HullSongs Launch Poster feat. Alyx Tamminen

HullSongs Event AT
HullSongs Launch Night Celebration
Music and Spoken word from a selection of HullSongs storytellers – Catherine Scott, Graham Brady, Redeye Feenix and Crew, Alyx Tamminen, Katie Spencer, Jim Orwin, Vivian Querido, Karl Oakes, Graham Graham Beck, and Jeff Parsons – plus exhibition launch.
At Kardomah 94, 94 Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, HU1 2AN. Doors 7pm, music from 7.30
The evening will be a special version of Loudhailer Acoustic celebrating the HullSongs project songs and stories.

Free entry with a ticket Click here to get your free tickets

HullSongs Launch Poster feat. the Dingwalls gap & Kardomah94

HullSongs Event DW

HullSongs Launch Night Celebration
Music and Spoken word from a selection of HullSongs storytellers – Catherine Scott, Graham Brady, Redeye Feenix and Crew, Alyx Tamminen, Katie Spencer, Jim Orwin, Vivian Querido, Karl Oakes, Graham Graham Beck, and Jeff Parsons – plus exhibition launch.
At Kardomah 94, 94 Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, HU1 2AN. Doors 7pm, music from 7.30
The evening will be a special version of Loudhailer Acoustic celebrating the HullSongs project songs and stories.

Free entry with a ticket Click here to get your free tickets

Inside the mind…

GGB in the light

We were delighted that our Loudhailer buddy, the man of many heads, and the most entertaining alternative theatrical pop around – Graham Graham Beck – wrote a brand new song for our Untold Stories HullSongs project. Graham is a fantastic keyboard player, audio ‘soundscapist’, singer-songwriter, & enthusiastic synth knob-twiddler. His songs of bubble wrap, fig rolls, plastic gnomes, manicured lawns, Batman and crazy rabbits include headgear, costumes and stage props and are infamous on the Hull music scene. But what goes on inside the mind of such a unique songwriter? Have a look at Graham’s lyric notes for any clues…

Click on the photo to see the full size version.

The Fridge

Visit Graham’s website

Rich & Lou

Hessle Road, Subway Street, Boyes, Bankside…

Jim on the Amy HowsonJim Orwin’s songs about Hull – Hessle Road, Subway Street, Boyes, Bankside, Gypsyville and Willerby Road – tell the most evocative stories. We were mesmerised from the very first time he came to play at Loudhailer Acoustic. Half Ballad for Bobby Pearce really did make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Jim told a little more of the background in his introduction each time, and here, especially for HullSongs we are delighted to have the full story. Jim launched his three track EP, Gypsyville Girls – a fine recording, beautifully designed and packaged –  at our Loudhailer Seaside Special. Listen to Jim’s recording of Half Balled for Bobby Pearce and read his story below.

When I was about 6 years old, my family moved from Rosyth to Hull; to Daltry Street, Hessle Road, where I first met Bobby Pearce. The house we moved into, a corner-terrace house (Alfred’s Terrace) that used to be a corner shop, had previously belonged to my Gran. My older brother and sister and I attended Daltry Street Primary School, where I was put in the same class as Bobby Pearce. Bobby was one of the tough kids, along with the Beaumont brothers, Chrissie and Ricky. (Ricky, who was a year older and in the year above us, went on to box for Hull Fish Trades ABC and won the ABA Featherweight Championship at the National Championship at Wembley Arena in 1975; eventually he became a professional boxer). As kids, the Beaumonts kept pigeons in a loft in their back yard.

I was the new, shy ‘wee Scottish boy’, and an easy target for general teasing and tormenting in both the classroom and the school yard. I remember Bobby Pearce taught me how to whistle using just one finger; but he could, like all kids, have a bit of a mean streak, especially in retaliation to being teased or insulted. But we all got through primary school without any serious incidents.

At about the time Ricky Beaumont was becoming something of a local hero, as a seventeen-year-old I got myself arrested on a night out with some older friends. I was prosecuted, found guilty of ‘causing an affray’, and fined. During one of my visits to the courts in Alfred Gelder Street, to pay my monthly instalment, I bumped in to Bobby Pearce in a corridor. He recognized me and asked me how I had ended up in the courts. I explained what had happened, and he laughed; then someone called out his name, which echoed loudly down the corridor, and we went our separate ways.

