PETE CASTLE - REPERTOIRE
Pete works in a variety of fields - on the folk club and storytelling circuits and also with the general public at community events, in arts centres, libraries and schools etc.
Pete is one of the few professionals on the English scene whose repertoire consists almost entirely of traditional English songs and ballads. The bulk of his material comes from the south of the country, as he does, and includes a number of songs from his native Kent although he has spent most of his adult life in the Midlands. (This choice of material is not for any deep philosophical reason, it’s just what he feels at home with.)
He likes to include a few short stories in a folk club set but is willing to do purely songs if required. He finds it strange how scared some club organisers are of the idea of ‘storytelling’. It’s always been there as the between-song patter/jokes.
Pete was always a storyteller—even before he started telling stories, because a lot of his songs are story songs or ballads but he’s worked specifically as a ‘storyteller’ since the mid 1980s. Pete’s storytelling is very accessible and is based in the folk tradition. He tells a mixture of traditional stories, tall tales, urban myths and extended jokes. He doesn’t do epics or myth cycles and is definitely not an actor putting on voices and costumes. Some of his stories are about or include music/song. He can tell stories to adults or children and particularly enjoys family audiences.
THE REAL DEAL
feels that he is at his best when he can do a 50:50 song:story
set. The two forms go well together and give a unique view of the English
folk tradition. A little delving (and not very deep) soon reveals that most of the
old singers also told stories. If you’re lucky and the environment
is right Pete could also put in a dance or two as well!
This is the ideal choice for a non-specialist event. The general public really warm to and appreciate the mix of song and story.
PETE CASTLE & KEITH KENDRICK
Pete and Keith have known each other for many years and for about a decade now they have worked together on some Kent schools projects. In 2006 they did a concert of DERBYSHIRE SONGS & STORIES for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. They have repeated it with variations every year since and are able to offer it as a regular option. Ask for details.
Pete also works as a community artist. This can just mean singing or storytelling with local groups—WIs, Over 60s etc or at village fetes but it can also be working on major, long-term projects. Pete has done several of these starting with A Village Song in Bassingham and working through the Mountsorrel Community Play and the Ethel & Ernest Project at Nottingham Playhouse to the Children of the Mills amongst others. Pete has usually been employed as enabler/songwriter/musician etc so he’s encouraged and helped groups of people to make songs to fit in with a larger community project, be it a play, an album or a performance. He really enjoys this kind of work despite all the headaches and heartaches it always seems to bring and would love to do more.
the SCHOOLS page for more details)
For children's events in schools or libraries, at festivals etc Pete has a repertoire of songs, stories, dances and games suitable for most age groups. He regularly does events all over country sometimes solo and sometimes with Keith Kendrick. In the past he has also collaborated with Lucy Castle and Bing Lyle.
He can provide 'taster sessions' which give a flavour of the whole folk culture, (song, storytelling, songwriting, dance) or concentrate on one aspect in more detail.
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