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Freds Folks Ceilidh Band
Eric started playing at his mother's folk dance club in Twickenham in about 1950 (I was 13 years old), when they couldn't find a 78 rpm record to fit a particular dance. I learnt entirely by ear, and was allowed to sit in with any visiting bands. At around that time I also danced and played with the Thames Valley Morris Men. I took my accordion to university and started playing locally while a student in 1957. I joined the leader Irish fiddler par excellence Kevin Briggs. We were three, with drummer Kath Woods. When we did our first BBC recording in 1960 we added others (guitar by Sam Brown and bass by Stuart Woodhouse) to fill out the sound. Since then the band has had many players over the years!
For full details of the band, its history, philosophy, music and its personnel, see here.
We were a resident band at the Whitby Folk Festival Whitby Folk Festival. in 1989. We played some nice Playford-ish tunes for John Lagdon, et al. We played for two of the late night Bop-till-you-drop sessions. One MC was Tony Foxworthy, who was rather lazy. Our younger members went to Alexander for fiddle players classes. Our hotel provided cramped quarters. We critised the festival admin in our report afterwards, and were not invited again!
For photos of the band lineup over the ages, see here.
For photos of dancers enjoying our music, see here.
All our tunes are available as music scores here. They are publicly available, feel free to use them, but please acknowledge if you publish them.
Eric also plays for a local Morris Dance team, the Foresters Morris. During my upbringing with Thames Valley Morris their squire Christopher Penton would take me (in his MG sports car) with my accordion to see traditional morris sides, and to comment on their music. This included being made to play in front of William Kimber in 1953, from whom Cecil Sharp was inspired to collect English Morris Dances at Headington on Boxing Day 1899. I have a historic connection! Kimber told me to "make it snappy", which I do.
Joy dances and Eric plays for the local step clog dancing side, Greenwood Step Clog Dancers.
There are some old mp3 audio files on the Freds Folks web site.
In the days of the Covid lock-down we videoed Joy singing various songs and Eric playing tunes for the Second Time Around folk club in Beeston started by John Chambers, which during lock-down became the on-line Beeston Folk Club. These together with ones of Eric playing tunes are all on the YouTube channel named "Eric Foxley".
In the early days of computers (Eric is old) I was interested in using computers to analyse folk music. I typed into the computer about 1000 tunes I had in my head. At various internatioal music conferences, where most members were interested in classical music, I gave papers on analysing, harmonising and classifying folk tunes.
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Page last updated 17-Feb-2023