Vocal and instrumental music, social and ceremonial dance have all played a role in Keith Kendrick's career which has spanned nearly five decades. He looks for the best ways to communicate the inspiration that has motivated him. He has a vernacular delivery, which maintains respect for the music and combines with vocal and instrumental skills to make his performances a pleasure to listen to. If you want an example of someone for whom folk music and life have become completely inseparable - a true folk musician - look no further than Keith. His repertoire when singing with Sylvia comprises mainly English traditional and traditionally influenced contemporary songs. Both have strong voices and compatible and complimentary styles of delivery and they produce a striking acapella harmony sound. They also accompany themselves and play lively dance tunes on three different systems of the only English invented musical instrument - the Concertina. "....breathtaking harmony work that leaves the listener gasping............”



Keith Kendrick: Lead vocal & Harmony vocal, English and Anglo concertina, Foot- percussion

Sylvia Needham: Lead vocal & Harmony vocal, McCann Duet concertina, Banjo/Ukulele

Pete Bullock: Baritone Saxophone

Tom Miller: Piano Pierce Butler: Drums & Top-Set Percussion

Keith Holloway: Melodeon

1 Shine On 
John Richards 

This is a wonderful song, written by the amazing, especially for the late Johnny Collins to sing. It deals, in a very compassionate and hope-filled way, with the struggles of anyone finding themselves addicted to the demon alcohol and striving to get free. To everyone’s great sadness, Johnny tragically left us before he could get to record or sing it out and some months later, JR very kindly asked if we would give it a shot. Thank you John…here it is. We sing it as a kind of tribute to our long-time good friend, Johnny, and to help to throw a light on JRs great and prolific song-writing skills. We plan to do more from his ditty-bag. 

2 Jack-in-the-Box/March Bluebeard 


Two delightful polka-marches from an old Sheffield manuscript, handed to me by the late folklorist and fine singer Malcolm Fox some thirty odd years ago. My old ceilidh band ‘Ram’s Bottom’ recorded it all that time ago on their one and only LP recording ‘The Young May Moon’ and to be honest, the set has never left my repertoire, being such great tunes as they are. KK 

3 The Christmas Hare 
Roger Watson 

This and ‘Gilliver’ (later on this CD) are a tribute (as my/our personal thanks) to the great Roger Watson for a debt that neither I nor anyone else can really ever repay for his talent and his immense contribution to the entire fabric of our folk revival over 50 plus years. One of the most quietly ingenious and generous men it’s ever been my privilege to know. Most people know by now that Roger, although, thankfully, still with us, is pretty much rendered unable to maintain his record of contribution due to severe ill health over the last 5 or 6 years but we hope that singing these songs will somehow filter down to some sort of income contribution for him somewhere along the process. The song, (which my old band the ‘Druids’ also recorded on their first album in 1971), we understand, is based on a story Roger’s mum told him as a small boy. It’s about a bus ride from Hucknall to Mansfield (taking in all the stops enroute) culminating in the driver’s triumphant acquisition of a fine piece of road kill for his familys’ seasonal dinner. We believe there may be SOME truth in the story – we’re just not sure which bits…Thanks Roger KK 

4 The Old Ships Rolling Home 
Trad 

For a good ten years, myself and Ian Smith (ex Notts Alliance and Ram’s Bottom and now living in Spain with his lovely wife, Carol) toured pretty much all of the many shanty festivals that sprung up on the UK coast around the mid 90s and a very fine time we had till life changes and resulting relocations for both of us kind’ve brought it to a logistical end. This is one that Ian himself re-worked from original text and melody and one that he always sang and beautifully too. I always wanted to steal it and with his kind permission, I eventually did about fifteen years ago but, I’ve only sung it out three or four times…putting it on here should rectify that situation, I hope…KK 

