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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Roy Bailey Remembered 

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Roy Bailey Remembered 
Towersey Festival TF202001 

This six panel Digipak with two discs, is a recording of 2019's special concert in Roy’s memory, when a host of household names came together at Towersey Festival to mark their love for a great man. Every artiste had performed with Roy: and seeing as he only worked with the best, it’s no surprise that the very generous 1hr 41mins playing time is of the highest quality.

And not just the singing and instrumentation: for the spoken word recollections really register too. Martin Simpson’s words towards the end of Disc 1 bring him nearly to tears, and this listener also.

The album is full of songs Roy sang. All artistes delivered, but my favourites were Si Kahn’s signature song, What You Do With What You’ve Got, that Roy made the opening song to so many of his sets: Marc Block delivering the words like he’d written them, and Martin’s imperious guitar accompaniment offering tremendous promise for what followed. Tom Robinson’s Glad To Be Gay ambushed me, reminding me what a brave song it was for its time, and what a compelling performer Tom still is. And John Kirkpatrick in glorious form, especially on The Bee Song (although, on the otherwise wonderfully legible liner notes, I note it's wrongly credited to the pen of Arthur Askey, instead of his long-time pianist, Kenneth Blain).

Prize for total perfection however goes to Kathy Mowatt, Joe Heap and Mary Hodson, for their sublime harmony on Cobweb Of Dreams.

Buy this as a present for any Roy Bailey fan you know. They’ll love you for it.

Dai Woosnam


This review appeared in Issue 138 of The Living Tradition magazine