The Genius of Bert Jansch: Folk, Blues and Beyond


The Genius of Bert Jansch: Folk, Blues and Beyond

Interviews and archive footage weave together performances from a concert at the Royal Festival Hall celebrating the songs and artistry of the folk-blues troubadour Bert Jansch.


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Transcript


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The musical impact was immediate

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when we became aware of the guy called Bert Jansch.

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The dexterity and where he's coming from, as a stylist

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and as an individual, was very engaging for me.

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# Sitting behind the front wheel

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# Got my woman beside me too...#

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He had that kind of cool. He was just cool.

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Didn't have to try.

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Enviable, really.

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# I don't mind the drizzle and rain...#

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Chris said to me, "I'm going to introduce you to Bert Jansch

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"and you'll fall in love with him, cos all the girls do."

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# Baby, we're going home. #

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He had a poetic intensity and he was dark and mysterious.

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He didn't need to bang a drum about what he did.

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It was all there under his fingers, you know.

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At the end of the 1950s there was no fingerstyle guitar,

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hardly, in Britain.

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Ten years later Martin Carthy, Davy Graham, Bert Jansch,

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they had changed the world of acoustic guitar.

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# Just don't bother me. #

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He was this painfully shy, really sweet natured bloke and he started

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to play and I've never seen anybody attack the guitar the way he did it.

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He was really...grrrr, growling while he played sometimes.

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# Day-da-dam-da-doo-dum... #

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It's like a rite of passage a guitar player should know about,

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a bit of knowledge.

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You know, you need to learn how to do this and how to do that

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and at some point you're going to have to deal with Bert Jansch.

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APPLAUSE

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I'm glad that we're doing it here at the Festival Hall cos I think

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Bert liked being here.

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Two years ago, we played here with Bert and the original band.

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The first big gig was at Festival Hall

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and the last big gig was the Festival Hall.

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I talked to Danny Thompson and he said,

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"There's only one thing that I hate about this."

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He said, "It didn't happen when Bert was alive, so he could join in."

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I think Bert would have enjoyed it.

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He was always quite touched when people played his songs.

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I hadn't met Bernard before,

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His guitar strap's not quite as long as some of the guys I've worked with

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but he's got it right.

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I'm just going to, sort of, think, "Hey, Bert, this is for you."

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We'll all be nervy but that's OK too.

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Bert used to speed up when he got nervous.

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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I used to sing just in an amateur way with a 12 string player

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called Chris Ayliff

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and we were running a folk club in South London and John Renbourn

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and Bert used to come down and play and they were our highest

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paying artists, eight pounds, was an awful lot in those days.

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But I did meet Bert, and he went,

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"Do you want to come and have a cup of tea, love?"

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I went, "Oh, all right."

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That was it, really.

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John said to me,

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"We're forming a band and you're going to be the singer."

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# And in the place your time was waste

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# Will spread all over with rue

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# Will spread all over with rue. #

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When we first started, people gave us an awful lot of stick

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because we had bass and drums from the jazz world but we all loved jazz

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but everybody used to say, "We've never heard anything like it!"

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And I suppose, really, we played what we wanted to play.

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And we were lucky that a lot of people started to like it

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and bought the albums.

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Within that year, when we first started,

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we were playing the Festival Hall.

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# I've got a feeling

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# Concerning you

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# You know, I've got a feeling

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# Concerning you

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# Concerning the things

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# That you do

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# I ain't dreaming

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# When I think of you

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# I ain't dreaming

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# When I think of you

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# When I think of

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# What we're gonna do

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# Ooooh

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# Ooooh

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# Ahhh-oh-oh-ooooh

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# Ooooh

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# Ahhhh

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# Oooh-ooh-ooh-oooh

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SAXOPHONE SOLO

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# I've got a feeling

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# Concerning you

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# You know, I got a feeling

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# Concerning you

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# Concerning the things

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# That you do. #

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you.

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Spencer Cousins, Jonathan Wolf,

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Jerry Conway and Gary Foot, thank you.

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The gentleman behind me on the wall is Jackson C Frank.

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He made one record, which was produced by Paul Simon, over here.

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And Bert was, pretty much, obsessed with that record.

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Jackson C Frank had a horrible life

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and a lot of people wrote songs which sound a bit like this

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but they were really romantic songs about the concept of suffering.

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Jackson C Frank wasn't writing about the concept of suffering,

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he was suffering.

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Which, I think, makes this song...special.