5 Silver in the Stubble 
Sydney Carter 

Written by the much celebrated (and deservedly so) Sydney Carter, another wonderful song-smith. A few years ago I wanted to learn some of his songs, so bought his song books and read them on a train journey to Glasgow. The result was that I later convinced Keith that we should put a show together to throw a light on the depth and versatility of Sydney’s song-writing. We have performed the show several times, including in America. At Sidmouth FF, although we didn’t know it, Sidney’s son Michael was in the audience - he introduced himself afterwards. Good job as well, I would have been so nervous to know he was there. Fortunately, he enjoyed the show and we made a friend. Silver in the Stubble is dear to Keith’s heart, or rather, chin. SN 

6 Finest Captain on the Sea 
Linda Woodruff 

There are so many songs about the nasty sea captains that Linda Woodruff decided that it was about time we saw them in a different light. Tongue in cheek perhaps, but great fun. Linda goes to many of our local clubs, including the DHTMC that Keith and I help Paul Slater to run in Derby. Her songs always have a way of looking at things that make you giggle or go “Oh, yes. NOW I see”. SN 

7 Bedlam 
Trad 

This wonderful version of Bedlam from Book 2 of ‘The Crystal Spring’ has been part of my personal repertoire since Barry Coope and I sang it in duo around the late 70s. We never recorded it sadly but, I did on my first ever solo recording ‘Me ‘Umble Lot’ using full accompaniment. More recently, we’ve revisited it here with Sylvia sprinkling her harmonic fairy dust over it and here we are again. Very, VERY good song. KK 

8 Fruits & Flowers/Three Jolly Sailor Boys 
Trad 

Two more splendid polkas from that magical Sheffield manuscript – thanks again, Malcolm, wherever you are…also thanks to my current band BandAnglo for helping to enhance and fatten out the sound here good job!. KK 

9 Giles Scroggins 
Trad 

We were inspired to record this song and the next after being invited by Nic Dow to take part in a series of performances to launch the book “A Southern Harvest” (Francis Boutle Publishers). This book is the publication in one volume of the Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts, originally edited by Frank Purslow and published by the EFDSS of both “The Foggy Dew”, where you can find Giles Scroggins, and “The Constant Lovers”. SN 

10 Bonny Kate 
Trad 

I have been singing this song for quite a few years. Not your typical “damsel in distress” story. It is from “The Wanton Seed”. Apart from the story, I like it because of the unusual placing of what you might call the refrain. It is a repeat of the first line 

11 Father Christmas 
Linda Woodruff 

Another song from Linda Woodruff. You have probably asked yourself, “Where does Father Christmas go in spring and summer?” Well, now we know because Linda found out and wrote a song about it. There will be more of her songs in our repertoire in the future. We won’t be able to help ourselves. SN 

12 Standing in the Rain 
Sydney Carter 

Another Sydney Carter song which was not in our show originally. We, a couple of years ago, were honoured to be asked by Sir Steven Sedley to take part in a performance to commemorate what would have been Sydney 100th birthday. Martin Carthy sang this song that very night and we came home and learned it straight away. It is the third song on the CD to mention Christmas, but it’s not a jolly one. Sydney wrote this in the 1960s and, unfortunately, 50 years later, the message is still just as valid and needs to be sung. SN 

13 Always Money for a War 
Ian Robb 

Another political, on the button, humdinger from the pen of that great British exile,. Written a couple of years ago in protest of the right wing, war funding characteristics of the then Canadian President, Stephen Harper. I tweaked it a little at Ian’s suggestion to fit with the UK political backdrop of 2015. Slightly out of date by the time this record comes out but, who knows, the next leader of the Tories may well be another David – that’s if they still exist by then…KK 

14 Gilliver 
Roger Watson 

Roger Watson’s advice on how to look after your pit pony. Gilliver, or gillyflower here means “Wall Flower”. It originates from the Greek word for the spice known as clove. It’s also used for flowers that have the fragrance of cloves, the wall-flower being one of them. SN 

