Roy Bailey Releases First Live Album

Roy Bailey Releases First Live Album


Posted 2016-11-18 by David Vincentfollow

When it came to recording his first ever live album, Sheffield-based activist and performer Roy Bailey opted to capture a performance at the festival for which he is perhaps most associated: Towersey.
"I've been involved in this festival since before it began because I used to sing at the Towersey Folk Club, which was run by a guy called Dennis Manners, and Dennis and I became good friends. This was 1962-63, something like that … a long time ago," recalls Roy.
"I was there when he and a colleague of his said 'should we have a festival in this village?' And I said 'Yes!' somewhat enthusiastically, and they told me to tell all my friends! Which I did."

Roy appeared at the first festival, in 1965, and his now traditional 90 minute August Bank Holiday Monday afternoon concerts remain a festival highlight to this day.

Later awarded an MBE in 2000 (an award he subesquently returned in protest at the Government's foreign policy), Roy's also gone on to work with such esteemed figures as Tony Benn MP, Martin Carthy, Leon Rosselson, even 'narcho-pop funsters Chumbawamba, as well as release a string of well-received studio long-players, including several collections of children's songs.

So why has it taken him until he's 80 to finally release a live album?

"I really don't know," he responds, though confesses that the idea had been brewing since a live recording of Rolling Home cropped up on What You Do With What You've Got in the '90s.
"A lot of people comment on it because the audience are really enjoying it, and I wanted to get that with a full concert, not just in a small club, but I never got around to it because I'm lazy," Roy smiles.

Recorded with Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting, and others, and featuring such tracks as Bob Dylan's With God On Our Side, Tom Waits' In The Neighborhood and John Tams' Rolling Home, along with three compositions by Si Kahn, Roy says he "proud" of Live At Towersey Festival 2015. He hints it could be his last album, though is quick to add he has no plans to hang up is cap.
"I cannot imagine retiring. I may imagine not making any more CDs, mind you - I've imagined that for the third time now. When I sent a copy of the album to [critic] Colin Irwin he came back saying 'I'm delighted you've made another last CD', as I've done three of those now," he laughs.
"I've been saying that since [2001's] Coda, Sit Down And Sing, right through to this one. I meant it at the time. But the longer you are in this business, the more you come across songs you want to sing."

Roy Bailey's Live At Towersey Festival is available now via Fuse Records.

Check out some other tracks from Roy's long career:

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