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# Catch a boat to England, baby

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# Maybe to Spain

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# Wherever I have gone

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# Wherever I've been and gone

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# Wherever I have gone

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# The blues are all the same

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# Send down for whisky, baby

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# Send down for gin

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# Me and room service, honey

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# Me and room service, babe

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# Me and room service

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# We'll be living a life of sin

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# Try another city, honey

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# Try another town

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# Wherever I have gone

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# Wherever I've been and gone

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# Wherever I have gone

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# The blues, they followed me down

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# When I'm not drinking, Mama

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# You are on my mind

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# When I'm not drinking, Mama

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# When I'm not sleeping, baby

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# When I'm not drinking

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# You know you'll find me crying

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# Maybe tomorrow, honey

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# Somewhere down the line

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# I'll wake up older, Mama

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# Oh, so much older, child

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# I'll wake up older

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# And I'll soon quit all my trying

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# You know living's just a gamble, honey

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# Loving's just the same

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# Wherever I have gone

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# Wherever I played them cards

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# Wherever I've thrown them dice

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# The blues, they run the game

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# Catch a boat to England, baby

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# Maybe to Spain

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# Wherever I have gone

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# Wherever I've been and gone

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# Wherever I have gone

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# The blues, they run the game. #

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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Thank you very much.

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I had some very enlightened teachers in school

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and they used to take us on school trips to see Pentangle.

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Now, how cool is that?!

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LAUGHTER

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And there was one particular gentleman, I have to say,

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who I will always remember just being completely jaw-dropped by him.

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I thought he was utterly astonishing and I still think he is.

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Would you please welcome to the stage

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Danny Thompson, ladies and gentlemen?

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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We're going to do you a song, actually, my brother,

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who is 12 years older than me...

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My brother, Geoff, he used to fill the house with 78s.

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This was in the late '50s and so I got to hear

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all kinds of funky stuff and this was on a record and...

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..he did a nice version of it.

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One, two, three, four...

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# Now, since my baby left me

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# I found a new place to dwell

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# It's down the corner of Lonely Street

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# At Heartbreak Hotel

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# You make me so lonely, baby

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# You make me so lonely, baby

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# Make me so lonely I could die

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# Well, you know, it's always crowded

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# But you sure can find some room

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# Where broken-hearted lovers

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# Do just cry away their gloom

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# You made me so lonely, baby

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# You made me so lonely, baby

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# You made me so lonely I could die

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# Well, the bellhop's tears keep flowin'

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# And the desk clerk's dressed in black

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# They've been so long on Lonely Street

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# They ain't never coming back

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# I feel so lonely, baby

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# I get so lonely, baby

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# I get so lonely I could die

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# So, now if your baby leaves you

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# And you've got a tale to tell

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# You just take a little walk down Lonely Street

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# To Heartbreak Hotel

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# You made me so lonely, baby

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# You made me so lonely, baby

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# Made me so lonely I could die

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# Lonely, baby

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# I get so lonely, baby

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# I get so lonely I could die. #

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Danny Thompson.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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The Cousins folk club in Greek Street.

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Les Cousins, "lay coozan".

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No-one really knew how to pronounce it.

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We always thought it was "Les Cousin".

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I was looking for Les for years.

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Who was this bloke who owned it?

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The first time I went down to Cousins was with John Renbourn

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and we used to play there quite a lot, really.

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It seemed to concentrate mostly on the young generation of songwriters,

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Nick Drake, Johnny Martyn, Bert, John Renbourn, Roy Harper.

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The Cousins was a place for guitar players.

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I remember Bert didn't own a guitar at one point.

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He had a thumb pick made out of a spoon, a silver teaspoon,

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which he'd chopped the handle off and bent it round

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and he was playing that.

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His attack was really savage.

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Just a young guy sitting in the corner in a combat jacket,

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didn't look anything special and of course,

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when he got up on stage, he just completely blew everyone away.

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Saw lots of people there. And the all-nighters,

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people used to roll up in the corner with their sleeping bags.

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# It's daybreak

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# The all-nighters faded to a close

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# The last of the folk rises and goes... #

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I saw Bert one night at Les Cousins and we all went back to Bert's flat.

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I just sat at his feet and tried to work out what he was doing.

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It was clear that he was the guy to watch.

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And so I learned a lot from Bert.

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He was a great, willing teacher

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and I started writing songs about him.

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This one came.