15 Tip -Top Polka (Britannia Coconut Dance) 
Trad 

Possibly the two most delightful and infectious English dance tunes ever to exist – had to do it….thanks again to BandAnglo. KK 

16 Van Dieman’s Land 
Trad 

Another re-visit from my first solo album, still an all-time favourite of mine. KK 


17 I Am Christmas 
John Conolly and Bill Meek 

Absolutely belting anthemic song here by John Conolly and Bill Meek which literally personifies Christmas as a being. Just wonderful – Merry Christmas everybody, from us both… KK 
Shine On
This is a wonderful song
Jack-in-the-Box/March Bluebeard
Two delightful polka-marches from an old Sheffield manuscript
Sample not available
The Christmas Hare
This and ‘Gilliver’ (later on this CD) are a tribute (as my/our personal thanks) to the great Roger Watson for a debt that neither I nor anyone else can really ever repay for his talent and his immense contribution to the entire fabric of our folk revival over 50 plus years. One of the most quietly ingenious and generous men it’s ever been my privilege to know. Most people know by now that Roger
Sample not available
The Old Ships Rolling Home
For a good ten years
Silver in the Stubble
Written by the much celebrated (and deservedly so) Sydney Carter
Sample not available
Finest Captain on the Sea
There are so many songs about the nasty sea captains that Linda Woodruff decided that it was about time we saw them in a different light. Tongue in cheek perhaps
Sample not available
Bedlam
This wonderful version of Bedlam from Book 2 of ‘The Crystal Spring’ has been part of my personal repertoire since Barry Coope and I sang it in duo around the late 70s. We never recorded it sadly but
Fruits & Flowers/Three Jolly Sailor Boys
Two more splendid polkas from that magical Sheffield manuscript – thanks again
Giles Scroggins
We were inspired to record this song and the next after being invited by Nic Dow to take part in a series of performances to launch the book “A Southern Harvest” (Francis Boutle Publishers). This book is the publication in one volume of the Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts
Sample not available
Bonny Kate
I have been singing this song for quite a few years. Not your typical “damsel in distress” story. It is from “The Wanton Seed”. Apart from the story
Sample not available
Father Christmas
Another song from Linda Woodruff. You have probably asked yourself
Sample not available
Standing in the Rain
Another Sydney Carter song which was not in our show originally. We
Sample not available
Always Money for a War
Another political
Sample not available
Gilliver
Roger Watson’s advice on how to look after your pit pony. Gilliver
Sample not available
Tip -Top Polka (Britannia Coconut Dance)
Possibly the two most delightful and infectious English dance tunes ever to exist – had to do it….thanks again to BandAnglo. KK
Sample not available
Van Dieman’s Land
Another re-visit from my first solo album
Sample not available
I Am Christmas
Absolutely belting anthemic song here by John Conolly and Bill Meek which literally personifies Christmas as a being. Just wonderful – Merry Christmas everybody

Folk Northwest

Giff

This is the second album from Keith and Sylvia that I've had the pleasure to review and a pleasure it has been from start to finish. Their concertina playing and close harmony singing is very complimentary and a joy to listen to. Their choice of traditional and contemporary material is also comprehensive with many of the songs themed around Christmas. There lies the pity that this album wasn't released before the festive season!

There are half-a-dozen tunes all of which are up tempo and jolly and illustrate perfectly Keith and Sylvia's skills at concertina playing. Pierce Butler adds some syncopated percussion which gives an overall effect that reminds me of the old days with the Umps & Dumps Band (remember them?). Great stuff.

The songs are equally dealt with in fine style. There are some old favourites like Sydney Carter's 'Silver in the Stubble' and 'Standing in the Rain' and Roger Watson's 'Gilliver' and also his hilarious 'The Christmas Hare' which, actually, I'd not heard before. However, of the better known songs, one stands head and shoulders above anything else on the album; this is Keith's solo rendition of 'The Old Ships Rolling Home'. He takes it at a slower pace than is normally done and as a result his tonality, phrasing and clarity of the words is absolutely perfect. It is a fitting tribute to Keith's 50 years experience in the folk world and I defy anyone to find a better performance of this song anywhere. Superb!