Jim Orwin Subway Street
Jim Orwin Subway Street

Over twenty-five years later, I heard he’d died; it must have been around 2000. He can only have been 43 years old (I was the same age, of course), which for me was quite shocking and made me think, probably for the first time, about my own mortality.

The lyric: ‘recognition in his smile at the terror on my face’, is my way of expressing his familiarity (because of the bullying) with how I looked when I was terrified. Bobby never ‘gave me someone’s name’; and he didn’t say ‘Don’t give up hoping …’ etc. Those bits are invented; poetic licence.

In fairness to Bobby, we were all cruel kids at times: Bobby had siblings with a different surname, which I and others occasionally teased him about. I’m not sure if the father was Bobby’s step-dad or  simply step-dad to his siblings. Either way, it shows how we could all be just as cruel as each other.

In the song, there’s a passing reference to another incident: the first time any of my contemporaries had greeted me with a hand-shake. One day in the city centre, another former Daltry Street Primary School classmate walked towards me holding out his hand, which took me by surprise. Rather than representing a greeting, I suppose assigning this to Bobby, it becomes a metaphor for a final parting. The hand-shake incident must have occurred between my seeing Bobby in the courts and him dying.

The phrase ‘still would be allowed’ is lifted directly from Philip Larkin’s poem ‘No Road’.

Anyone from Hull will recognise the reference to Boyes; and Hessle-roaders will get the Bankside and Subway Street references.

I first performed an early version of the song in the upstairs room at the Haworth Arms in 2004. At the end of the evening, someone asked me how I would feel if, in fact, Bobby Pearce hadn’t died, and he turned up at one of my performances and heard me singing about him. My response was that I wished that could be true and would actually happen. I’d be delighted to see him again and talk about our different takes on our shared childhood experiences.

One definition of a ballad is: ‘a kind of poem or song that tells a story (such as a story about a famous person from history)’. So my designating the song a ‘Half-ballad’ seems appropriate. I’d like to think, in some way, this song will help to keep an ordinary, non-famous person’s name alive for a few more years.”

Half-ballad for Bobby Pearce

I’ve been thinking of Bobby Pearce (because today I heard he’d died),
and the last time that I saw him, in a courthouse;
and I won’t forget the look of recognition in his smile
at the terror on my face from that terrifying place.

He asked me how I got there, so I told him what I knew,
and I couldn’t stop him laughing then, so I started laughing too;
and I said: “I gave up trying ’cause everything’s the same,
and I need someone to talk to”, so Bobby gave me someone’s name.

And he said: “Don’t give up hoping, things will change you wait and see;
though it may not be for you, Jim, and it will not be for me;
but someone who we knew at school, or someone who we love –
and we’ll read it in the papers, and that will be enough.”

Then someone called his name out loud, and he shook me by the hand,
which took me by surprise back then, but now I understand;
and I never knew his destiny, or saw his face again:
the last time that I saw him was in that courthouse.

But I remember when we first met, he’d beat me up at school,
we were only kids back then, and kids are fucking cruel;
and if I had the chance to talk it over with him now I’d say:
“Bobby, it really doesn’t matter; we got through it all somehow.”
(Going back there still would be allowed.)

He’d chase me through the school-yards, but I’d be quicker on my feet;
and he’d chase me all along Bankside, right up Subway Street;
he’d ambush me in Boyes’s (that was Bobby’s game!);
but I’d teased about his step-dad and I’d teased about his name:
so me and Bobby Pearce were just the same.

He said: “Don ‘t give up hoping, things will change you wait and see;
though it may not be for you, Jim, and it will not be for me;
but someone who we recognise, or someone down our street;
or someone at a party who we never thought we’d meet;
or someone who we knew at school, or someone who we love –
and we’ll read it in the papers, and that will be enough.”
Me and Bobby Pearce – all that ‘stuff’!

I’ve been thinking of Bobby Pearce (because today I heard he’d died);
and though I never will forget him, I can’t pretend I cried.