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MUSIC: House Of Jansch by Donovan

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# Girl ain't nothing but a willow tree

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# Swaying in a summer breeze

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# You'll never change what has to be

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# Girl ain't nothing but a willow tree

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# Sometimes I don't know what I said till I did

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# I wanna be the father of your kid

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# Dragonfly, he sleeps till dawn

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# I knew I'd be here when love has gone

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# Crystal ball is what I wish for you

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# Get it straight, I love the both of you

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# Summer's going through a cold turkey

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# Girl ain't nothing but a willow tree

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# I give your baby a contact high

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# I love another, is what I sigh

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# Looks like rain, I do declare

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# Your baby wants to take my chocolate eclair

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# I couldn't cry

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# I could not laugh

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# Incident about a silken scarf

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# I know what a jealous trip can be

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# Girl ain't nothing but a willow tree

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# Girl ain't nothing but a willow tree

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# Wait for me

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# Willow tree. #

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Thank you. Bert Jansch.

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APPLAUSE

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Now the journey continues with the next artist. I'll see you later.

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Thank you.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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# To be exposed

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# In all my strife

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# You gaze upon

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# My troubled life

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# But it

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# Don't bother me

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# What you see

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# You take my name

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# And you hang it high

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# You paint my picture

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# With coloured lies

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# But it

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# Don't bother me

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# What you do

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# You twist my words

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# Like plaited reeds

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# To mark your gain

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# And help your needs

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# Oh, but it

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# Don't bother me

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# What you say

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# When the truth is told

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# Of who I am

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# Shall break the silence

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# Of waters calm

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# Oh, but it just don't bother me

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# Who I am

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# But if I was a beggar boy

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# I'd sing of riches I could enjoy

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# Oh, but...it don't bother me

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# What they are

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# I'm thinking now

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# I'd rather hide

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# Or turn my back

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# And stand aside

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# But it...don't bother me

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# What I do. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning with Paul and Lisa.

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I used to play that with Bert a lot.

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Cos he was so used to playing on his own, when anyone else was there

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it was suddenly, "Oh, what's going on?"

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With Lisa singing it, it sounds beautiful.

0:30:050:30:07

And me and Paul were trying to get her to be out of time,

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cos that's how it would have been with Bert.

0:30:100:30:12

"Do you think you could just...?

0:30:120:30:13

"If you edge ahead a little bit." Cos that's how it was with Bert.

0:30:130:30:17

APPLAUSE

0:30:240:30:26

# As fresh as a sweet Sunday morning

0:30:310:30:37

# Like a high stepping pony strutting and prancing

0:30:370:30:45

# Ah, she's so full of life

0:30:450:30:49

# Sparkling with tiny red roses

0:30:490:30:55

# Let there be music to please her

0:31:060:31:12

# Let it be sunbright to light up her day

0:31:120:31:20

# Let the moon light her night

0:31:200:31:25

# Fill her sweet body with sleepiness

0:31:250:31:31

# And if I were a small bird so tiny

0:31:420:31:48

# I'd climb in her hair now just to be near her

0:31:480:31:55

# And to hear her sweet voice

0:31:570:32:00

# And feel her sweet body beside me

0:32:000:32:06

# And if I were a high lord with riches

0:32:510:32:58

# I'd clothe her in satin from India's far highlands

0:32:580:33:05

# And I'd shoe her in gold

0:33:050:33:10

# And invite her to sit at my table

0:33:100:33:16

# So step out young lady dancing

0:33:270:33:33

# To the sound of sweet music so gaily come singing

0:33:330:33:41

# For your beauty so rare

0:33:410:33:45

# Is as fresh as a sweet Sunday morning. #

0:33:450:33:51

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:34:190:34:21

The manager that we had in the late-'60s, early-'70s, Jo Lustig,

0:34:240:34:27

he said we were the quietest band on stage but the loudest off.

0:34:270:34:31

SHE LAUGHS He was probably right.

0:34:310:34:33

# Well, if hosen and shoon

0:34:330:34:35

# Thou ne'er gav'st nane

0:34:350:34:39

# Any nighte and alle... #

0:34:390:34:45

And then, of course, there were tours of America.

0:34:450:34:47

It was really funny, because we all went

0:34:470:34:49

tweedy and very British, you know.

0:34:490:34:52

And I came back looking like Pocahontas...

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with buckskin dresses and stuff.

0:34:560:34:58

It turned our heads, really, going to America.

0:34:580:35:01

We were just like children in a sweet shop, you know.

0:35:010:35:03

All those lovely memories.

0:35:030:35:06

# Fair thee well, little lady

0:35:130:35:18

# Train's a-carrying me

0:35:180:35:24

# One, two, three and the four thousand miles

0:35:240:35:30

# Miles from you

0:35:300:35:33

# Oh, I tried my best to be your man

0:35:370:35:44

# Can you see, can you feel, I'm burning into myself

0:35:450:35:52

# Don't you understand? #

0:35:520:35:55

APPLAUSE

0:36:410:36:43

CHEERING

0:36:430:36:45

Do you remember that, Dan?

