From: Martin Snodin [martin_dot_snowdin_at_btopenworld_dot_com]
Sent: 09 July 2006 15:28
Subject: Acoustic Sussex newsletter - 9 July 2006

Newsletter                9th July2006


Contact details
Tel. 01342 716975
or email:

With the tennis and football coming to a close, maybe you’re looking elsewhere for entertainment! Fear not, Acoustic Sussex is at hand with more treats, before we all head off with buckets and spades…



Our next show is a very special treat, when the ‘near legendary’ Pete Atkin (songwriting collaborator with Australian Clive James) performs a very rare show for us on 24 July at The Ravenswood, Sharpthorne. Sharing the bill is the excellent singer Liz Simcock. More details of Pete Atkin and Liz Simcock below.

We like to use the newsletter to let you know of other things happening that might be of interest. Here’s a couple of events coming soon that might take your fancy (and both are free entrance):

Ø       Friday 14 JulyMiles Winter-Roberts performs at the White Horse, Holtye, nr East Grinstead. Miles is an excellent contemporary singer-songwriter. More on Miles Winter-Roberts here.

Ø       Friday 4 AugustJoe West returns! Yes, the ‘trailer park crooner’ from Santa Fe is back in the UK. He did a show for us last year and went down a storm. A Bob Harris favourite, imagine a cross between Lou Reed and Loudon Wainwright. Joe can be seen performing in the garden at The Red Lion, Turners Hill, from about 8.30pm (details tbc – watch this space!). More on Joe West here.

Looking further ahead, our first event after the summer break is rather different from our normal music gigs, when Shirley Collins presents her touring show of the book, ‘America Over the Water’, at East Grinstead’s Chequer Mead Arts Centre. More details on ‘America Over the Water’ below.


For more information on Acoustic Sussex shows including sound samples,
click on the artists' website links below or visit our
Myspace website



Monday 24 July

The Ravenswood
£10 adv (£12 door) 8pm
01342 714810/716975
or email










Pete Atkin is the 'near-legendary' British singer and songwriter who in the early 1970s made six highly collectable albums of quirky, original, and always entertaining songs, told with ironic humour and acute observation. Pete wrote the music, and Australian satirist, writer and TV personality, Clive James, wrote the words.  Unclassifiable at the time, their work stands as a defining example of what has since become known as 'English Chanson'. The songs earned Pete Atkin the respect of some of Britain's best rock and jazz session musicians. He was joined in the studio and on tour by a number of them, notably Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers, Alan Parker and Ray Cooper, and though remaining virtually unknown to the popular record-buying public he built up a huge following on the UK college circuit. The late DJ, John Peel, was a fan, regularly playing tracks on his late-night shows.

Pete Atkin made his first recording in 1967 and in 1968 recorded with Julie Covington. Producer Don Paul was a friend of the DJ Kenny Everett, who regularly played songs such as Master Of The Revels, from the first album Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger. Atkin did, and still does, write his own lyrics, but it was the collaboration with Clive James that produced his most famous songs. After the sixth album (Live Libel), Pete and Clive's collaboration faltered, and Pete's musical career entered the "legend" phase. During this time he wrote for TV and BBC Radio 4, eventually becoming BBC's Head of Network Radio for the South and West. He subsequently went freelance, still working mostly in radio production for the BBC, for whom he recently created the epic series This Sceptred Isle.

Thanks to the internet, after a gap of more than 20 years, it became clear that their early songs were far from forgotten. As a result, the old albums were reissued on CD, and the pair revived their partnership with live performances including the Edinburgh Fringe and a tour of Australia. Getting back on the road led to new material being written, producing new albums every bit as good as those from the early days. This is rare opportunity to catch Pete Atkin, with just guitar and piano.


Pete Atkin


Pete and Clive
- the early days!


Sharing the bill with Pete Atkin, Liz Simcock is a great songwriter and gorgeous singer with a relaxed and endearing stage presence. Her very ‘English’ songs will be the perfect complement to Pete's eclectic material.

Liz is currently in the news as one of the founders of Angelic Music, a recording, publishing and web-based ‘meeting place’ to promote female artists. Other backers for this interesting project include Janice Haves and Hobgoblin Music, with support from artists such as Kate Melua and Janis Ian. Follow this link for more:


Liz Simcock

2 September

‘America Over the Wate

Chequer Mead
East Grinstead
£12 (£9 conc)    8pm
Box Office:
Tel. 01342 302000
or email




Shirley Collins, one of the most important figures on the British folk scene, is touring a show based on her book America Over the Water, telling how, in 1959, Shirley, a young folk singer from Hastings, set out across the American South with the legendary folklorist Alan Lomax, collecting and recording songs from both black and white communities across six states.

Shirley:“It was a journey that started in Virginia, took us into Parchman Farm, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, up Kentucky mountainsides to record Primitive Baptists’ Open Air Prayer meetings, to the heart of Alabama for the Sacred Harp Convention, into tiny hamlets in the tornado belt of rural Arkansas where the pioneering spirit still existed, and into isolated black communities in Northern Mississippi…. ending our journey on one of the Georgia Sea Islands that had been settled by escaped slaves.”

America Over the Water combines the personal story of Shirley’s relationship with Alan Lomax with a unique first-hand account – through the song collecting - of the evolving social history of a racially segregated America on the cusp of the Civil Rights Movement. It goes to the roots of Anglo/American traditional music. The American story is interleaved with Shirley’s other journey: that of growing up in Hastings during and just after the Second World War, becoming a folk singer, and so meeting Alan Lomax in London.

The show features readings by Shirley and actor Pip Barnes, many musical excerpts from the field recordings themselves, and a visual display incorporating photographs taken on the trip or derived from contemporaneous sources.


Click here for more on Shirley Collins  and
‘America Over the Water

For your future diaries..


Johnny Dickenson (11 September, The Ravenswood); Richard Durrant (25 September, The Ravenswood); Pierre Bensusan (6 November, The Ravenswood - support: Matthew Ord); Bob Fox & Billy Mitchell (16 Oct, The Ravenswood); Tommy Emmanuel (28 November, Chequer Mead); John Tams & Barry Coope (11 December, Chequer Mead); Acoustic Strawbs (19 January 2007, Chequer Mead).

More information on all up-and-coming artists can be found on our website: You can also find us on MySpace (with samples from some of the artists appearing) at: If you know anyone who you think may enjoy our events, please forward this email to them.



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