Tag Archives: John Renbourn


I was proud to be asked to write sleevenotes for the 1966 Bert Jansch/John Renbourn album Bert and John, and happy the other day when a finished copy turned up. I’m hopeful a cheque will follow. Anyway, for anyone who has never heard it, this is a great album – and it was nice to be able to include some thoughts from Bert and John themselves – even though I never exactly grilled them on this topic when I met them – and from Heather Wood from The Young Tradition. The notes themselves are after the break, while there’s more from Heather down the column.

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A kind of Everest interview, in the sense that I dropped Heather Wood an email because she was there. I wanted to see if she might like to chat to me about The Young Tradition (1965-1969), a folk group that she was in with Royston Wood (d.1990) and Peter Bellamy (d. 1991). Happily, she did.

The Young Tradition mainly made records of traditional songs and one, called Galleries, which is more in the Medieval music vein. There is also an EP of shanties, including “Chicken On A Raft”, which is a song about egg on toast.

At one time, they lived in a flat at 30 Somali Road in Camden, downstairs from Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. “The place was complete mayhem,” Bert told me about five years ago. “They made more noise, drunk more, and smoked more dope than anybody else.”

As it turns out, it’s almost exactly 50 years since the trio first met and started singing together. So here, by entirely planned complete coincidence, Heather undertakes an ersatz golden anniversary interview. Thanks, Heather.

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