News and Gigs

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If you run a folk club or are involved with Village Hall entertainments; if you are a teacher or a librarian or if you may be interested in using Pete in any way, as either a musician or a storyteller, whilst he is in your area then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. He’s always willing to consider opportunities and to do a deal on fees, particularly if it’s a ‘good cause’ or something different and interesting.

Pete Castle
Steel Carpet Music and Facts & Fiction
Email steel.carpet@tiscali.co.uk

RSS Pete’s Blog

  • A DOCTOR'S LIFE (1888) July 27, 2018
    The NHS: been and gone in a lifetime?Programme cover Back in the early 1980s, when we lived in Luton, I was doing research on Bedfordshire folk songs and I came across something called 'A Christmas Merrymaking in the Oldenew Times' written in 1888 by a Mr H.O.Williams for the Parish Church Yuletide Festivities. It was […]
  • A CALL TO HONEST LIARS July 2, 2018
    Is it time for storytellers and folk singers to man the barricades, to stand up and be counted, to provide a real opposition to what it happening in this mad world of ours, rather than to continue to be ‘nice’ in public and just complain by posting harmless messages on Facebook and similar?"Folk Music is […]
  • AND WE ALL WENT UP TO CHITRAL TO HEAR THE CANNONS ROAR May 5, 2018
    Battle at ChitralI might have found an important new source singer... but it's too late to know!  My second ever blog post (in July 2015) was called From Chart to Charleston  click here to read it It was about the song 'I Wish There Was No Prisons'. This time I'd like to return to the […]
  • ANNE BONNY, THE FEMALE PIRATE March 27, 2018
    “A female all the while, A female all the while, To think myself a drummer,  Yet a female all the while.” Gender equality, gender fluidity, choice of the image you project, being who you want to be, being true to your self… all ideas which are very ‘now’. A generation ago ‘that kind of thing’ was […]
  • WHAT BIG TEETH YOU HAVE! February 16, 2018
    THE WOLF: FRIEND OR FOE?Mankind's love/hate relationship with the wolf. At some far distant time and in a far distant place, no-one knows quite when or where but probably about 15,000 years ago in Central Asia, a hunter-gatherer adopted an abandoned baby wolf and raised it up. Very likely he took it home and his […]
  • ROSS POLDARK AND HENRY HIGGINS September 14, 2017
    Justice in Georgian England For many years I’ve enjoyed singing a song called Fanny Blair which was collected in Somerset by Cecil Sharp in the early years of the 20th century. Bert Lloyd sang a powerful version of it and I recorded it on my 1999 CD ‘Mearcstapa’. It is a song which you cannot […]
  • BRITISH INDIA: INDEPENDENCE AND PARTITION August 16, 2017
    My meetings with South Asian communities I am writing this on Indian Independence Day. Yesterday was Pakistani Independence Day. The two countries were partitioned from British India 70 years ago, 1947, the year I was born.  It was yet another example of a British colonial cock-up.  We had done the same with Ireland 26 years before […]
  • THE SUMMER OF LOVE 50 YEARS ON July 21, 2017
    The Summer of Love, Swinging London, Flower Power, Love and Peace, Ban the Bomb, Women’s Lib… all  clichés of the 1960s. The summer of 1967 has been commemorated in many places recently. There were a couple of documentaries about Hippies and Flower Power on TV; similarly documentaries and a film about the 50th anniversary of […]
  • BALLADS: PROBABLY LONG, DEFINITELY NOT BORING June 24, 2017
    I’ve always loved ballads, right from the moment I first became interested in traditional songs. And not just ballads but other story songs as well. It’s always been the story (hopefully allied with a good tune) which has attracted me to a song. Over the years I’ve sung a few shanties, performed a few songs […]
  • EDUCATION: THEORY AND PRACTICE June 2, 2017
    In 1978 I gave up teaching to become a ’folk singer’. I thought I’d never set foot in a school again! About half of my 10 years as a teacher had been at a school in Nottingham where I was very happy, I got on well with the head and wasn’t restricted as to what […]