0:36:480:36:50

-Yeah, we had some fun on the road in those days.

-We did.

0:36:500:36:54

Yeah. So it was real. Yeah, it was a joyful experience.

0:36:540:36:58

We were all mates together playing darts and socialising together.

0:36:580:37:03

And it wasn't at all kind of record business and publishing.

0:37:030:37:07

We just did it for the music.

0:37:070:37:09

-I think that says it all, we were all together. It was lovely.

-Great.

0:37:090:37:13

-Sorry about the Speedos.

-LAUGHTER

0:37:130:37:15

-That's when I could wear 'em.

-LAUGHTER

0:37:220:37:25

# I once thought that I did know all about it

0:37:480:37:55

# The rain falls, the wind blows and the sun shines

0:37:570:38:05

# Oh, don't you know that your creator is a-running out of ideas?

0:38:070:38:15

# I know that I might die of poison

0:38:200:38:28

# Invisible hanging there in the sunlight

0:38:310:38:38

# Oh, don't you know that your creator is a-running out of ideas?

0:38:400:38:48

# If I was you, I'd be friendly to your neighbour

0:39:230:39:31

# Be glad that he don't want to be your enemy

0:39:340:39:41

# Oh, don't you know that your creator is a-running out of ideas? #

0:39:430:39:51

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:40:090:40:12

Thank you very much. Thank you.

0:40:120:40:14

Danny, Terry, Bernard Butler.

0:40:140:40:16

APPLAUSE

0:40:160:40:18

I think it's fair to say that there are a lot of friends of Bert Jansch

0:40:280:40:33

involved in this show this evening.

0:40:330:40:35

I'd like to introduce somebody who is on his second album, I believe.

0:40:350:40:38

Would you please welcome the stage Beverley Martyn and her band?

0:40:380:40:42

APPLAUSE

0:40:420:40:44

Hi.

0:40:530:40:54

# Keeps on raining, levee's gonna break

0:41:340:41:41

# Keeps on raining, levee's gonna break

0:41:430:41:50

# And all you people won't have nowhere to stay

0:41:500:41:58

# Oh, last night, I stood on the levee and moaned

0:41:580:42:05

# Oh, last night I stood on the levee and moaned

0:42:070:42:13

# Thinking about my baby and my happy home

0:42:140:42:21

# Rain won't help you

0:42:220:42:25

# Crying won't do you no good

0:42:250:42:30

# Rain won't help you

0:42:300:42:33

# Crying won't do no good

0:42:330:42:37

# When the levee breaks, man, you got to move

0:42:370:42:45

# Worked on the levee, momma, both night and day

0:43:100:43:17

# Worked on the levee, momma

0:43:170:43:21

# Both night and day

0:43:210:43:24

# I was a-working so hard just to keep the water away

0:43:240:43:32

# Now, it's a mean old levee cause me to weep and moan

0:43:560:44:04

# Mean old levee cause me to weep and moan

0:44:050:44:12

# Cause me to leave my baby and my happy home

0:44:120:44:19

# And if it keeps on raining the levee's gonna break

0:44:190:44:27

# Keeps on raining, levee's gonna break

0:44:290:44:35

# And all you people won't have nowhere to stay. #

0:44:350:44:43

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:45:340:45:37

I can't tell you...how much Bert meant to me.

0:45:410:45:45

My favourite thing that he ever did was called Blackwaterside.

0:45:450:45:48

And he used to play this thing for me and I actually cried,

0:45:480:45:52

I couldn't believe it. You know, I was going, "Bert!"

0:45:520:45:55

Bert's grounding in folk music was very strong. Very, very strong.

0:45:590:46:04

I think you can hear in the constructions of his songs as well.

0:46:040:46:07

When he played traditional songs,

0:46:070:46:10

he let the words dictate where the guitar should go.

0:46:100:46:14

That was exactly the right thing to do.

0:46:140:46:17

But he was there first.

0:46:170:46:19

# One morning fair, I took the air

0:46:190:46:23

# Down on Blackwaterside... #

0:46:230:46:28

He had a relationship with this

0:46:280:46:29

lovely English singer called Annie Briggs

0:46:290:46:32

and he learned a few songs from her.

0:46:320:46:34

He learned Jack Orion and he learned Blackwaterside from her.

0:46:340:46:37

He created something pretty wonderful out of what had been

0:46:370:46:41

a song that had been around for 300-400 years.

0:46:410:46:44

And he's come up with this exquisite arrangement,

0:46:440:46:46

much envied, much copied.

0:46:460:46:49

Much copied.

0:46:490:46:51

And still a benchmark for people that want to show

0:46:510:46:54

they can play guitar and like folk music.