© 2015 Jim Orwin

Jim Orwin Boyes

Visit Jim’s Website for stories, music and more OrwinUK.com

Remember 1980s Hull?

Karl Oakes' shedArtist, sculptor and musician, Karl was the first person to get in touch with us when we started Loudhailer Acoustic and since then has regularly come along with three brand new songs to premiere. From the moment we heard his ballad of 1980s Hull, Sailors Blue’s 82s, we knew he had something special. It was one of the songs that became the inspiration for HullSongs. Listen to it, and go on a journey back in time, growing up and going out in Hull against a backdrop of the decline of the fishing industry. Absorb the memory of many nights out in Hull and breathe the political and economic atmosphere of 1982.

1982 was a strange time to come of age in Hull. The new found freedom and sense that the world was yours to shape, explore and make your own was tempered by a dark political and social time in the life of the city, the country and indeed the world. The city itself was caught in time between two states: in one, the echoes of a past grandeur built on the sea; on the other, closed and empty shops and a proud heritage built on fishing rusting and gathering dust in padlocked, chained and shackled yards. There was the sense in the air that something had been lost and would never return. Yet at the same time the optimism of youth drove you on to claim those shadows as your own, to want to build something new, something you could call your own. Sailors Blues 82s was my attempt to capture the devastation of Conservative rule upon a city, through the eyes of an eighteen year old who was determined to build something new of their own from out of those ashes.” Karl Oakes 2015

Ferens To The ABC Sailor’s Blues ’82s by Karl Oakes

Sailor's Blues 82s

From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget…
From Bun in the Oven to LAs
See the Old Zoological from those days,
Across the road to Spencer’s arms,
Hold me tight; keep me safe from all harm.
From where the Tall and Mighty stood
To where prospects changed because she said that they should.
From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget…
Past Amy Johnson staring at the sky, I have to look with her but I don’t know why,
Andrew Marvel showed me rhyme; I was very metaphysical at that time.
Queen Victoria sits aloft, down Whitefriargate where the King was stopped,
Grandfather put the gold on Trinity’s face, looks down upon the sailors lost without trace.
From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget…
One more drink in the Old White Heart before we are led, past the garden where William lay his weary head,
Past the Humber Star we tread the boards, trying not to wake Mr Wilberforce.
The ship builders were still in existence, steel men and miners put up resistance,
Too young to understand just feel dismay; wish the iron lady would rust away
From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget…
Standing by the Minerva looking out to sea, where fathers returned through history,
Mother and child’s hand locked in hope, to see the pull on the end of the rope.
Past King Billy on his golden horse, ships sail the Humber to the source,
Where has my future gone? Guess I’ll have to fight for one.
From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget
Skeletons of ships open to the sky, said there’d be jobs for ever but that was a lie.
Broke sailors hearts when they filled the dock in, made it into a garden for the Queen.
Robinson Crusoe sailed from here, into literary history disappears.
Past Gough and Davy and their musical bazaar, where I took my money and bought my first guitar
From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget…
Standing outside Dingwalls where the Red Guitars played, CG’s played there too but it burned down within days,
Across the road only George knows, stood the place where father watched The Shadows.
From the Ferens to the ABC, that’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget…
Everything But The Girl, but the opposite is true, Factories closing and there’s nothing left to do,
Said there’d be work for ever, but I guess that’s not true, no amount of sailing, will traverse the seas of blue.
A whole generation lost to the blue, blue, blue, a whole generation lost to the blue, So let it rain, blue, blue blue, we’ll make it through.
And they’re marching in the streets, heads held high even in defeat,
With all they’ve lost they’re sure to weep, hearts joining their fathers in the deep.
The ships aren’t sailing anymore; there are no wages to work for, the ships aren’t sailing anymore
A whole generation lost to the blue, blue, blue, a whole generation lost to the blue, let the blue wash over you… So let it rain, blue, blue, blue, we’ll sail these waters and make it through.(x2) And the tide will turn, and the ships will return (x2).
To the hearts that yearn, with a rage that still burns, look how little we’ve learned…
From the Ferens to the ABC, That’s where you used to walk with me,
Been out dancing with Romeo and Juliet, Long time ago but I can’t forget… I can’t forget

Karl Oakes

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

They make ‘em tough in Hull!

