“Shirley Inspired” was released by Earth Recordings on Record Store Day 2015, 18th April, the aim being to publicise and raise money for the documentary film about Shirley Collins currently in production.
It features my solo version of Just as the Tide Was Flowing as well as my collaboration with comedian Stewart Lee on Polly On The Shore, recorded at the Loveday St Welsh Congregational Chapel in Birmingham last November with Stewart on guitar and vocals, and me on concertina.
It’s a real honour to be able to pay tribute to Shirley Collins in this way, and I’m surprised and delighted to find myself among such a diverse range of artists as Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Graham Coxon, Alasdair Roberts, Ulver… the list goes on and on.
The compilation has received a bit of attention –
- Stewart Lee talks about our collaboration (amongst other things) to the NME – http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/record-store-day-2015-comedian-stewart-lee-on-his-surprise-folk-tribute-to-shirley-collins
- A review in The Quietus in which my concertina is referred to as an “accordion”. Again.
- A nice detailed review in The Vinyl District
- Review in The Guardian
- An interview with Shirley in the PRS M Magazine – in which she says “I have to single out Stewart Lee. He’s our bravest comedian and I absolutely love him. I love the song he sings –Polly on the Shore. It’s incredible how he gets it.”
Stewart and I have also had air time on Stuart Maconie’s Freakier Zone thanks to Alex Neilson from Trembling Bells who was doing a feature on the UK folk scene; Uncut magazine also put Polly on the Shore in their “crucial tracks” playlist not so long ago, although I’ll be damned if I can find it now.
The 3LP set was a Record Store Day special (500 copies in the UK, 500 in the USA) but there will be a digital release to follow, I believe.