0:46:540:46:56

The song I want to do...

0:47:000:47:01

I've called it The Kiss In The Rain

0:47:010:47:04

to suggest something that is a bit transitory or doesn't really last.

0:47:040:47:09

And it's a mythologizing of the handing over of Blackwaterside

0:47:090:47:14

by Ann to Bert.

0:47:140:47:16

# In my mind I see Annie and Bert running free

0:47:260:47:31

# Over the hills but inside of the sea

0:47:310:47:36

# And there's no map between them, just music their guide

0:47:360:47:43

# And the moon on dark water

0:47:430:47:46

# Like a road they could ride

0:47:460:47:50

# Now one day they wrote a new page in their lives

0:47:540:48:00

# Written on wings of sea birds as they dived

0:48:000:48:06

# Swooping down to the sea, marked the turn of the tide

0:48:060:48:11

# And he sang him the song

0:48:110:48:16

# She called Blackwaterside

0:48:170:48:20

# Do do do do do do

0:48:210:48:24

# Do do do do do do

0:48:240:48:27

# Ah da day

0:48:270:48:28

# Da-da day

0:48:280:48:30

# In unfettered freedom, life coursed through their veins

0:48:310:48:36

# A promise exchanged for a kiss in the rain

0:48:360:48:42

# To return her sweet favour if she would decide

0:48:420:48:48

# To teach him the song

0:48:480:48:51

# She called Blackwaterside

0:48:510:48:54

# She sang it again and he took his guitar

0:48:570:49:02

# And he sank by the rocks and he worked a long hour

0:49:020:49:08

# Till he fitted the tune she'd agreed to provide

0:49:080:49:14

# To the words of the song

0:49:140:49:17

# She called Blackwaterside

0:49:170:49:20

# Now when it was finished and fashioned and true

0:49:330:49:38

# Becoming the bond of this oneness of two

0:49:380:49:43

# For the words and the music you cannot divide

0:49:430:49:49

# They're both parts of the song

0:49:490:49:53

# They call Blackwaterside

0:49:530:49:57

# Now the story it told would be much like their own

0:50:220:50:27

# Except for deception, of which there was none

0:50:270:50:32

# There was no promise broken, no tears to be dried

0:50:320:50:38

# Just honey and birdsong

0:50:380:50:43

# Was Blackwaterside

0:50:430:50:46

# Do do do do do, do

0:50:470:50:49

# Do do do do do do

0:50:490:50:52

# Ah da da da

0:50:520:50:54

# Deedle day

0:50:540:50:57

# Do do do do

0:50:570:50:59

# Do do do do do do

0:50:590:51:02

# Da da da da da da

0:51:020:51:05

# She asked him to play it to her again

0:51:090:51:14

# For fear it might fade, like a kiss in the rain

0:51:140:51:19

# But the notes on his guitar did ripple and glide

0:51:210:51:27

# They sparkled like moonlight

0:51:270:51:30

# On Blackwaterside

0:51:300:51:34

# Do do da da

0:51:350:51:38

# La la la la la

0:51:380:51:40

# Da da da da, da da

0:51:400:51:43

# Oh, they sparkle like moonlight

0:51:440:51:49

# On Blackwaterside. #

0:51:490:51:55

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:52:000:52:03

Thanks ever so much. Listen, it's my very great pleasure and privilege

0:52:090:52:14

to introduce Martin Carthy and Lisa Knapp.

0:52:140:52:18

APPLAUSE

0:52:180:52:21

This is that Blackwaterside.

0:52:330:52:36

APPLAUSE

0:52:380:52:40

I didn't really make any kind of an effort to play it like Bert,

0:52:420:52:45

I thought it'd be rather silly.

0:52:450:52:47

Cos nobody could play it like him.

0:52:480:52:50

# One morning fair

0:53:110:53:15

# To take the air

0:53:150:53:20

# Down by Blackwaterside

0:53:220:53:29

# 'Twas in gazing all

0:53:300:53:35

# All around me

0:53:350:53:39

# 'Twas the Irish lad I spied

0:53:400:53:48

# And all for the first part of the night

0:53:500:53:58

# We lay in sport and play

0:53:590:54:05

# Then this young man he arose

0:54:060:54:12

# And he's put on his clothes

0:54:130:54:17

# He says fare you well today

0:54:170:54:24

# Well that's not the promise you gave to me

0:54:250:54:33

# When first you lay on my bed

0:54:330:54:39

# You could make me believe

0:54:390:54:46

# With your lying tongue

0:54:460:54:50

# That the sun rose in the West

0:54:500:54:56

# Then go home, go home

0:54:590:55:03

# To your father's garden

0:55:030:55:08

# You go home and weep your fill

0:55:080:55:16

# And you think on your own

0:55:160:55:21

# Misfortune

0:55:210:55:25

# That you've brought with your want and will

0:55:260:55:34

# One morning fair

0:55:340:55:38

# For to take the air

0:55:380:55:42

# Down by Blackwaterside

0:55:420:55:49

# 'Twas in gazing all

0:55:490:55:54

# All around me

0:55:560:56:00

# Was the Irish lad I spied. #

0:56:010:56:09

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:56:110:56:16

Right.