Opher and Liz have been our good friends for years, and regulars at Loudhailer Acoustic. It was just over a year ago that Opher asked how to set up a blog. He has embraced it wholeheartedly and published over a thousand posts (to add to his 43 books) in his first year. Here’s Opher’s story about coming to Hull.

They make ‘em tough in Hull!

opher-liz-1973We were living in a tiny bedsit in London with a baby. We were left a house in Hull when my wife’s grandmother died and set about moving up north. Before we could get it sorted Hull City Council placed a demolition order on our house and offered £25 compensation. We were flummoxed. Undeterred, now that I had secured a place at Hull University to do a teaching course, we journey by thumb up from London and bought a house for £800. Job done. We’d been successfully pushed through the Watford Gap.

The weeks passed. My wife moved up to our new home in Fleet Street off Stepney Lane which joined Beverley Road next to the Beverley Road baths and swimming pool, with our toddler. I was due to follow in a few weeks. I just had to finish my work and research contract.

There were no phones back then. These were the days of antiquation not far removed from Wells Fargo. I had one week to complete and then I would join the family and start a new life – except I wasn’t well. I was peeing dark brown liquid and felt terrible. It was worse than flu – worse than man-flu. I went to the doctor. I was called in. The doctor looked up. ‘Stop there!’ he ordered brusquely. I halted. He never took his eyes off me and yet somehow managed to write a note. He placed it on the edge of his desk and retreated to the corner of the room. I watched with some trepidation. It looked serious. ‘Take this note and go straight to hospital,’ he ordered. ‘You have hepatitis. Do not go near anyone. You are highly contagious.’ Feeling a wave of anxiety I watched forward as the doctor cringed in the corner of the surgery, took the note off the desk and backed away.

1968I made my way out and straight to the nearby Royal Free Hospital. I was feeling so ill I could hardly think. At the hospital I handed the note into reception and began to tell her the story of my highly infectious disease. She wasn’t interested. ‘Go and sit over there,’ she informed me, pointing to the full waiting room. Once again I tried to tell her about my highly infectious condition. ‘If you do not sit over there you will not be seen,’ she informed me sternly. I was too ill to object and timidly did as instructed. Eventually the doctor saw me. ‘What on earth were you doing sitting in the waiting room?’ He asked aghast. ‘You could have infected half of London!’ I mumbled about the receptionist. ‘We will have to get you into solitary confinement straight away,’ the doctor informed me. ‘You are highly infectious and extremely ill. I mumbled something about my wife and child being in Hull and wouldn’t it be possible to get admitted up there. ‘If you dismiss yourself you will have to fill in this disclaimer,’ he informed me sniffily. ‘I cannot take responsibility for what happens to you.’ I filled in the form.

In a haze I somehow negotiated trains and buses, attempting to keep myself away from all contact and stepped off the final bus at the baths on Beverley Road. That’s where the plan fell apart. In my addled state I could not remember where to go. I was bewildered. I found myself standing outside the Bull, which, owing to the fact that it was still afternoon, did not have inebriated individuals collapsed on the pavement outside …… yet. I don’t think I’d have had the energy to step over them. I spied a young boy and asked him the directions to Fleet Street. He looked at me with suspicion as if I was an idiot. ‘See that lad having a lot off to the bairn over there,’ he said with a rich Hull twang. ‘Yer go down der tenny t’end ‘n turn right.’ I stood and stared, completely uncomprehending. I might as well have been on Mars. He was talking a different language. What was all this about lads, bairns and tennis? I nodded my thanks and headed off in the general direction.

Liz and Dylan
Liz and Dylan by Opher

My how my wife was amazed to find me knocking on the door a week early, especially when I told her not to come within fifteen feet as I was dying of a highly infectious and lethal disease. She brought me a cup of tea and we set off to Hull General. I was turned away. Seemingly they do not have a casualty department. I was directed to Hull Royal Infirmary. It sounded right – I was completely infirm. Besides, if it was good enough for royalty……. I don’t remember how I got there it was a blur. Eventually they explained I had to go home, they could not see me because I did not have a GP. I had to register first. Somehow I got ‘home’ and the next morning registered.

