What can you say about someone who asks you to write a few notes for his CD, especially when that someone is Denis Giddens? Everywhere you go someone knows Den! But then you cant miss him; hes a one off. At 82 he still behaves like a naughty schoolboy and looks like a mischievous gnome. With blue eyes twinkling and wispy top-knot floating in the breeze, he performs one of his well known ditties The daring young man on the flying trapeze. But singing it isnt enough for our Den, he must act as well, while four nervous friends hold a limb each as Den tries to freefall through the chorus.
We first met Den some 20 years ago, when he was running a folk club at Elsies (officially named The Queens Head) at Cowden. He has now handed over the reins - not because he was too old, but because he is too busy.
Den seems to burst with energy and zest for life and this comes across in his songs. He once told us that if he had his life over again he would like to entertain on stage. Well, weve got news for you Den, you dont need the stage!
A countryman at heart, Den is a survivor. If he was dropped in the middle of the wilderness it wouldnt be long before hed have beer brewing, wine flowing, and a stew, made of God knows what, on the fire. His world-famous parties featured his wine and beer flowing freely, with the next vintage bubbling away in the airing cupboard, under the sink and in every imaginable nook and cranny. Just where did he learn the knack of tapping birch trees for that lethal birch sap wine? Theres only one thing to say to Den and that is please live forever, the world would be a dull old place without you!