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Saturday 21 December 2013

Stortford Special

I was in Bishops Stortford earlier visiting a branch of the Goggins family, and on my way back to the train station I called in at the eight charity shops in the town centre. If Charity Chic were ever to venture south of the border, he could do a lot worse than Bishops Stortford. Although he might be miffed to find that I had already snapped up the Jimmy Shand compilation in the Sue Ryder shop.

Amongst the other CDs I acquired, the most exotic are an album of Latin American protest songs called "Cantos De La Revolucion", featuring all sorts of bods I have never heard of, and a Sri Lankan compilation called "The Stars Of 70s, Vol:3". On closer inspection the latter turns out not to be the original hits but re-recordings made in 2001 and featuring Sri Lankan stars of the 1970s, including former members of the Moonstones, the Super Golden Chimes and the Winslow Six to name but a few. But neither you nor I would have been any the wiser I suspect.

Here is a track from each of the three albums I have mentioned, picked entirely at random as I have not listened to any of them yet.

"Lady Dorothea/ Major John" - Jimmy Shand & His Band

"Senora Chichera" - F. Foundry

"Samuduru Devi" - Errol Fernando (formerly of Los Cabalaroes)

According to Wikipedia, the only notable (sic) musicians to originate from Bishops Stortford are Bill Sharp, the keyboard player from Shakatak, and anarcho-punk collective Flux Of Pink Indians, which would make for an interesting (sic) double bill. You may not be surprised to learn that there appear to be no Flux of Pink Indians videos on YouTube, so you are getting this instead. Sorry.


  1. I got as far south as Berwick upon Tweed this year Ernie - so you never know!

  2. Gerard and The Watchmen are a Bishops Stortford band, whilst not in the Jimmy Shand mould their album 'Wooden Castles' recently released is getting a lot of attention. Pretty damn good. I believe Kenny Ball certainly lived close to BS for many years, still pretty awesome when I saw him play a few years back (well into his eighties) to raise funds for The Princess Alexandra Hospital. Ed Drewett is a young singer song writer that has recorded with Professor Green. Dave Gerard's voice singing my favourite song of the moment "Long We Stood". There are some other very good but less well known: Elliot Porter, Charlotte James, think you should have stayed with the BS rellies a little longer and caught up with the young talent that hangs out locally!!Some great venues too,the Half Moon had one of the best blues evenings for miles, not sure if it is still going. Anna

  3. Anna

    Thanks for the tips. I featured Gerard & The Watchmen's "I Climbed A Tree" album last year, and liked it a lot, but wasn't aware of the Stortford connection. I must check out the new one.