A locum came out to see me. He examined me with stethoscope, thermometer and hand, on the floor of the spare bedroom and pronounced that I did indeed have hepatitis. He gave me a prescription for paracetamol and told me to go to bed and take two every eight hours and lots of fluids. I was passed caring. ‘What about the wife and child?’ I mumbled. ‘Use separate towels,’ he instructed as he packed up to leave, taking my deadly virus with him to the next patient.

In London I was a terminal patient in need of intensive care in an isolation ward; in Hull I was in need of a couple of days in bed and a few paracetamol.

They make ‘em tough in Hull.

© Opher Goodwin

So who is Opher? Find out more on his website Opher’s World.

Catherine Scott photo shoot

Catherine took Loudhailer Acoustic by storm in May 2015 enchanting the audience with her wickedly witty spoken word set. Her fantastic uplifting stories of growing older gracefully, office politics…and that particular cockerel are inspiring. We are delighted that Catherine has written a new poem, I’m a Hullaholic especially for HullSongs.

Rich took Catherine’s portrait this morning and I recorded her reading the poem. Look out for it here soon!

Catherine Scott

Redeye Feenix & Crew photo shoot

Redeye Feenix-Si2-Infini
Si2, Redeye, Infini

Rich had a fantastic HullSongs photo shoot with Hull Hip Hop emcee and songwriter Redeye Feenix, Hull Graffiti artist Si2 and Piotr Infini Korczynski of City Elementz collective. It’s brilliant that Redeye, who recently signed a deal with American label VOD Recordings is putting together a Hip Hop crew track about Hull especially for HullSongs…watch this space!

Here’s some of Rich’s photos, click on an image to see the full picture and scroll on…


Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard Visit our website

I’m gonna tell you a story…

…This one’s about living in Hull

dirty water

We are delighted to be getting cracking with HullSongs our Untold Hull project. Here’s something to set the scene. It’s The Fabulous Ducks’ version of the punk band of the 60’s – The Standell’s – river anthem, Dirty Water. Anyone who knows Ducks’ singer – and Red Guitars rhythm guitarist – John Rowley will know that John is indeed a fantastic story teller. Back in the Red Guitars days he kept us all well entertained during many tedious hours of driving between gigs on various Autobahns and autoroutes throughout Europe.

Just before you watch the video, here’s something else…after publishing our post about The Fabulous Ducks’ Dirty Water to set the HullSongs scene, another really interesting tale came to light. Rich bumped into Mark (The Legend) Kay who told him the story of how The Standell’s guitarist was from Hull. “Paul Downing was an upside down left handed guitarist (in the good company of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Parsons), known to be the best guitarist in Hull, he could play both left and right handed equally as good. Even Mick Ronson used to go and watch Paul play.”  Who’d have thought it! Mark told Rich how he bought an amp from Paul – a ’61 Vox AC30 with a top boost. When Paul came back to visit his mum on Hotham Road he always tried to buy it back. I love that story.

So, Dirty Water, recorded live at a packed out Hull Adelphi club – hot,  sweaty, dancing all night, singing along, just how it should be.

“You know I love that dirty water, oh Kingston you’re my home!”

The Fabulous Ducks Originally Not Those Five Fabulous Ducks, although there were always at least six of them, they were formed to “have a good time and make money” and were still doing the former if not the latter when Hallam moved to Cape Town in 2006. Early doors they appeared under the pseudonym The Mysteron Brothers at a benefit for the Workers’ Revolutionary Party at the Spring Bank Community Centre after John Rowley was apprehended while fly-posting. The band’s club career died with an aborted gig at the Dixon’s Arms. Hugh Whittaker, ex-Housemartin and the only man known to have performed in his own tribute band took over from Matt Higgins around the turn of the Millenium. The occasional reunion when Hal comes to visit is always a treat.  Thanks to www.redguitars.co.uk

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard Visit our website