Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 82 - July 2007

First, I should apologize to those of you who don’t have Broadband. Apparently the last Ramblings took forever to download without it. I'm just hoping Tiscali who inadvertently lost the emails of 9 million customers for 7 days don't suddenly find them all and send them belatedly on. Because if they do I'm afraid you are all going to get it again!

I should have been more thoughtful. I suppose broadband is a bit like colour television, mobile phones and sat/nav. Things people never had; but they eventually become necessities of life. Broadband is so much quicker, these days relatively very cheap and getting so cheap I'm sure one day (hoping you live long enough) you will all join the club. Like the other items I mentioned you will then wonder why you took so long to get it.

And so we start July with a new prime minister and a total ban on smoking in public places. I wonder which will affect the population the most. It will be good to always be able to sing in smoke free venues. Kimber’s Men finish June with a show in the Stirk Public House in Sowerby Bridge on June 30th. It will be the last time I will have to perform in a smoky atmosphere. It’s free to get in and we will be a quintet for the first time as we’ve taken on a new member. I will however miss the smoky atmosphere of a Sunday Afternoon in the Puzzle Hall Inn when we sat around the fire roasting chestnuts. Of course we can still roast the chestnuts, but the atmosphere will be different, and in a sad way I’m going to miss it.

Mr Brown steps into the role of leader with new promises and an emphasis of a government without spin. Well there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one. And many of his disciples, the ones we voted for, are now starting to talk about ‘Iraq being a mistake’ and some are even saying ‘We went to war on a lie’! Well there’s a sudden overnight change of tune. Where were they that cold day in January when we marched to Hyde Park together? Sucking up to a liar that’s what they were doing.

And can anyone explain why Tony Bliar has chosen now to bestow a knighthood on Salman Rushdie? It seems as logical as attacking Iraq! Oh well; that’s probably why then. See I can answer my own questions. Why do I write this stuff?

Now to more important things. Kimber’s Men have, as I have just said, taken on an apprentice! His name is Gaz; and the idea of becoming a quintet has been brought about for a number of reasons. In the first instance he adds another dimension and harmony to the group. I’ve come to the conclusion in rehearsals that we sometimes sound thunderous now there are five voices. In and after 2009 Neil is also planning to spend a lot more time in Greece and as a consequence we decided another voice in the group would be a good idea. We would still be a quartet when he was away. It is also our intention to record a third CD next year; which will almost certainly be ‘live’ in concert; so it is essential we plan early as there is no point taking on another voice after recording another album.

July will also see the debut appearance in Northern Britain and Ireland of a super group from Chile called Banda Celtamericana. I met them in December 2003 when Luis Chirino Galvez invited me to travel to Valparaiso for the first ever Valparaiso Festival of the Sea. They are all graduates of the Valparaiso University of Music; brilliant musicians one and all. You can visit their web site by either simply typing their name into Google or by clicking which is a bit of a mouthful in anybodies language! Their concert gig list in Britain looks like this………. Thursday July 12th Worden Arts Centre, Leyland, Lancashire; Friday July 13th Otley Courthouse Arts and Resource Centre, Yorkshire; Sunday July 15th Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax, Yorkshire; Thursday July 19th Castle Hills Community Art College, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; Saturday July 21st Clitheroe Arts Centre; Lancashire; and Sunday 22nd July The Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. They are all evening concerts with the exception of ‘The Puzzle’ which is free at 4pm. On top of this they are giving workshops in 10 different primary schools in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford. They are also playing at The Fiddlers Green Festival in Ireland on July 25th.

There is another web site you should take a look at as you can now hear a part of Nigel Mazlyn Jones’ new album directly from You Tube together with additional help from the odd politician or two. It has had over 10,000 hits in a month.
The 'Planet for $ale' TV film link is
You can also get a free download of first 2 tracks of 'Planet for $ale' album at
The album had its live debut at Sunrise Celebration Festival on the 2nd June. NMJ was joined by Guy Evans of Van der Graaf Generator on drums and percussion and Toby Marks of Banco de Gaia on guitar. Excerpts will be broadcast by
You can visit Nigel’s web site for gig updates news etc. You can also hear “Ship to Shore” and “Behind the stone” at the You Tube link. Well worth the visit.

Occasionally in times of idleness I type ‘Joe Stead’ into Google to see if there is anything new included. I don’t know whether it’s an act of self admiration, a form of conceit. Perhaps other artists do it. Sometimes I get nice surprises, at other times I’m not so happy, but it has nonetheless proved a useful exercise. I was appalled this month to discover that there is another Joe Stead on the scene, probably an American judging by his language, and probably quite young, who has a quite disgusting web site . I guess there is absolutely nothing I can do about this; but I would like to emphasize it has nothing to do with me. Whilst trawling through I also came upon the following review of an album of mine I had not seen before.

JOE STEAD - Miles from Halifax
Private Label APL3
(CD index)
Sixteen tracks from the big southerner who saw sense and moved north. Recorded in Sowerby Bridge these songs are personal statements, reflections and comments on aspects of life that have triggered his need to write. They are aural snapshots of his life and events that have touched him in the recent past. If you have seen him recently you may well have heard much of the material.
Covering subjects such as Pete Seeger, Princess Di's death, the drudgery of working in Halifax, Aboriginal exploitation, New Labour betrayal - by now they may be replaced by a new set of observations.
Songs such as these are not for picking up by floor singers and they're not written with this in mind. Nor are they the sort of song that many others could sing. When most singers tend to come at a subject from a tangent, alluding but rarely stating, these songs are not for fainthearted singers. These are "Joe Stead" songs and few others could begin to sing them. So if you do want to hear them, seek out the big, bearded southerner from Sowerby Bridge. He'll make you welcome and sing you songs and tell you stories all night.
Stuart Cook

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

Jul 2nd (Joe) Moreley Pensioners Club – (Life and times Paul Robeson)
Jul 5th (Joe) Thornhill Probus Club – (Valparaiso)
Jul 6th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 7th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 8th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 8th (KM) The Foresters, St Peter’s, Jersey
Jul 12th (KM) Worden Arts Centre, Leyland with Banda Celtamericana
Jul 21st (KM) Clitheroe Arts Centre again with Banda Celtamericana
Jul 29th (KM) Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge
Aug 11th KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 12th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 13th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 23rd (Joe) Dewsbury over 55 Club – (Valparaiso)
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 1st (Joe) Amsterdam Festival of the Sea
Sep 2nd (Joe) Amsterdam Festival of the Sea
Sep 3rd (Joe) Conservative Club Folk Club, Bacup.
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 9th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 15th (KM) Clitheroe Golf Club
Nov 18th (KM) The Open Door Folk Club, The Royal Oak, Werneth, Oldham.
Feb 2nd (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Matinee and evening).
Feb 24th (KM) Southport Folk Club.
Feb 25th (Joe) Rossett School, Harrogate – Valparaiso round the Horn
Feb 29th (Joe) Ripon Heritage Centre – Life + Times Paul Robeson
May 9th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 10th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 11th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.

Jan 11th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare - Provisional
Jan 12th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare - Provisional



The first time ever! I’m obviously not being controversial enough!

I think I might suggest we start flogging women next month as they probably enjoy it more than we men do. That should get a few letters coming in. Anyway, I’m not suggesting it now; so please don’t write in and complain or encourage until I do.



So there!

Keep smiling, keep singing.