Don’t be put off with the starting video quality of the below vid. Turn your speakers on and enjoy!
The singer is called Stanley Accrington. He is a folk singer from Oldham near Manchester. Stanley Accrington* is only his stage name, I used to know, but now forget his real name. He has been a folk singer for decades and a has a bit of a cult following on the folk circuit. He mixes clever comedy songs with some lovely heart-tuggers. (A memorable line from one of the sad songs is “When they let you smoke in a cancer ward, you know you’re in for good”). I’d argue that you don’t need to be a fan of folk music to like his songs, he is a great musician.
I’ve been a fan of his since being introduced to his work in the early 90’s by my friends, who were big folkies. I used to go with them to Sidmouth International Folk Festival first in their converted ambulance and later in an old leyland bus that we converted. Sidmouth Folk Week is now a smaller affair than it used to be, which is a shame because it used to attract people from all over the globe. I remember The Sensitive New Age Cowpersons from Australia, who played bluegrass covers of pop and rock songs. I also remember some amazing Cossack dancers who as well as doing the famous squats performed some amazing spins with the women flying out horizontally due to centrifugal force. Although I also remember quite a few dance troupes, who’s whole act was to link and arms and slowly walk around in circles, occasionally changing directions (yawn).
Sidmouth was also where I first learnt to juggle and firebreath, I am a reasonably accomplished juggler (lots of tricks with up to four balls, or 3 clubs) and have my own set of fire-clubs which occasionally get at outing. I have even taught my wife juggling and we can stand in front of each other passing balls to each other.
There are a few other video’s of Stanley Accrington’s on youtube, (mostly from the same evening as the above vid), they are worth checking out. I also note that there are quite a few Steam train videos using his lovely song Last Train. If you want to learn more or actually see him, he has a website. Where he also indulges his passion for anagrams.
*In the 1990’s an iconic advert aired on British TV by the Milk Marketing board making reference to the non-league football team Accrington Stanley. See vid