Thursday, 10 August 2017

Martyn Wyndham-Read and Lloyd

I first met Bert when I came back from Australia to England in the end part of the 1960’s and one of the many aspects of his personality and character that I admired so much was his generosity with the music. There were many times that I had been stumped to find an extra verse or some background to a song and I knew that this information would be just a phone call away.

I well remember going to visit Charlotte and Bert once at their house in Greenwich and being welcomed by Charlotte. I heard this sound coming from upstairs that sounded if someone was ironing a cat Charlotte just smiled at me and pointed upstairs indicating that I should go up.

Sure enough through a half open door I saw Bert listening entranced to this sound, in reality it was some wonderful and exotic music and song from Albania. On noticing me Bert waved to me and motioned for me to take a seat, and wait till it was over which I did.

Immediately the song stopped, Bert said to me without taking a pause, "the answer to your query behind the song in question is ……………". He could just switch from one type of music to the other with total ease, and was only too happy to share his knowledge.

One of my other memorable experiences with Bert was a concert I did with him in, I believe Stoke on Trent, and in a theatre which was designed in the round. This was crammed full with an audience of folk enthusiasts. I vividly remember, to this day, listening and watching Bert perform Tam Lin.

Most people in the audience would have known this ballad word for word, but everyone was on the edge of their seats as the master ballad singer Bert Lloyd wove his magic. His performance was just gripping and memorable, just another facet of this truly remarkable man. How honoured I feel to have known him and spend time with him in many different circumstances.

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