0:56:360:56:38

# I'm walkin' down a track

0:56:580:57:00

# I got tears in my eyes

0:57:000:57:04

# Tryin' to read a letter from my home

0:57:040:57:08

# And if that train keep running right

0:57:090:57:12

# I'll be home tomorrow night

0:57:120:57:16

# Cos I'm 900 miles from my home

0:57:170:57:21

# And I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow

0:57:230:57:27

# And I'll pawn you my watch

0:57:310:57:34

# And I'll pawn you my chain

0:57:340:57:38

# I'll pawn you my gold diamond ring

0:57:380:57:41

# And if that train keep running right

0:57:430:57:46

# I'll be home tomorrow night

0:57:460:57:49

# Cos I'm 900 miles from my home

0:57:510:57:56

# I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow

0:57:570:58:01

# That train I ride on

0:58:410:58:43

# It's 100 coaches long

0:58:430:58:47

# And the whistle blow a million miles

0:58:470:58:51

# And if that train keep running right

0:58:520:58:55

# I'll be home tomorrow night

0:58:550:58:58

# Cos I'm 900 miles from my home

0:58:590:59:05

# I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow

0:59:060:59:10

# Cos I'm 900 miles from my home

0:59:140:59:19

# I hate to hear that lonesome whistle blow. #

0:59:210:59:24

APPLAUSE

1:00:421:00:44

What Bert had was a real sense of expression and looseness...

1:00:471:00:53

..and darkness.

1:00:541:00:55

What's that? That's rock 'n' roll. It's the blues, you know.

1:00:551:00:59

So it makes perfect sense to me that he, of all of those guitar

1:00:591:01:03

players of his generation, would appeal to the people he appealed to.

1:01:031:01:07

# Now the river sings the sweetest songs in a million harmonies

1:01:071:01:12

# But the sun shines brighter on the other side

1:01:121:01:15

# That's where I wanna be. #

1:01:151:01:17

The blues side of it is intrinsic to rock music

1:01:181:01:21

and where I've come from, my education,

1:01:211:01:24

and so I felt really at home with that and when I started

1:01:241:01:26

playing like that with Bert, I realise that he really locked

1:01:261:01:30

into that because, essentially, a lot of his background is the blues.

1:01:301:01:33

Bert gave me permission to be eclectic.

1:01:381:01:42

The fact that he played, on the one hand, blues,

1:01:421:01:46

on the other hand, traditional Scots ballads. I mean, I...

1:01:461:01:50

I felt very, very strongly, from a very early age,

1:01:501:01:54

that all that music was essentially the same.

1:01:541:01:57

# I don't believe I've seen a woman like you

1:01:571:02:03

# Anywhere. #

1:02:041:02:07

And when you're young and sassy and you want to get going in life

1:02:071:02:10

and you want to express yourself, I think

1:02:101:02:14

it was the blues that attracted us to Bert.

1:02:141:02:19

But he was mixing the blues with the trad.

1:02:191:02:22

That was what made him unique.

1:02:221:02:24

I was playing John Lee Hooker

1:02:281:02:29

and Jimmy Reed stuff at the town hall in the Black Country

1:02:291:02:33

opening for Gene Vincent

1:02:331:02:34

and meanwhile I was going to a folk club on a Thursday night

1:02:341:02:37

and playing washboard and soaking up another world alongside.

1:02:371:02:44

I was just looking across and listening to him

1:02:441:02:47

and getting on, wiggling around a little bit

1:02:471:02:50

and getting ready for the leather trousers, I suppose.