Other songs that took my fancy were the two written by Linda Woodruff who is a resident at the folk club in Derby that Keith and Sylvia help to run with Paul Slater. One is called 'The Finest Captain on the Sea' and the other is 'Father Christmas' both of which are amusing and definitely tongue-in-cheek. The album ends with a competent rendition of John Conolly and Bill Meek's 'I Am Christmas'. Like I said, it's unfortunate that the album couldn't be released before Christmas past especially as the sleeve note for the latter song ends with Keith writing 'Merry Christmas everybody, from us both'.

Ah well, it'll keep until next Christmas I suppose!! This album is available at Keith and Sylvia's many gigs countrywide and from Wild Goose via their web site. No KK fan should be without it.

Fatea

David Kidman

One of the folk scene's most truly complementary couples, Keith and Sylvia can always be relied upon to provide top-drawer entertainment at their club and festival gigs, and they invariably give a good account of themselves on record too, as Shine On, their second album for WildGoose, amply demonstrates. Their repertoire consists of mainly English traditional and traditionally-influenced contemporary songs, with a sprinkling of dance tunes thrown in. As well as being excellent singers, Keith and Sylvia also possess considerable expertise on concertinas (between them they proudly embrace all three systems of that humble instrument - English, Anglo and Duet).

Keith and Sylvia bring to the songs and tunes they perform a wealth of experience on the folk scene: Derbyshire legend Keith's career already spans five decades (as soloist and in various bands), and his comparatively-recently-convened partnership with Yorkshire-born Sylvia (an uncommonly fine singer in her own right with a great ear for harmony) is one made in heaven. As you can hear throughout this faithfully-recorded and well-balanced menu.

The disc begins in suitably anthemic fashion with the thoughtful and compassionate title song, written by John Richards for the late Johnny Collins, self-styled pedlar of song and perennial favourite at song gatherings. Another stirring and thought-provoking anthem, I Am Christmas by John Conolly and Bill Meek, is used to bring the CD to a close. A first glance at the titles of these bookends, and you may be forgiven for expecting something of a Christmas-themed album, but although there are no "sweet chiming Christmas bells" on this occasion Father Christmas himself does make an out-of-season appearance (in Linda Woodroffe's deliciously fun imagining), whereas Sydney Carter's Standing In The Rain is a decidedly non-jolly offering that just happens to mention Christmas.

Between the (North and South) poles of the disc's above-mentioned bookends, we're treated to an invigorating parade of songs and tunes. A goodly proportion of these are done strictly a cappella in glorious harmony (in which regard Sylvia is especially creative); highlights include Giles Scroggins (from The Wanton Seed collection) and Bedlam (from The Crystal Spring collection), and their retelling of Roger Watson's story of The Christmas Hare, which is dispatched with considerable relish. Other particular successes come with Ian Robb's on-the-button political commentary Always Money For A War, Roger Watson's ode to a pit-pony Gilliver, and . Each of the duo is allocated a solo song too; Sylvia tackles Bonny Kate (another piece from The Wanton Seed), while Keith gives us Ian Smith's reworking of the Capstan Bar shanty. On the disc's three dance-sets, Keith and Sylvia are jauntily augmented by Pete Bullock, Tom Miller, Pierce Butler and Keith Holloway, who impart something of a jolly Flowers & Frolics/Duck Soup flavour to these tracks - a hoot indeed!

Shine On is a perfect calling-card for Keith and Sylvia and their robust, convivial music-making, and both their unbridled enthusiasm and their total enjoyment of their art shines on and through this silver disc. It's quite honestly a delight from start to finish, m'duck - whatever the season.