch in London in 2012, The Perfect Strangers became Judy’s backing band for the next 8 or so years, playing more than 30 gigs, ranging from her book launch at the tiny Big Green Bookshop, to the wide-open spaces of Cropredy. The bands core of Alistair Murphy (song-writer, producer, piano/guitar), Mark Fletcher(bass), Phil Toms (arranger, keyboards and egg!) and Jez Salmon(guitar) played all the gigs and recorded 3 studio albums and 2 live albums. In addition, they became the backing band for the Trader Horne re-union gig at Bush Hall. The band have been augmented at various times by violinists Rachel Hall (of Big Big Train fame), Rachel Canning, and currently Fran Broady and Steve Bingham; current percussionist Rich Nolan has taken over the reins from Ian Burrage and Rob Van de Parker, and on more than one occasion the Ad Hoc Strings have joined to do justice to Phil’s arrangements.

For the Memorial Weekend, the band will be joined by vocalists Stephanie Hellsten (Judy’s daughter), old friend and fine singer, Lindsay Mackie and our own Fran Broady: And by multi-instrumentalist (and occasional Barmy Army horn player!) Brian Gulland from Gryphon. The band will play music selected from the whole of Judy’s career, ranging from Fairport, Trader Horne, Dyble/Longdon and her solo albums.

Ric and Vo
Saturday 9th July

Ric Sanders, violinist extraordinaire and long-time member of Fairport Convention has played with guitarist and friend, Vo Fletcher (I used to be a presenter on Channel 5, but I am alright now!) for more than 40 years.
Apart from being brilliant musicians, Ric and Vo are great entertainers, very funny and a sheer delight to watch. Together they play a laughter-filled style of Jazz/Folk.

Alistair Murphy (The Curator)
Saturday 9th July

Alistair has been writing and recording music since his teens.
In 2008 he was contacted by Tim Bowness (of No-Man) to ask if he wanted to collaborate on writing and recording an album with Judy Dyble: In 2009 the album ‘Talking with Strangers’ was released to critical acclaim. It featured members of King Crimson and Fairport Convention, as well as musicians that Murphy had worked with for many years.
Murphy went on to record, write and produce 4 more albums with Judy, as well as continuing to record his solo albums, which are now starting to gain some considerable interest, with their brand of progressive singer/song-writing, and expansive arrangements. He also assembled the Band of Perfect Strangers.

John and Genevieve Gillies (The Conspirators)
Saturday 9th July

John and Genevieve from northern indie band The Doubtful Bottle, will perform an intimate acoustic show on the Saturday evening.
The pair teamed up with Judy in 2008, when they played in the indie/folk band, The Conspirators, and recorded a version of the Fairport song ‘One Sure Thing’, with Judy and Genevieve sharing vocals. The single hit the Top 10 in the indie singles charts. John also co-wrote ‘Dreamtime’ with Judy, which appeared on the ‘Talking with Strangers’ album.
They will perform both of these songs, along with some of the popular Conspirators and Doubtful Bottle releases.

Steve Bingham
Sunday 10th July

An eclectic and brilliant violinist, Steve is known for his classical work with ensembles such as the Bingham String Quartet, plus his electric and acoustic violin contributions to No-Man, and of course Judy Dyble and The Band of Perfect Strangers. Steve has also worked with other artists such as Tim Bowness, The Curator, Robert Reed, XII Alphonso, Samurai of Prog and more.
Steve has recorded 5 solo albums, with a 6th planned this year. These include music from Bach to The Beatles, with ‘Touch’ 2021, being an exciting 10 track album of covers. ‘Salamander’ 2022, will be a complete change, featuring newly commissioned contemporary works for violins and electronics.
“This extraordinary performer” (as described by the Telegraph), Steve’s solo performances feature live-looped electric violin, and will include a variety of arrangements and covers ranging from Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Michael Nyman, Mike Oldfield and more.

Jeremy Harmer
Sunday 10th July

Described as a “twenty first century troubadour” by Unicorn magazine, Jeremy writes songs of intricate beauty, backed up with a unique finger-picking guitar style. His songs address places and people he loves, the plight of refugees, injustice and hope. Although at home with traditional folk, many of Jeremys songs have been arranged for string sextet by Phil Toms: It was because of this that Jeremy had the pleasure of both hearing and meeting Judy at a joint concert in Cambridge, which featured on the live recording ‘Weavings of a Silver Magic’.

Neal Hoffmann
Sunday 10th July

“The common element in Judy’s music, and mine is folk: That is not why we met. We met in a pub in Oxford Circus where I had to drop off an album to a person she was meeting. We had a drink and Jude got a copy of my album. The next day I got an email with some lovely compliments to my album, plus the lyrics to Marianna. A week later I had written the music, which I recorded and sent to her. She loved it and I did too. We played together at the Jazz Club at the O2.
My music mixes Indie, pop and folk, with a tinge of Americana... maybe somewhere between Don Maclean and the chamber pop of The Beatles.

Fen Song ‘A Ballad of the Fens’
Performed by Bryan Causton, Penni McLaren Walker, Fran Broady and Cam Armer.
With narration of the poems by the late Clare Crossman by Jeremy Harmer.
Sunday 10th July

This cycle of poems and songs was developed and written over 18 months of collaboration between poet, Clare Crossman and acoustic singer-songwriter, Penni McLaren Walker. The cycle is a meditation on the natural world, creativity, belonging and loss, and in the best acoustic tradition, this became a ballad of the fen – a haunting sequence of poetry and song inspired by the East Anglian landscape.