1:02:501:02:52

# Drawing water from the well

1:03:171:03:20

# Spilling over on the grass

1:03:231:03:26

# Walking home my heart is filled with pain

1:03:291:03:34

# Oh, woe is me

1:03:341:03:38

# Go your way, my love

1:03:391:03:43

# Go your way, my love

1:03:471:03:50

# As I walk through the trees

1:03:541:03:58

# Picking up the windy leaves

1:04:001:04:04

# Thinking where you may be sleeping now

1:04:061:04:10

# I-I-I-I wanna die

1:04:111:04:15

# Go your way, my love

1:04:171:04:21

# Ooh, go your way, my love

1:04:231:04:29

# As I sit, mending your clothes

1:04:321:04:36

# That you will never, ever wear

1:04:381:04:43

# Cooking daily for you, I prepare

1:04:441:04:49

# But woe is me

1:04:511:04:55

# So go your way, my love

1:04:561:05:00

# Go your way, my...

1:05:041:05:12

# Is there war in some far land?

1:05:421:05:44

# And have you gone to lend a hand?

1:05:471:05:51

# And do you lie broken and dying now?

1:05:531:05:58

# Oh, I-I-I-I wanna die

1:05:581:06:04

# Go you way, my love

1:06:051:06:10

# Go your way, my love

1:06:131:06:20

# Drawing water from the well

1:06:211:06:23

# Spilling over on the grass

1:06:271:06:30

# Walking home my heart is filled with pain

1:06:321:06:37

# Woe is me

1:06:391:06:43

# Go your way, my love

1:06:451:06:49

# Go your way, my love

1:06:531:06:59

# Go

1:07:031:07:10

# Go

1:07:111:07:19

# My love. #

1:07:201:07:28

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

1:07:301:07:32

Thank you very much. Beautiful song. Thank you.

1:07:391:07:44

Well, a few years ago, I bumped into Bert

1:07:461:07:51

and it was a spectacular night and very moving, beautiful guitar

1:07:511:07:58

and I dared to knock on his dressing room door afterwards

1:07:581:08:03

and we talked for a while and we found how many amazing roots

1:08:031:08:09

and influences that we all share coming from these

1:08:091:08:13

different places in music and these great cross sections

1:08:131:08:17

and crossroads in time in the '60s.

1:08:171:08:21

Talking of that,

1:08:211:08:22

I used to sing a song that was immortalised by Tim Rose

1:08:221:08:27

and, I guess, the Grateful Dead

1:08:271:08:30

and later in the '90s I recorded this song

1:08:301:08:33

and one day there was a knock on the door and this lady

1:08:331:08:36

stood at the door and she said, "You're singing my song."

1:08:361:08:38

And I was totally unaware that this spectacular piece of music had

1:08:381:08:43

been written by the great - ladies and gentlemen, please welcome -

1:08:431:08:47

Bonnie Dobson.

1:08:471:08:48

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

1:08:481:08:51

And Speedo.

1:09:041:09:06

LAUGHTER

1:09:061:09:08

APPLAUSE

1:09:081:09:10

# Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my honey

1:09:321:09:39

# Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my love

1:09:411:09:48

# You can't go walking in the morning dew today

1:09:501:09:57

# You can't go walking in the morning dew today

1:09:591:10:06

# But listen

1:10:081:10:10

# I hear a man moaning, "Lord"

1:10:101:10:16

# I know I hear a man moaning, "Lord"

1:10:181:10:25

# You didn't hear a man moan at all

1:10:271:10:35

# You didn't hear a man moan at all

1:10:361:10:44

# But I know I hear my baby crying, "Mama!"

1:10:451:10:53

# Yes, I know I hear my baby crying, "Mama!"

1:10:541:11:02

# You'll never hear your baby cry again

1:11:051:11:10

# You'll never hear your baby cry again

1:11:141:11:20

# Oh, where have all the people gone?

1:11:231:11:30

# Won't you tell me where have all the people gone?

1:11:321:11:40

# Don't you worry about the people any more

1:11:431:11:48

# Don't you worry about the people any more

1:11:511:11:58

# Now there is no more morning dew, my darling

1:12:401:12:44

# Now there is no more morning dew today

1:12:481:12:54

# What they been saying all these years is not true, my darling

1:12:581:13:04

# Oh, there is no more No more, no, no, no, no

1:13:081:13:15

# Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my honey

1:13:161:13:24

# Please, take me for a walk in the morning dew, my love

1:13:251:13:33

# You can't go walking in the morning dew today

1:13:351:13:41

# You can't go walking in the morning dew today

1:13:441:13:51

# Hey, hey

1:13:531:13:58

# Hey

1:13:581:14:03

# Oh. #

1:14:051:14:07

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

1:14:301:14:33

Bonnie Dobson.

1:14:401:14:41

Would you give a big welcome to Wizz Jones?

1:14:491:14:52

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

1:14:521:14:54

This is a song from Bert's Black Swan album.

1:15:131:15:17

And, if I'm right about who the song is about...

1:15:211:15:25

..Bert sort of regrets that he didn't do more to help

1:15:261:15:29

a fellow musician.

1:15:291:15:31

It's from the time when Bert was living in Putney, I believe.

