Nowadays Folk Music has so many facets that experts far more qualified than I have long since abandoned trying to define exactly what it is. The one thing that all will agree on is that at its best Folk music means a gathering together of people to listen to, and participate in. the singing of songs.
In the hundreds of folk song clubs all over the British Isles people gather at least once a week to hear a guest performer sing and to join him in the choruses of the songs. Perhaps the most popular of all such performers is Alex Campbell, but because of his popularity he is usually only heard once a year in most clubs.
This record therefore is an attempt to recapture for his many fans something of the atmosphere of a typical Folk club evening performance by Alex Campbell.
It could well have been recorded in any folk club but then the pleasure of listening might have been disturbed by extraneous noises such as the clanging of a cash register and shouts of "Time Gentlemen Please" so it was decided to record it in a studio, but a studio with a difference. For the performance it was converted into a typical folk club. Beer was served to the audience which was composed of club members, in particular from the Barnet and Whetstone Folk Club, and some professional singer friends. Alex conducted the whole proceedings himself, telling the audience when to sing, and the engineers when to record. To preserve the illusion the instructions to the engineers were deleted. There was some suggestion that these might be made into another record to be sold under the counter in the Charing Cross Road!
The songs don't follow any particular pattern; a few traditionals, some very up-to-date contemporaries, one or two that might feel more at home in the Music Halls, but the main idea is to allow the audience to join in and this they do with great gusto.
Accompaniments are by Roger Evans, guitar and Bouzouki, and David Moses, double bass.