1:15:331:15:36

And I was there, and he did do plenty.

1:15:401:15:42

He did as much as a man can do.

1:15:421:15:44

It's called High Days.

1:15:531:15:54

# Sorry if I failed you

1:16:551:16:59

# For that I'll take the blame

1:16:591:17:01

# Sorry if I snubbed you

1:17:031:17:06

# I'll hang my head in shame

1:17:061:17:10

# Those people you call friends

1:17:101:17:14

# Did you much more harm than good

1:17:141:17:17

# I should've tried much harder

1:17:171:17:21

# To reach out when I could

1:17:211:17:24

# When the children come and visit you

1:17:311:17:35

# You break into a smile

1:17:351:17:38

# They fill your heart with sunshine

1:17:381:17:42

# Just for a little while

1:17:421:17:45

# You made a paper aeroplane

1:17:461:17:49

# Just to teach them how to fly

1:17:491:17:53

# When it crashed down on the runway

1:17:531:17:57

# You didn't ask the pilot why

1:17:571:18:00

# I got the lady from Baltimore

1:18:061:18:11

# Stuck on my mind

1:18:111:18:13

# Bringing back those high days

1:18:151:18:18

# When we used to hang around

1:18:181:18:20

# You played your guitar

1:18:211:18:25

# But you never, ever finished a song

1:18:251:18:28

# It didn't matter then

1:18:291:18:31

# I guess it doesn't matter now

1:18:331:18:35

# I got the lady from Baltimore

1:19:071:19:11

# Stuck on my mind

1:19:121:19:14

# Bringing back those high days

1:19:161:19:19

# When we would hang around

1:19:191:19:21

# You played your guitar

1:19:221:19:26

# And never, ever finished a song

1:19:261:19:29

# It didn't matter then

1:19:301:19:32

# I guess it doesn't matter now

1:19:331:19:36

# I guess it doesn't matter now. #

1:19:371:19:40

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

1:19:531:19:56

He was way ahead of me, musically. I mean, it was me, Long John Baldry

1:19:571:20:01

and David Graham and Martin Carthy. We thought we had it cracked.

1:20:011:20:04

And then, of course, Bert arrived. It was a whole new world.

1:20:041:20:07

We can all learn how to play scales and stuff like that

1:20:071:20:10

and it's the personality is the unique thing in music

1:20:101:20:12

that everybody tries to establish and that's something with him

1:20:121:20:16

that's definitely unmistakable.

1:20:161:20:18

There had been nobody like him and there has,

1:20:181:20:21

since that time, been nobody like him.

1:20:211:20:23

# Strolling down the highway

1:20:241:20:29

# I'm gonna get there my way

1:20:301:20:34

# Dusk till dawn I'm walking

1:20:361:20:40

# Can't you hear my guitar rockin'

1:20:401:20:43

# While I stroll on down the highway?

1:20:431:20:51

# Strolling down the highway

1:21:201:21:24

# I'm gonna get there my way

1:21:261:21:30

# Dusk till dawn I'm walking

1:21:311:21:35

# Can't you hear my guitar rockin'

1:21:351:21:39

# While I stroll on down the highway? #

1:21:391:21:47

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

1:21:591:22:02

Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.

1:22:031:22:05

Goodnight.

1:22:141:22:15

Interviews and rare archive footage weave together performances from a landmark multi-artist concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London, celebrating the songs and artistry of the great folk-blues troubadour Bert Jansch.

Ralph McTell, Robert Plant, Donovan, members of Pentangle, Bernard Butler, Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Lisa Knapp and more pay tribute to Jansch, who died in 2011.

Robert Plant shows his vocal prowess with a powerful rendition of Go Your Way My Love, joined by Jansch collaborator Bernard Butler. Martin Simpson and Danny Thompson surprise with a version of Heartbreak Hotel, a track covered by Jansch. Ralph McTell tackles the seminal Angie and Lisa Knapp and Martin Carthy combine for Blackwaterside - Jansch's arrangement of which heavily influenced Led Zep's Black Mountain Side.

An effortlessly cool singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist, Bert Jansch came to prominence in the folk clubs of the mid-1960s: the concert's stage set recalls the legendary Les Cousins club in London's Soho, where he was a resident artist, and the Royal Festival Hall itself was the venue for Pentangle's first and final major gigs. Jansch galvanized a whole scene, through his solo work, as a duo with John Renbourn and with his folk-jazz supergroup Pentangle. Neil Young called him the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar, Led Zeppelin and Paul Simon were weaned on him and younger generation musicians including Beth Orton and Johnny Marr beat a path to his door. Bert Jansch's influence reached far and wide.


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